Tuesday, May 7, 2013


14K Gold Wire Wrapped Bell Drop Earrings
with Rubelite 
The unconventional Ghibli Museum, located in Mitaka, Japan, was designed to “entertain children through anime projects”.

The twelve-year old museum boasts maze-like interiors, special exhibitions, a reading room, and the Saturn Theatre.  Japan is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Yasuko Azuma.

New York-based Azuma brings a wonderful organic visual language to her fine jewelry collection of 18-karat gold and a bevy of stunning gemstones.

Although pared down and uncluttered in arrangement cutout details, sparkly matte finishes and slightly hammered outlines creates a raw, untouched natural beauty.

The former fashion designer credits her mother’s love of fashion; her own precision driven dance training; and the lush foliage of her grandmother’s garden as powerful muses. 

“My mother was a handbag and fashion designer and I used to watch her draw sketches.  I was about six-years-old and I would draw these rough sketches and give them to her for her to make,” she recalls.

“I went on to study fashion design and I worked for a large apparel company after graduating.  I thought it was a great learning experience but after five years I grew restless within the constraints of a corporate company’s vision.  I wanted to explore my own outlets of creative expression.”

18K Gold Rings with Raw Diamonds
Azuma began her advent into jewelry making in 1994 studying the craft at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.).   In time she mastered her signature style of hand pierced metal testing out her new skills by creating a fresh setting for a family heirloom.

“My mother asked me to make a new setting for a fire opal ring because the shank was broken,” says Azuma.  “I hand pierced tiny flowers and leaves around the bezel and shank which gave the gemstone a completely original look.”

By 2003 Azuma was ready to launch her self-titled jewelry line featuring a collection of rings showcasing this beautiful technique.  Conflict-free brown and black diamonds, labradorite, and moonstone are cradled within outlines of recycled, “diamond dust” 18-karat yellow gold or oxidized sterling silver.  Bracelets highlight linked spheres of luminous orange chalcedony or the misty glow of blue aquamarine for designs that never steer away from delicate femininity.

“I prefer to create styles that are enduring, versatile and collectible.
I also believe that jewelry should be subdued with unexpected surprises rather than bold diamond statement looks.

18K Yellow Gold and Oxidized Sterling Silver Bracelet
with Ruby and Diamonds
The pieces never outshine my customers but rather enhance their diverse and inherent beauty.”

A selection of items from Azuma's collection is available for purchase online at The Clay Pot.

2013 Jewelry Trend Alert:   Azuma is on point with her sparkly “diamond dust” metal finishes and beautiful colored gemstones.

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