Apr 15, 2015

Welsh Week: I Love Locca Enamel Jewellery! & Giveaway



I love Locca Enamel Jewellery. This jewelry is so pretty and it keeps amazing me.


 The owner of the shop, Yukiko, makes such beautiful items. I love the colors and the mix of materials.


This jewelry would be an honor to own, it's very special.


I've asked Yukiko a few questions to find out more about her and her jewelry.

1) Your name doesn't sound Welsh, could you tell a bit more about your background and how you use it in your work?

Originally from Japan I have been living in Wales since 2010 and just love having such wonderful and inspiring landscapes so near to hand, it just makes me feel so close to nature. When I lived in Tokyo, often described as a concrete jungle, I didn’t pay as much attention to the landscape around me as I now do in Wales. Though when I was little, my father would take us to the countryside all the time, also our family was lucky enough to live in a rather special environment for Tokyo as our landlord had a massive garden as a result of which I have a nice, nostalgic feeling inside of me for nature. Like most British people, my husband is very keen on gardening, and I’ve learned so much from him about nature. The plants in our garden inspire me a lot and I design jewellery to celebrate their life showing my appreciation for the wonders of nature.


2) What inspires you?

Wales is a Celtic country and I feel there is a deep spiritual element to the nature and landscape that surrounds us. Even though it's a part of one of the worlds powerful developed countries, I think Wales has a very unique and mysterious character – this might be because the country has not been promoted widely to the rest of the world giving it an air of mystery. Wales has notorious weather just like the rest of Britain; the sky is constantly changing its appearance. But I actually love equally both the blue and the cloudy atmospheric skies. On top of that, as a result of this unstable crazy weather, it seems to provide perfect conditions for lots of rainbows – I’ve never seen so many rainbows until I came to Wales. Wales, as well as Japan, has a culture based on animism. So nature is to me has a soul to which I feel like speaking, this closeness and togetherness to and for nature is inspiring to me.


3) Where have you learned your craft?

My main practice, enamelling, is one of the traditional artisan crafts of Japan. But unfortunately enamelling, especially cloisonné is not such a common practice any more compared to a few decades ago – this might be due to the extremely painstaking process of its technique. I was lucky to have the chance to learn my craft under a ‘master’, who is a world-renowned enameller. I studied under her in Tokyo, learning my craft about ten years ago.

The enamel I use is called hard-enamel, which requires firing at higher temperatures than common enamel graze. Hard enamel was produced especially to allow artists to create opaque colours more easily. Studying was fun and during this time I was able to represent Japan in international exhibitions in Spain, France and Lithuania. At the same time, I also needed to learn silversmithing so that I could create fully original works, and not use mass-produced ready-made metal bases for enamelling. 


4) What is your favourite place in Wales?

I’ve been to so many wonderful places and you never seem to be more than a half hour journey from either wonderful countryside, mountains, woods or the sea. Which gives us lots of opportunities to have picnics surrounded by nature – which I just love - also in early spring you can see lambs all over Wales – so cute.

However my favourite place is a little village within the city of Cardiff called Llandaff. It’s actually a ‘city’ itself as it has a cathedral, a beautiful 12th century cathedral at the edge of the village on the banks of a river. I still vividly remember the very first time I visited Llandaff. It was at sunset in January and the suns ray just shone off the golden stones of the cathedral I thought it was the most beautiful place I’d seen. What always makes me so excited about visiting Llandaff is the bird song – utterly mesmerizing.

I write a blog called Tales of Wales where I write about my everyday life in Wales.

I have also my Flickr page for Welsh landscape photography.


5) What should people who don’t know the country definitely know about Wales?

Besides its wonderful nature and super friendly people, I would definitely recommend experiencing Welsh traditional folk music – it’s so touching. I think the ‘exotic’ Welsh language makes the songs even more special and unique. The Welsh language is one of the oldest languages, still spoken,
though sadly not so many people nowadays speak Welsh. I would love to learn it in the near future.

Wales has more castles per square mile than any other country in the world – most castles are ruined unlike Japan where many of our castles have been renovated old castles. These castles look magnificent in the wild Welsh landscapes – they have a great presence and a sense of the history they have seen. Wales is also the first country in the world to have a path you can walk around that stretches around its coast and border – this is great to enjoy the wonderful changing landscapes.
 

6) Could you tell a bit more about yourself?

I was born and brought up in Japan but since 2010, I’ve lived in Cardiff with my Welsh husband and our three Maine Coon cats.

I’m a jewellery designer and maker and I work mostly in enamel. Most of my current designs are based on Japanese traditional motifs though I’m currently working on new designs inspired by Wales and its Celtic traditions as well as pieces that draw and combine influences from both Wales and Japan.


7) Could you tell a bit more about your art and Etsy?

My Pinterest page introduces my works by collection – Celtic Garden and Japanese Edo-komon.

