TAKARABUNE
 
 

Artist's Statement

I am a designer and artisan whose working philosophy includes using interesting materials, unusual designs, and good engineering to ensure pleased clients.  Each of my pieces is one-of-a-kind or, occasionally, one of a limited edition design [though even these are one-of-a-kind, for the components of each have some variations in the materials themselves].  In addition to my seasonal collections, I work with individual clients to design and make custom pieces.  I am also happy to do trunk shows for private groups.

I have collected and made jewellery all my life.  My design influences come from history, ethnography, and sheer delight in how colours, textures, and artefacts can be put together to form a harmonious whole. I’ve spent many years studying different ethnic cultures and their arts, including several years in Japan.  TAKARABUNE  [‘Treasure Ship’ in Japanese] is the traditional Japanese sailing vessel with the Shichi-fuku-jin [Seven Lucky Gods—actually, one Goddess, six Gods] that is said to come into port at New Year's, bringing good fortune and happiness to all in the coming year.  When I make my pieces, I include these thoughts for their wearers.

My resources range from found objects and unexpected treasures from nature through semi-precious stones, woods, and other materials to artefacts from around the world.  Several of my components are unique, many are unusual.  All of my pieces are signature pieces.  You may wear each of them anywhere, any time, and know that you won't see your piece on anyone else—unlike jewellery from museum and specialty catalogues.

Of course, every artisan has his or her own style, which one may recognize.  But when I design, my thoughts are of the wearer for whom I hope this particular combination of elements will evoke something special. I name my pieces, and I have found that until I have chosen a telling name for the piece, I have difficulty finishing it.

Often I begin my necklaces with what I call a ‘center’ bead—though it may not be a bead, and I may not use it in the center of the necklace:  it could be a piece of wood; a hashioki [chopstick rest]; an unusual coin; a Chinese pi [pronounced bi, a holed disc of semi-precious stone that some say once represented the perfect beauty Chinese ancients saw in the path of the sun across the sky]; a found earring; an old pin; or a key…the possibilities are endless.  What they have in common is that they beg to be enjoyed more fully.

Whatever the center bead, next comes considering how to enhance it, using colours, shapes, textures, patterns, symbolism.  I like to make unexpected combinations that are versatile so you may wear them both with jeans and with your favourite black dress.  At this point, I put all the elements I think I may use together in a bag and put the bag in my current projects box.  Sometimes the bag stays there for months while I think some more about the design; other times I make up the necklace right away because I am so curious to see how it will go together.

The final stage can be the trickiest:  the engineering necessary to make all the elements come together as I have envisioned.  Sometimes they won't, and I have to rethink either the design or the mechanics, or both.  What I can—or cannot—make the materials do sometimes determines the final appearance of the piece.  – It's a learning process, and I enjoy all of it!

I prefer selling directly to my clients, because then I can talk with you about my pieces—and learn from what you tell me.  And, just as important, buying directly from me means much better prices for you!     -- Lucy Sloan

 

 

Lucy Sloan

TAKARABUNE

(207) 771-0224

takara@gwi.net

 

www.takaraartisan.com