Minori Takagi is a local artist who makes beautiful pieces of glass jewelry. You may recognize some of the pieces that we carry here at Paper-Ya! Here we explore her art and the process that goes into each piece.
1. What made you decide to make jewelry and to work with glass?
I have loved crafts since I was a little girl. I tried many different crafts such as Origami, sewing, knitting, ceramics, and Kumihimo braiding.. but glass was special. The molten glass is a material that you can't touch directly when you are working with it. You have to use tools to shape it. It's challenging but you will get better as you practice. I think that is why I have worked with glass for 20 years.
2. What is your favourite item to make?
I love working on new pieces. Experimenting with new work is exciting. I've been working on a new product called "Circle Chain". It's a textured circle chain so it reflects the light very well. I also enjoy making unique items. Something like my "eyeball necklace" or "tooth necklace". They are a bit creepy but cute, and definitely fun to wear. I hope people enjoy them as much as I do!
3. How has your style changed over the years?
When I started to make glass beads, I learned the traditional method to make Japanese glass beads called "Tombodama". People collect them or wear one bead on a necklace in Japan. I loved learning techniques and working on the details. But after I moved to Vancouver, people often asked me "it's beautiful but what is this for?" I realized that people are looking for a finished piece of jewelry. Now I am into a modern glass jewelry designs that are "clean+simple".
4. Could you explain a little bit about the process that goes into making a piece of jewelry?
My works are all done by torch. It is called Lampwork. I work over the torch to melt glass rods. Flower patterns on/in the beads are also hand made. I make them separately, cut them into small pieces, then melt them into the molten glass bead.