What I wish is for my work to bring a lovely feeling to the person who wears it.

Inspired by the longstanding heritage of Japanese Edo-komon designs and by her love for the rugged Welsh landscape, Tokyo-born jewellery designer Yukiko Wilson creates delicate, beautifully textured and evocative pieces of enamel jewellery containing a plethora of ancient auspicious symbols. Yukiko warmly welcomed us in her beautifully decorated and tranquil home and introduced us to her simpatico Welsh husband Chris. She was wearing a gorgeous traditional kimono in readiness for the tea ceremony she has kindly performed for us in their splendid garden. Witnessing for the first time this timeless and meaningful ceremony has put us in an inquisitively poetic mood and we quickly engaged in a mesmerising conversation, or rather, the conversation engaged us and held us captive in a beautiful harmony.

We conversed about her old studio near Mount Fuji and how the idea of Locca Enamel Jewellery was born, about her passion for photography and theatre and her knowledge of traditional enamelling techniques. She also invited us in her studio to show us some of her whimsical pieces of jewellery and shared with us her sources of inspirations and her dreams and ambitions over some delightful home made Japanese food she has cooked for us. We left her home still daydreaming, there and elsewhere at the same time, as if forgetting reality for a few moments whilst carrying with us the inner fire of fragrant memories that always begin from silence.

日本伝統の江戸小紋に刺激され、ウェールズの荒涼とした風景に感銘を受けた東京出身ジュエリーデザイナー、ウィルソン志子は、デリケートな質感、古代吉祥シンボルをふんだんに取入れた、七宝ジュエリーの作品を手がけています。彼女はその日、緑に囲まれた庭で、まず茶道の点前を披露してくれました。時代を超えた趣深い茶道は非常に興味深く、刺激的な雰囲気が漂う中での我々の会話は、たちまち膨らみ始め ・・・と言うよりはむしろ、私たちはその会話によって魅惑的な和の世界へと捕われてしまったようでした。

現在の仕事場で、彼女の富士山麓の昔のスタジオの事、Locca Enamel Jewelleryがどのように生まれたか、写真や演劇に対する情熱、伝統的な七宝技法等について色々話をしました。そしてホームメードの和食弁当を一緒に楽しみながら、個性的な作品、インスピレーションの素、夢や希望を語ってくれました。暫く現実を忘れてしまいそうな感覚で彼女の家を後にした私たち。そして残り香のようなその記憶は、常に静けさと共に呼び起こされ、そこかしこに漂うのでした。


How was Locca Enamel Jewellery born? どのようにしてLocca Enamel Jewelleryはスタートしましたか?

When I was still living in Tokyo, I saw a programme about incredible art of jewellery by a French artist, René Lalique (1860-1945). I was utterly mesmerized by the beauty of enamelling in his work then I thought I would like to try it myself. I started taking classes of enamelling and metalsmithing and soon after I took part in a group exhibition and decided to make enamel jewellery for other people. The name, Locca, literally meaning six-petal flower, is another name for snow in Japan, as a snowflake always has a hexagonal shape. My name, Yukiko, meaning ambition or aspiration in Chinese character, has the same sound for snow in Japanese. I was born in winter so I thought it would be a perfect name for my creative work. From the beginning, I wanted to apply traditional Japanese motifs on my design to introduce our interesting culture to people in the world. Besides this, I thought my own creations might help me to communicate with others better. In life, we constantly face things, which make us feel positive and sometimes not. I thought if my jewellery could bring even the slightest feeling of peace, courage, confidence, belief or liberty in someone’s life, then I thought that would be really wonderful. This is how Locca Enamel Jewellery was born.  

まだ東京暮しの頃、フランス人アーチスト、ルネ・ラリックの素晴らしい七宝ジュエリーを目にしました。彼の美しい作品にすっかり魅せられ、その技法を自ら学んでみたいと七宝と彫金のクラスを別々にスタートしました。その後グループ展にも参加する機会を持ち、そこで七宝を仕事にしようと志しました。Loccaという名前は、漢字で六つの花と書く、雪の別称です。冬生まれの私の名前、志子のゆきと同じ発音なので、創作活動にあたり、Locca六花という名前を付けました。当初から海外の人々へ、興味深い日本の紋様文化を紹介したいと思い、伝統モチーフを多くデザインに取入れています。創作を仕事にしたいと考えたのは、自分の作品を通してコミュニケーションを取る事で、様々な人々とより深い関係を築く事が出来るのではないかと考えたからです。人生には、日々色々な出来事が起こります。私たちは時に前向きに物事を楽観的に捉える事も出来れば、又そうでない心持ちにもなります。もしも、たったほんの一瞬でも自分の作品を通してジュエリーを身につける人に、穏やかな気持ち、勇気や自信、何かを強く信じる姿勢や自由な心を届ける事が出来たら、それは本当に素晴らしい事だと思いました。そうした考えからLocca六花 は始まりました。

