Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Giving a Little Lost Sock a Soul

Tsukumogami: little sock with a soul

Anyone who has followed this blog knows I love discovering and transforming found objects. When I learned about the Japanese folk belief that objects have the capacity to become alive and self-aware, it changed the way I relate to the objects I find. Somehow they have already managed to break free and venture out into the world on their own. Now I try to help them discover their soul. Then I release them to continue their journey. To learn more about Tsukumogami, see a past post, Tsukumogami: Objects with Souls. For other past work with found objects, follow this Found link.

Lost by the wayside

This Tsukumogami began with the discovery of a little, lost, blue-striped sock, found on the walking path beside Lake Merritt in Oakland, no doubt tossed from a stroller by a heartless renegade toddler. The first step is to study the object a while, searching for whatever is within yearning to break free.

Communing with lost object

The next step is to animate the object, bringing the hidden pirit of the sock to the fore.

A little worried

A little sad

A little surprised

The next step is to send the Tsukumogami back out into the world to meet whatever fate awaits.
I decided to attach a little tag to the sock so that the people who discover it and help it begin the next stage of its journey have some idea what they are dealing with.


I decided to release the newly awakened spirit sock close to where I had found it, and left it sitting on the base of a light post right by the Lake Merritt walking path.

Little Tsukumogami waiting for its fate



  1. the expression is priceless, lost socks, mittens, lone shoes must be ever so forlorn to find themselves abandoned

  2. i don't remember how i found your site but thank god i did. you are too marvelous for words. i want to be just like you when i grow up (i'm 69). you must hear that a lot. i love to play with fabric and other things, but you take it to the stars and beyond our universe. Thank you for sharing just enough of how to make it fun, so we can do it for ourselves.

    1. Wow, thanks. This was a good day to get that kind of feedback.


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