Saturday, June 24, 2017

Wizard of Awes

We’re off to see the wizard this week as we get slightly sentimental.  Created as part of the Karakuri Creation Group’s “Story” exhibition, the Tin Woodman from Japanese artist Yoh Kakuda might just melt your heart.  As with most of the Karakuri group’s offerings, Kakuda offers a few words about the creation, stating that this Woodman went off to see the wizard (I can’t believe you don’t know this story) to get a heart, the thing he wants most in the world.  Only he never really lost his heart – he just forgot how to use it.  

Tin Woodman by Yoh Kakuda

The sentiment is sweet and fitting and the puzzle is a lovely work, one of Kakuda’s best.  The wood turning is expertly done, the little details are perfect and the tricks are nicely clever.  I felt like the scarecrow with my head all full of stuffin’ for a little while, but I wasn’t a cowardly lion – I had courage to persevere and everything worked out fine.  There are two secret chambers to discover and you will need to use your heart and your head if you hope to find them both.  This charming box will send you over the rainbow.

This Woodman will steal your heart

Here’s another story: A dance teacher with dreams of greatness suffers a terrible fall and becomes crippled.  Her hopes are lifted and love blooms with the help of a good-natured ice cream salesman who doesn’t initially realize she can’t walk.  Sounds like a Hollywood blockbuster, no?  Well, maybe in 1934, when “Have a Heart” debuted with stars Sally Moore, Jean Parker and James Dunn.  It was popular enough at the time to merit its very own cocktail!  

Have a Heart c. 1934

The “Heave a Heart” was published in Patrick Duffy’s “Official Mixer’s Manuel” and featured an obscure Scandinavian spirit known as “Swedish Punsch” which was popular during the turn of the twentieth century before Prohibition hit.  Swedish Punsch was based with Battavia Arrack, a sugar cane spirit imported from the East Indies in the mid eighteenth century, and infused with sugar and spices.  In recent years it has again become readily available, such as the popular Kronan brand which is self-described as having “a rich, full-bodied rum palate with complex notes of toffee, smoke, molasses and leather.”  Mmmmmm.  So Have a Heart – go on, have one – after all, it’s been there all along.  And where is the best place for you to enjoy these delights? Well, there’s no place like home.  Cheers!

These two are having a heart to heart

Have A Heart – Patrick Duffy c. 1934

1 1/2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Swedish Punsch
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Grenadine

Shake together over ice and strain into a favorite glass.  A little lemon peel oil will get the stiff joints moving as well.

For more about Yoh Kakuda:

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