What is your fondest childhood memory? 子供時代の一番の思い出は何ですか?

I was brought up in a house under a little unusual circumstance. My family shared the same house with our landlord. The husband, Keizo, was the sixth generation of a traditional Japanese rice cracker store. The house was very old and they had a massive garden in the middle of Tokyo including locally protected big persimmon trees, a cactus green house, an old pond and even a shrine with a stone Torii gate. Keizo was a serious gardener and had an iris field with hundreds of individual iris pots. He gave each one of them a name and every June many TV programs visited his garden to introduce his iris. There was also a large temple with ancient woodland just across from the house. Besides this environment, my father would take us for hiking in the countryside every month. So even though I was living in a big city, my fondest childhood memory was spending time in the nature.


Can you tell us more about your formative experience with the master artisan in Tokyo? 東京で七宝の師匠から学んだ経験について、教えて下さい。?

My master is a cloisonné enameller as well as a metalsmith. Her style has very distinctive characteristics I’d never seen anywhere else. Many of her works feature fauna and flora from her own imaginary fantasy world. I learned various fundamental techniques for enamelling, from creating original colours to studying the properties of the Japanese enamel glaze but besides all these craft skills, I learned how to build relationships with fellow artists and designers. She is a very sociable person and always hosted gatherings and encouraged us to communicate with other groups of people, to organize exhibitions and participate in competitions abroad. Her relationship with other artists in different fields was also very inspirational to me. I just thought the friendship between them through their creative works was fantastic and that is something I’d definitely love to have in my own life too.


Owning a studio in the vicinity of Mount Fuji may sound like a dream for many artists. Can you tell us how the relationship with this environment influenced and inspired you? 多くの作家にとって夢の様な、富士山近くにスタジオを構えるという環境はどのような刺激になりましたか?

Looking back, I think I didn’t see Mount Fuji as a mountain. I think I was totally in love with it. To me, the mountain was like a human - I simply admire its existence - just being there so quietly and majestically. It’s hard to explain in words but whenever I saw the mountain right in front of me, my heart started beating but at the same time I also felt so calm by the serene mountain. Within that environment, I think I had a good time being on my own to look at my life and to reflect my feelings or ideas in my own work and I think I deepened a strong sense that I should do what I really love from the bottom of my heart.


Your designs seem to be strongly influenced by the ancient Edo-komon patterns that are specific to kimono designs. Is this of a spiritual significance to you? 作品は着物のデザインである伝統的な江戸小紋の影響を強く受けているようですが、それはあなたにとってスピリチュアルな意味合いを持つものですか?

My family runs a handcrafted kimono business and I’ve been always familiar with the traditional designs. Edo was the former Tokyo and had a unique culture. Edo period (1603-1868) lasted more than two hundred and fifty years and is often described as the most peaceful era. However, the peace was controlled under various restrictions and even design was part of those restrictions. Based on the government’s idea, ordinary people shouldn’t enjoy any luxury in life. For example, common people were not allowed to use specific patterns and colours so they developed their own unique designs using simple motifs such as daily tools, plants or food. While the ancient capital Kyoto had many elegant noble designs, Edo created humorous unique motifs. Edo-komon was first used on formal dresses called Kamishimo, for samurai-lords. Each family had their own motif to denote their identity so the design was absolutely exclusive but later on Edo-komon came to include all types of traditional designs by Edo people. Not just Edo-komon but many other traditional patterns were made to express gratitude for the beauty of the seasons in Japan. Those designs are also auspicious symbols to ward off evil and wish for a good luck. I love the idea to connect with people from the past through the designs they cherished during their lives. As a Tokyo-born designer, I’d love to contribute to keep the Edo design tradition alive.