I joined Etsy in July 2014 and I’m proud of my shop and enjoy being a part of Etsy. What I would like to offer people through my shop is the opportunity to experience the uniqueness of handcrafted quality jewellery. I’m passionate about preserving both the ancient enamelling techniques and the traditional designs with a touch of modern taste. I would be really happy if my creations could make the wearers’ life happier.


Yukiko is a very skilled artist. I think her handwork is amazing. It's all so delicate with much care for detail.


I wish I could show you all of Yukiko's treasured jewelry in this post, ever single piece she makes is fabulous.


Yukiko's Etsy About page is very interesting. She describes the process of her jewelry making. I really liked reading about the process and the difficulty of the profession. Knowing something more about the techniques behind it makes this jewelry even more special in my opinion.


For one very lucky reader of my blog there will be a fantastic prize!

 

  This Japanese Enamel Sterling Silver Necklace with Japanese Traditional Edo-komon 'Shippo-tsunagi' Motif in Black & Ivory will be sent to the winner of the giveaway. Good luck!
 

  I will contact the winner via email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international.  

52 comments:

  1. Because I love Japanese styles and culture :)

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  2. The necklace is absolutely stunning!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  3. it's beautiful and simple, just my style!

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  4. Because it's classic, beautiful and durable.

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  5. Because it's a unique design I've never seen before.

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  6. Because it's both playful and elegant - a style I really like!

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  7. It's a very delicate necklace and I'd love to go to Japan one day, so, it'd be a reminder of something I look forward to live!

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  8. I'd love to win because it's really pretty but also because I love the Japanese influence. Domo arigato!

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  9. Because it's so unusual and different

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  10. I'd love to win it because it such an unusual design and so different from other jewellery I have seen.

    Hazel Rea - @beachrambler

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  11. My best friend is fond of Japanese culture, she's also planning to go to Japan the next semester...I think this would make a perfect gift for her birthday!
    eleonorerigby24(at)yahoo(dot)it

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  12. What beautiful works of art! And what an interesting person, I'm glad you got to do this interview, it was fun to read.

    To answer your question, I'd like to win because I think the design is elegant and the craftsmanship looks lovely. Thanks for doing this giveaway.

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  13. I love the simplicity of the design and the fact that it can be worn with anything.

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  14. I would like to win because my mom would love to use.
    And the pieces are wonderful :)

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  15. I love silver necklace. That too this necklace looks too stylish. So I like it very much.

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  16. I would never have known it was a Japanese traditional design, I thought of French parterre when I saw it, thinking of the Loire and its castles. Very interesting. So I love the necklace for its calming pattern and colours.

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  17. Because it's beautiful.

    Megan @ reading away the days

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  18. I adore the style of this necklace and would like to give it to my daughter who is in her 20s and very sophisticated.
    ******************
    {in the contest I am Margot Core on the Rafflecopter}

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  19. Beautiful pieces. I particularly love her pendant with the blue birds. xx

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  20. First of all because the word "japanese" caught my attention, I love Japan and its culture and then because I think is a very pretty necklace. Thanks for the chance! (Valentina -on the raffle)

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  21. It's unlike anything else I have in my jewellery box & I liked how understated it is - it would look fab with so many outfits.

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  22. because it's poetic and elegant i love it

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  23. Because its beautiful.

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  24. Because it is uniqe, very elegant and I like this style.

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  25. I'd like to win, because I love earth colors in jewelry.

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  26. I like its peculiarities and characteristics, plus it's the perfect example of two cultures combined together!
    {I'm Ellie Di in the Rafflecopter}

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  27. Just simply beautiful, full of warmth and love.

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  28. I'd love to add it my necklace collection. Is super cute and goes well with various outfits that already crossed my mind.

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  29. My sister would LOVE this necklace - id love to win it for her.

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  30. My sister would LOVE this necklace - id love to win it for her.

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  31. This is beautiful and unique and would make me smile every time I saw it and/or wore it!

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  33. Hi Suzanne and all her friends!! Thank you so much for all your inspiring comments and entries!! I'm so honoured:) You make me super happy!! Love from Wales :)

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  34. It is very lovely, and I would love to try it on.

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  35. Because I love silver jewellery, the colours are beautiful and I love the Japanese influence as I have been practicing Martial Arts for over 20 years and have a real pull towards the Japanese culture!

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  36. I want to win it because it is so unusual

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  37. I'd like to win because it is super gorgeous!

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  38. The necklace is Absolutely gorgeous!
    i'm necklace lover and i don't have necklace like that

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  39. id like to win the necklace because its different then other necklaces i have seen

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  40. I love the traditional Japanese craftsmanship that goes in to this necklace!

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  41. Hello! I would like to win this necklace because it's so pretty. I also like that it's handmade. Thank-you. :)

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  42. I'd love to win because I really love jewelerry :)

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  43. as a silversmith i value the workmanship in her work

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  44. I am big fan of all thing Japanese, and love the style of this necklace x

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  45. Because it is my birthday and a necklace would be a lovely present to me to win, plus I love the design

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