Stirring imagination at the library

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There’s nothing that stirs the imagination quite like a dragon.

Visitors to the Oxford County Library system’s Tillsonburg Branch will see such an artistic creation courtesy of local resident Barbara Yake Kuhl.

The dragon made its first home with the Tai Chi Society on Broadway for several months in 2012.

“It’s because it was the year of the dragon,” said Yake Kuhl, who was asked to make a dragon for the window display with the Fung Loy Kok Taoist Tai Chi Society of Tillsonburg. “The intentions at that time was just a cardboard one, painted and cut out and then it just got carried away.”

The dragon, with its vibrant colour, is made from a variety of materials and is 20 feet long. It sat in the window display window at the Tai Chi location on Broadway from June 2012 until January 2013, when the Year of the Dragon ended, according to the Chinese calendar.

“Mainly, he’s made of what I call chicken wire and vinyl,” said Yake Kuhl. “The head is much more involved, but the body is a red pattern vinyl.”

Yake Kuhl has enjoyed making crafts for most of her life although making the dragon was a first and which took several weeks to accomplish - all through trial and error.

After much time and effort was put into the dragon, Yake Kuhl and others with the Tai Chi Society thought it would make an interesting conversation piece and display, so they donated it to Tillsonburg’s library for all to appreciate and learn from.

“Rather than putting him downstairs, we though it might better go to someone who might enjoy it. The little kids walk by it and they always stop and look at it, so they put it in the children’s section,” said Yake Kuhl. “That’s quite appropriate, we like that.”

Noting that dragons of any kind are always an interesting and popular topic among children, Yake Kuhl said it may give children an opportunity to grow and develop their creativity while educating them on cultural traditions and holidays in China.

“They enjoy it – it’s hanging up now. He’s up quite high on the ceiling. Even adults can enjoy it and maybe look up some information towards that way.”

It also provides something for the imagination.

“It gives them inspiration,” said Yake Kuhl. “ They can pick a dragon book and look them up. When I was doing it I was trying to think how they were supposed to be and realized they can be anything you wanted them to be.

“Imaginations can go wild with them.”




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