You moved to Wales in 2010. How was your aesthetic vision inspired by your Welsh surroundings? ウェールズへは2010年に移住していますが、変化した環境からどのような美意識が生まれましたか?

To me, the Welsh landscape is the ultimate beauty. I might have not appreciated it so much if I was younger, but this magical land just speaks so directly to me - its rugged land, large sky, dramatic clouds, winds and rain. In a way, this landscape overlaps with the Japanese wabi-sabi feel. It reminds me of the importance of paring down. Less creates more space to focus on important things in your life. It’s like creating a poem. The Welsh landscape is a poem.


Do you think that travelling around the world made you rethink your Japanese heritage? 外国を旅する事で、日本独自の伝統や文化について改めて考えさせられる事がありましたか?

Yes, definitely. To be honest, I didn’t appreciate much of my own culture until I started travelling abroad. I vividly remember visiting the British Museum and seeing their Japan collection. I was so shocked to discover the intricate mesmerizing crafts as well as truly sophisticated Buddha statues. Afterwards, I took up some Japanese traditional culture classes including the tea ceremony.


What is your creative process? 創作過程はどのようなものですか?

It depends on the piece, but once I get the core idea I will write a little story about it. I love researching to learn historic or traditional facts to develop the story. Afterwards, I choose the materials then start sketching along with images of fashion style for the jewellery. Sometimes I make a simple clay model to study a 3D form to confirm the idea. In order to create an original piece of enamel jewellery, you need to calculate and plan a careful mechanical procedure especially when it requires complicated soldering. When the plan is fixed, I start to make a base metal body. For champlevé style, as there is a difference between the temperatures of soldering and firing in the kiln, a mould needs to be made to cast for metal. When the cast is ready, I start enamelling. I usually set a colour scheme for the design first and arrange some colour variations.


Out of all enamelling techniques, why did you choose Champlevé and Cloisonné styles? 数ある七宝の技法の中で何故、シャンルヴェとクロワゾネ(有線七宝)を選んだのですか?

First of all, the unique enamel I use is appropriate for those techniques. The reason I apply champlevé is that I can make an original master for a mould to cast, which enables me to offer my customers many colour options using the same design patterns. Cloisonné, when compared to champlevé, is a total one-of-a-kind piece as you cannot make a mould to repeat the design. The fascinating part of cloisonné to me is that you can shape letters by bending metal ribbons as design. One of my series is called “Talk to Your Shoe”, the idea is to have a relationship with any kind of things surrounding you. In that series, I hide words in the design. Another reason why I love cloisonné is that we still use ancient Japanese techniques and materials.  For instance, we use orchid flower bulb powder as glue to set metal ribbons to shape designs onto the metal.  Sea plant is also used as glue mixed in enamel glaze. For an authentic traditional style, we use charcoal to polish the surface after sanding various levels of stone polishing, and beeswax is used for a finishing touch for the work. I love the fact that these techniques and materials from the ancient times are shared even in this modern period.

第一に、私が使っている七宝釉薬がその二つに適しているからです。シャンルヴェに関しては、型を起こして鋳造する為、同じ柄を利用して、お客様へ様々な色のバリエーションを提供できます。一方クロワゾネは、型を起こせない為、全くの一点ものの作品になります。私にとって特にクロワゾネの魅力は、リボン状のミクロの厚みの金属を曲げながら、文字を形成する事が出来る所です。手がけているコレクションの一つに “Talk to Your Shoe(靴に語りかけてみて)”というシリーズがあります。これはanimismアニミズム(生物、無機物問わず全てのものに魂が宿っているという考え)にも通じますが、身の回りにあるどんな対象とも関係を築いていくというようなアイディアから生まれました。私はそのデザインの中に、隠し文字を入れています。クロワゾネが好きな他の理由として、私たちは現在でも日本古来受け継がれてきた技法や素材を利用している所です。例えば先ほどお話した薄い金属のリボンを使う際、白笈(はっきゅう)と呼ばれる紫蘭の球根を粉状にしたものを、接着材にします。又、布海苔と言う海藻を乾燥させ、水を加え煮詰めた糊も七宝釉薬へ混ぜて使います。本七宝と呼ばれるスタイルでは、炭で七宝の表面を磨きながら仕上げ、蜜蝋で完成させて行きます。このようなテクニックや材料等が古代から現代に至る迄、ずっと受け継がれているという事実に、とても魅力を感じます。

Each pattern used in your designs seems to bear a specific meaning. Are these patterns also a visual language through which you communicate with other people? それぞれのデザインに固有の意味合いがあるようですが、それは自分自身と、ジュエリーを身につける人とのコミュニケーションの為の視覚的言語でもあるのですか?

