My latest collection of earrings and bracelets derives from my interest in and experience with Japanese culture.
In my early years I spent six months touring Japan. As I didn't have much money I stayed mostly in small towns and villages where I found people were eager to share their culture. I left with an endearing passion for the patterns and colours of kimonos but also the way the Japanese combine the two. This interest has remained and I decided to translate these experiences into a new range of jewellery. Kimono Fabric seemed an obvious name for the range.
A kimono is a silk gown, typically consisting of at least one inner garment and one outer silk layer, with other accessories used for decoration and to hold the gown together.
There is a less formal gown that looks similar, which is called a yukata. This has one layer that may be either printed silk or cotton, and is traditionally worn in the summer.
I like to use Indigo, which is the colour of Japanese royalty. Originally Indigo could only be used by royalty and was prohibitively expensive for common people but that has now changed.
I call this the beads above Acid Yellow but I am still seeking appropriate names for each of the colour variants (there are ten in total).
The circular elements represent kamon, which is the term given to Japanese family crests. In European society a coat of arms represents an individual but in Japan it is associated with all members of a household. And whereas in Europe crests were the preserve of the nobility, in Japan they were also used by common families. Kamon were used on houses, furniture and umbrellas as well as on kimonos.
There is a chemical reaction between the elements in the beads that produces a delicate, natural outline between the colours. I included a swirl of goldstone to echo the golden embroidery that is added to kimonos and to make the beads sparkle in the sunlight. I have chosen to produce a flat bead as they lie close against the skin and so are easy to wear.
I recall being at a large Tokyo hotel when a wedding party arrived. The bride looked absolutely stunning in her kimono and the entourage looked like something out of a fairytale. A new, quality kimono will cost about $US10, 000. Traditional kimonos that have been used for ceremonies are significantly more expensive as they are works of art in their own right. My Kimono Fabric jewellery range doesn't cost that much. You can find the product range here.