Art Jewellery Challenge Day One / by Rui Kikuchi

'Facebook Art Jewelry Challenge', was started by Donna Greenberg, in the hope of capturing a diversity of what is happening around the world of art jewellery.

A combination of tardiness and preoccupation with other pursuits (it was exhibition preparation I promise) has resulted in my nomination by not one but four esteemed jewelers.

I was nominated by my dear friend and mentor Karin Findeis, lecturer at the University of Sydney in Sydney College of the Art's jewellery department. Her attention to detail and how she taught me to relentlessly question myself and the making process is both quality control and a nightmare to my obsessive analytical self; Erin Keys, a Sydney jeweller whose biceps I envy, can endure the task of cutting and forming elegant Pollock-like lines in hard cold steel; Akiko Kurihara, currently residing in Milan whose jewellery specialty is delighting with her whimsical sense of humor; and Regine Schwarzer, long time resident of Adelaide who hand-cuts stones of delicious colours and presents them in elegant and bold settings.

Akiko and Regine have both visited my Kyoto studio and I look forward to more visitors in the future.

So, for 5 days I will show some of my jewellery, and each day I will also nominate another artist to show us his/her jewellery - though so late in this chain I am running out of friends on Facebook to nominate, so I apologise in advance if one has shown their work previously or are just bored with this initiative.

Now, before I can procrastinate any further I shall present my Day One.

These are some blasts from the past, a series titled 'Natura Insolitus' from 2008. Of this series, one was accepted into the Friedrich Becker Prize, another appears in Lark Books' "Silver and Gemstone Jewelry" and another was shown at the South Australian Museum.
The materials in the rings shown are silver, copper, gold leaf, freshwater pearl, peridot, rough diamond and silk.

The movable parts are connected to the ring body through a ball and socket joint I devised after being inspired by the engineering of Friedrich Becker and managed to figure something out without an aeronautical engineering degree. A personal feat but never managed to continue the series due to the impracticality of wear.
However, some nice memories I have of this series are when I showed it at the Migration Museum in Adelaide ("Moved", curated by Kath Inglis), is when Anna Davern and Vicki Mason gently jumped up and down in front of the plinth to make the parts move and exclaimed "How are they in there? ", and when in Munich, Otto Kunzli cocked his head, turned the ring over and made a contemplative "Hmmmm" sound.

For this first day, I shall nominate my friend and neighbour, Shota Suzuki. Originally from Miyagi prefecture in Japan's north-east and student of Toru Kaneko, he chases delicate floral forms in various metals, exhibiting the finesse of our traditional crafts with a contemporary edge.
Even though Shota has only recently moved to Kyoto he's hoping to move out of his current home. The walls of his apartment are rather thin, a common problem plaguing us jewellers in Japan who like to bang on metal and make sawing noises. My hope is that the people next door will be too obsessed with their life to notice him and will continue to be my neighbour and come around for dinner again, though I won't bring out any fish next time because it'll never be as good here as in Miyagi. But our eggplants and tofu are better than yours.