I respect the original meaning of the patterns but I think it’s not always necessary to know their exact meaning, even though of course, it would be much more interesting if you knew the story behind the design. Take Edo-komon for example, a lot of designs are quite simple like a geometric pattern. They are actually seen even in many other cultures too. What I wish is for my work to bring a lovely feeling to the person who wears it. The patterns have been cherished for centuries and often for some specific reasons or purposes, but I think you don’t need a reason to love something and it is the wearer’s freedom to choose how he or she likes the jewellery or how the person sees the design.


Where do you source your materials from? 材料はどちらから仕入れますか?

I brought enamel with me from Japan. This enamel is called Rittai-yu, which is harder as a substance and it requires higher temperature to fire than normal enamel glaze on market. This particular enamel was invented for enamelers to produce subtle original colours, especially opaque colours, more easily. Unfortunately there was only one company making this kind of enamel and they stopped manufacturing it about 10 years ago. The company asked us to place a final order before they completely stopped so I still have enough with me. As for the other materials, some are from the UK and some from Japan. I particularly care how I complete the presentation of my work. For most of my work, especially Edo-komon series, I place jewellery in a little hand-made wooden box, called Kiribako made from Paulownia wood. This is an ancient Japanese storage tradition, born out of the humid Japanese climate. The wood is resistant to moisture so in our climate it’s an ideal material to use to protect valuable items. I purchase Kiribako boxes whenever I go back to Japan. I also use Japanese washi paper to wrap a piece of jewellery, sometimes in an origami style. Washi was designated as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2014. We have a long tradition of folding, wrapping and knotting and there are many meanings in these cultures and I would like to express them as part of my work.


You have appropriated in your work age-old traditional techniques. How is this allowing you to express your artistic personality? 作品には古くから伝わる技法を取入れていますね。それを、どのようにして独自のデザインスタイルへと反映させているのですか?

Nowadays, it’s just a snap to make a 3D-copied ring by machine. Computers can offer you much more precise straight lines and perfect circles if you want. I greatly appreciate modern technology and I enjoy it in my daily life but for my own enamel jewellery work, personally I would like to go for a more analog style. I think this is because I feel closer to the people in the past. I admire their dedication to develop the techniques from genuine pure heart out of curiosity and also the people who have passed on the tradition to this day. I, who live in the 21st century, work with the ancient techniques and create new pieces of work – this is a very romantic connection beyond time. While I use age-old techniques and traditional patterns and motifs, I also try to add some modern feel in the design especially for the finishing touch of metal surface or metal form.


In your Celtic Garden series you are fusing Japanese and Celtic motifs. Can you tell us more about this. ケルティックガーデンのシリーズでは日本とケルトのモチーフをミックスしていますが、もう少し詳しく説明して下さい。

Since I moved to Wales from Tokyo, my relationship with nature has become closer with more practical level. As my husband, Chris, loves gardening and now I grow plants, fruit, and vegetables in our garden, my knowledge of the ecological facts about each plant, as well as the little wild birds, has improved a lot. Observing new flowers or fruit each season, I feel like celebrating the new life. This is how Celtic Garden series started. Japanese motifs, especially Edo-komon patterns, often combine together various designs so I thought that fusing traditional Japanese designs and nature inspired motifs would be unique to my identity, which could also become my originality. I’m also fascinated with lovely floral designs I come across in churches or paintings, especially around the 16th century portraits. I include these designs in the series too.


What is Seven Treasures and why is it so important to your work? セブントレジャーズとは何を指しますか?そして何故”七宝つなぎ”はあなたの作品にとって特別なのでしょうか?

Enamel is called Shippo in Japanese. Shippo literally means Seven Treasures. According to the ancient Buddhist scriptures, the Buddhist land was made of seven treasures: gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, agate, coral and red pearl. Because of this, and with its colourful characteristics, enamel is said to be called Shippo, Seven Treasures. One of the popular Edo-komon patterns uses repeated interlocking circles and is regarded as a lucky motif, representing eternity. This design is called Shippo-tsunagi; tsunagi means connection, and for this reason this particular motif is special to me.

