Using Musical Mari
the one exception to making the dodia mari in the traditional manner are
the musical mari bases that are available from Japan. These are hollow
Dylite® poloystyrene (similar to Styrofoam® but a bit stronger and
smoother) balls that are die-cut to house a pull-string music "box"
platform. The balls are 38cm in circumference (about 4 ¼" diameter), and
come in a variety of Japanese and Western tunes. The are most easily
obtainable through Ai's
(I have no financial connection with Ai).
The mari come with a hardware kit that
is assembled to the ball PRIOR to wrapping it (see photos below). In
addition to adding the hardware, it also help to "prime" the music box
before doing anything else. Place a small mark on the string where it
exits the mari. Hold the mari tightly with one hand and gently but
firmly and smoothly pull the string to its fullest extension (usually
about 40-45cm) - until you feel the resistance at the end, but don't
over do it. Allow the music box to play to completion; it may "stall" as
it gets close to finishing. Repeat the process until the cycle plays
through completely and the string has returned fully to its starting
position (as shown by the mark you placed on the string. This allows the
string and spring to get into "synch" with each other, and makes sure
that the string is winding smoothly on the mechanism.
Wrapping a pre-formed, solid base
is a bit more challenging that making a
. Pay extra attention to placing the wraps in
random fashion on all layers. It helps to use both thick and thin yarn,
and then thread since you must create the stitching surface as well as
cover the base. Make sure as the wrapping progresses that the mari is
being maintained round. Remember of course, that wrapping the base will
increase its overall size slightly, but don't over do it. Most
importantly, you'll be wrapping around the hardware - the hanging loop
at the top, and the tube that protects the pull-string at the bottom.
Just be patient and don't try to hurry the process. Wrapping larger mari
can be difficult on the hands - they are harder and more clumsy to hold
since they are larger than most people's grip. You may find that a small
pillow on your lap may help.
Depending on your stitching style,
you may need to remember that you cannot plunge the needle as deeply
into the mari as you might otherwise. The music box is deeply seated in
the shell so there is no danger of damaging it, but your needle will
probably not forgive you. Likewise you'll need to be a bit more careful
|The musical bases come with the music box already inside the
base, and the string coming through the square hole in the
bottom. There will be a hardware packet with a screw eye, small
brass tube, and a small plastic ring.
|The ball is split around the equator, with a die cut seat for
the music box platform, and holes at the top and bottom for
anchoring pegs. There are also 2 sets of plug fittings to seat
the 2 halves of the ball together properly.
|The music box platform has two extensions that go through the
ball. The bottom one is where the pull-string emerges. The hole
in the extension is square and un-threaded. It should be relatively
flush with the base when assembled correctly.
|The top extension has a round, threaded hole. Insert the
screw-eye and turn it until it's almost flush to the ball (no
more threads showing). This is for hanging, and becomes a permanent
part of the finished temari.
|Slide the brass tube over the end of the pull-string and all
the way up to the ball.
|Insert the tube firmly into the hole in the bottom extension
of the music box platform. About 1.5 - 2 cm will still extend
beyond the edge of the ball. This protects the pull string and
allows smooth operation of the music box after the mari is
wrapped and stitched. It becomes a permanent part of the
completed temari.A tassel or other decorative embellishment may
be used around it if desired.
|Tie the small ring to the end of the pull-string. Another type
of end finish may be used.
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