Monday, August 17, 2015


14K Gold Vermeil Journey Steps Necklace
Known for its blend of Japanese and Chinese cuisine and exotic marine life, Okinawa, Japan is a playground for the senses.  

Consisting of islands Okinawa’s Moon Beach is among the top tourist destinations with its white sand, coconut trees, and a plethora of water activities.

Japan is also the ancestral home of featured jewelry designer Misa Hamamoto.

It is understandable that so many jewelry designers choose nature as their muse.  There are so many details to take in, relish and reinterpret in some way.

Alex Monroe (England) and David Lee Holland (USA), for instance, create stunning likenesses of flora and fauna in 18-karat gold.

With an upbringing in both Guam and Hawaii, Hamamoto’s aesthetic is steeped in the expansive beauty of natural forms.

Building designs from 14-karat white, rose and yellow gold; sterling silver; and 14-karat gold vermeil dangle earrings, stacking rings, and necklaces are so lovely in their lilting buoyancy.  The sublime hazy blue color of opal and the cosmic glow of moonstone heighten the studied delicacy of designs that feature them.

Of the precious and semi-precious gemstones accents, she says “I hand-select all the gemstones.  They are so magical and gorgeous.”  Hamamoto also incorporates slight irregularities and tactile details to her creations such as perforation, bark-like exteriors, and twig-like outlines.
14K Gold Vermeil Shima Druzy Ring
With her studio based in Los Angeles’ Jewelry District, Hamamoto implements the lost wax casting technique and metalsmithing to produce her organic yet classic items.  Though she initially “worked in the finance industry” she found herself signing up for a jewelry carving class to engage her creative hankerings.

“When I was in high school in Hawaii, I took a metalsmith class as an extracurricular and I learned soldering and sawed metal.  I felt something like Jennifer Beal’s Alex character from Flashdance because she was a female welder,” enthuses the jewelry artist.

“After high school I attended UCLA and studied Economics and Computer Programming.  I did the “normal and safe” thing by working in finance; but I was making jewelry on the weekends.”

As fate would have it a store buyer approached a co-worker of Hamamoto’s asking about the necklace she wore.  The friend gave the buyer Hamamoto’s phone number and the rest as they say is history.

Hamamoto’s signature style of lyrical, sculptural outlines is the perfect complement to a casual, posh, or somewhat edgy style mood.  Incidentally her engagement and wedding bands are a welcome deviation from the traditional template.

“My designs are always related to nature.  I think my designs are a balanced union of nature’s beauty and the spirit of the modern city.  I put so much love into making my jewelry and I’m so appreciative when my clients tell me the jewelry makes them “feel” special.  I am so touched by that.”

14K Gold Vermeil Shima Cuff Bracelet
2015 Jewelry Trend Alert If you are a fan of yellow gold, stacking rings and layering necklaces, all style trends this year, Hamamoto’s got it covered.  

You can combine like or different style rings or necklaces to create individual flair.
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