日本語の七宝という言葉は、七つの宝を意味します。古代仏典において仏教の世界は、七つの宝から出来ていると考えられました。金 / 銀 / 瑪瑙ルリ(ラピスラズリ) / 瑠璃ハリ(水晶)/ 瑪瑙メノウ / 硨磲シャコ(白色の貝)及び白珊瑚、又は真珠 / 赤珊瑚又は赤真珠の七つです(仏典の種類により多少の違い有)。七宝釉薬の豊かな色彩がこれら七つの宝の色につながる為、七宝という名が付いたと考えられています。七宝つなぎは江戸小紋の代表で、丸い輪が幾重にも繫がり永遠や吉祥を象徴します。その名前からも七宝と深く関わりがある為、私には特別なデザインなのです。

Do you also do commissioned work and if so how do you draw the line between your own aesthetic taste and the expectations of a client? 特注デザインを受ける事がありますか? 又、そのような場合、自身のスタイルと顧客のテイストをどのようにして線引きするのですか?

At the moment I don’t do much commissioned work, except for changing colour variations in my champlevé work, however, when I’m asked, I always arrange some design patterns based on the request including my own taste for a suggestion.


Do you keep a log with your sketches and designs? スケッチやデザインの記録を付けていますか?

This is what I should work on. I’d like to make an archive and a proper portfolio. I have old sketchbooks, notebooks and design cards though.


What other disciplines are you involved with or interested in? 何かジュエリーの他に従事している事柄や興味がありますか?

I started my blog on the New Year’s Day in 2013 right after Chris gave me an SLR camera as a Christmas present. The blog is called The Fourth Catin Japanese, which is my nick name given by Chris. At that time we had three Maine Coon cats, we had another one last year, but I remain the fourth one in our family. The blog had been written in both Japanese and English until the end of last year. The English title is Tales of Wales and the blog articles are about little bits and pieces in our daily life. The contents were very random and also a new post came less and less frequently. I always wanted my blog to have a more specific meaning and share stories and photos more often. So from the beginning of this year, instead of writing in two languages, I decided to post a new article only in Japanese according to the ancient Japanese calendar called 72 seasons. We have very distinctive four seasons in Japan and a year is divided further into twenty-four seasons, called Niju-shi sekki. Still to this modern period, we have many traditional customs and events according to the Niju-shi sekki calendar. While Niju-shi sekki is a copy of the classical Chinese calendar, the 72 Seasons calendar originates in Japan, marking little changes every five days in Japanese seasons. So now my blog has a more seasonal element, comparing Japanese and British seasons. I also try to make Japanese traditional Wagashi sweets each month reflecting the season. In the future, I’d like to add more tea ceremony related articles and back the posts in two languages again.

クリスからデジタル一眼レフをクリスマスにプレゼントされ、2013年元日からブログを始めました。タイトルは四番目の猫。クリスが私に付けたニックネームです。去年一匹増える迄、当時はメインクーンという品種の猫が3匹だったので私が四番目の猫という訳です。ブログは昨年まで日本語、英語の両方で書いていました。英語名は、ウェールズ物語(英語では韻を踏んでいます)で、内容はとても雑多、かつ更新する機会も年々減っていました。 長らく何かもっと意味合いのあるブログ内容にしたいと考えていたので、思い切って今年から日本語だけの記事に変更し、古い日本の暦72候を元に更新をしていこうと決めました。現代でも日本人には身近な二四節気と呼ばれる一年を24の季節に分けた暦があり、多くの伝統行事や風習がこのカレンダーに沿って行われています。七十二候は、中国古代の暦をそのまま採用している二四節気に比べ、日本独自に生まれたものです。一年を更に72に分け、五日毎の日本の季節の小さな移り変わりを反映しています。という事で、今のブログは日本とイギリスの気候を比べながら、以前より少し季節感のある内容になっています。その他毎月、季節の和菓子を作って記事にしています(現在、お休み中)。 将来的にはインスピレーションも一緒に写真で紹介するデザイン創作日記を中心に、季節感のある茶道関連記事を加える形で、二カ国語のブログに戻したいと思っています。

What made you choose Cardiff? What do you love about living here? どのようにしてカーディフで暮らし始める事になったのですか?又ここでの生活では何を楽しんでいますか?

My husband Chris is Welsh from a town called Llanelli in West Wales. When I met him, he’d already moved to Cardiff and I joined his life in this city. I’ve been enjoying the life here so much. Firstly, I love the people living here – so charming, friendly, pure and very kind. Compared to Tokyo, the life is much quieter and you can enjoy a more relaxed life but at the same time the city offers you many interesting events and activities as well. A couple of our local friends have started to organize a Welsh music event, called Y Parlwr every month (@yparlwr on Facebook). Chris and I have taken part in the events as staff members. Y Parlwr offers an absolutely lovely space with wonderful acoustics. Another thing I love about the city is its café culture. There are many lovely cafes and you can enjoy coffee in a relaxed atmosphere. If these cafes were in Tokyo, they would always be fully packed and you would need to struggle to find a seat for yourself. 


What are some of your favourite places in Cardiff and why? カーディフでお気に入りの場所はどこですか?その理由も教えて下さい。

One of my favourite art forms is a theatre. Although I haven’t had much chance to see plays, we try to see operas and ballets at the Welsh Millennium Centre regularly. I love the atmosphere and the exciting special vibe that the theatre creates. I absolutely love the beautiful architecture but I also wish I could have seen the design by Zaha Hadid, who was initially the architect for the design of the building. Another thing we’ve recently been into is visiting a woodland called Wenallt in the northern part of Cardiff. During the weekdays you rarely see any people in the forest and you can experience a peaceful quiet walk only listening to mesmerising birds’ songs.


Last year you organised a Japanese tea ceremony in Cardiff. What did you find exciting about this event and how was it received by the locals? 昨年はカーディフで茶道を披露するイベントに参加していましたが、どのような所を興味深く感じましたか? また地元の人々の反響はどのようでしたか?

I was truly honoured to host the Japanese tea ceremony in Cardiff. I was excited about it for some different reasons. Firstly, it’s one of our proud traditions, which is very unique to Japan. I felt I could contribute to our country a little by introducing its culture to the people in Wales. I felt an ultimate joy while demonstrating the ceremony. In the authentic tea ceremony, you fully use your five senses and it’s a very special experience. Each movement of the ceremony is cleverly calculated and very logical and formal, however, through this formality you still experience a relaxing and calm feeling. I think it’s a magical element of the tea ceremony. I started the tea ceremony following my late grandmother’s recommendation. I was very close to her so I think she would’ve been pleased with my hosting the events. Japanese cultures have been westernised and less and less people have the chance to wear a kimono nowadays. Wearing kimono is one of the ways to keep the tradition alive and it’s very meaningful to our family. We had wonderful feedback from the audience and many people seemed to have found it very soothing as well as very different and interesting. 


How important is it for you to be part of the local community of creatives? 地元コミュニティのクリエイティブな活動に参加する事はどのような点で重要だと思いますか?

I always think that loving the place where you live is one of the most important things and ideals in life. So being part of the local community of creatives is an essential part of my work. Under the economically and politically difficult circumstances, we cannot always depend on the government or local council to support us. In order to continue our activities and attract wider audience, we need to find a way together to offer our creations to local people and beyond. Living in the same area and being local means that people already have an affinity to share, so the local community is a great platform to tighten the relationship and promote activities and events to make local life more enchanting. I believe that the more you get involved in those activities, the more you discover how so much fun and exciting the local life is.

“愛する街で暮らす” それは人生において非常に大切な、そして理想的な形だと常に感じています。地元の活動へ積極的に参加するという行いは仕事の上でもとても重要な位置づけがあります。現在の経済・政治状況において、クリエイティブな活動サポートを、政府や地元行政に頼る事は難しいかもしれません。創作活動を継続し、マーケティングを地元からより広めて行くため、近隣コミュニティからスタートして一緒に目的へ向かう事が大切だと感じます。同じ地域の住民である事自体、既に人生における興味を共有しているので、その関係を深め、しっかりとした活動のプラットフォームを築き上げる事は、地域のライフスタイルをより魅力的にしていくのに非常に役立つはずです。活動により多く関わっていく事で、いかに地元コミュニティがエキサイティングで楽しいものであるか、そしてその可能性を、より実感する事になると信じています。

Looking at your imagery we sense that you have a special relationship to photography. What role does photography play in your life? あなたの作り出すイメージを見ているとフォトグラフィーとの特別なつながりを感じます。写真という媒体はあなたの人生の中でどのような役割があるのでしょうか?

I remember the very first moment I became interested in photography. When I was in my mid twenties I lived in London studying interior design. One day I found a piece of post card at a little local shop. It was a black and white photograph titled “Boy Holding Puppy” by the Hungarian photographer André Kertész (1894-1985). I was totally captivated by his work. That photograph was something you felt like looking at forever. Since then the relationship between photography and me has started. To me photography is to capture the moment you want to remember and cherish over and over again. I would like to share the moment I really love and I would also hope my photography plays a similar role for other people just as I get inspired by others’. And to me photography is not only a relationship with people but also a connection with the world beyond the objects I see through a viewfinder.


You seem to have a keen interest in cooking and food photography. Where do you find the inspiration for the dishes and how do you pick your homeware? 料理やフードフォトグラフィーへ非常に関心があるように伺えます。料理のインスピレーションの対象はどこから得るのですか? 又、食器類は、どこで購入しているのでしょうか?

A lot of the dishes in my photos are actually cooked or baked by Chris. By taking photographs I show him my gratitude for his cooking. He is basically a vegetarian, not strict at all, but the ingredients are quite limited so we like to use lots of herbs and spices and try exotic recipes with a little twist. I think we’re largely inspired by Nigel Slater’s cooking. We used to watch British TV food programmes regularly but we currently get inspiration mainly from cooking books. Speaking of homeware, we have some selection of ceramics, lacquer ware or bamboo crafts from Japan. Whenever we go back there, we visit antique markets or vintage shops. One of my uncles enjoys pottery as a hobby so I’ve stolen some of his works and brought them with me here. When my husband was working at a museum gallery, he often purchased ceramics from local artists. We occasionally go to antique markets here in the UK too. There is also a little collection from France where we take part in the Interceltique Festival in Lorient, Brittany every summer to organize a Welsh artist’s exhibition. A lot of glassware is from Rhoni, my Welsh mum. She left us many lovely items.

多くの料理やベーキングは実はクリスが作ったものです。写真を撮る事で、彼の料理へ私の感謝を表わしているつもりです。基本的にクリスはベジタリアン。全く厳格ではないでのですが、材料はかなり限定される為、私たちはハーブやスパイスを多用して、少しひねりを効かせたユニークな料理の創作を心がけています。二人とも英国人料理家、ナイジェル・スレーターにだいぶ影響を受けていると思います。以前は定期的にイギリスの料理番組を観ていましたが、現在は家の本棚の料理本のコレクションからレシピを選ぶ事が多いです。食器に関しては、数は少ないですが日本製の陶器、漆、竹製品などを揃えています。日本へ帰国した際は、骨董市やビンテージショップによく足を運びます。叔父が陶芸を趣味にしているので、彼の所からくすねてきたものも何点かあります。イギリスの骨董市にもたまに出かけたりします。あとは毎年、アート展開催スタッフとして参加しているブルターニュ地方のケルト祭りで購入したフランス陶器も多少あります。 多くのガラス食器は、私のウェールズの母、ロニーが残してくれたもので、素敵なものが結構あります。

What is your favourite dish? Can you share with us your favourite recipe? お気に入りのレシピを何か紹介してもらえますか?

It is hard to pick one but considering sharing a recipe plus welcoming a lovely warm season (hopefully!), I would like to introduce cardamom flavoured Indian frozen milk dessert called Kulfi. This is a very simple, lovely and healthy dessert we often make.

 whole milk : 1000ml
 ground almond : 2 tbsp
 rice powder : 1 tbsp
 sugar : 5 tbsp
 ground cardamom : 1/2 tsp
 rum : 2 tbsp

1. Put the ground almonds and rice flour in a cup. 2. Heat the milk in a pan over a low heat and bring to the boil. Then lower the heat and keep stirring for a while and pour some of the warmed milk into the cup to make a thin paste, then put it back into the pan along with the sugar. 3. Simmer the milk gently until the milk reduces by approximately half, stirring occasionally. 4. Turn off the heat and put the cardamom and rum into the pan and mix well. 5. Cool the mixture completely then pour it into individual cups to serve. 6. Place the cups into the freezer for about 6 hours or until it's frozen.

*Rum is optional. This is to prevent the mixture from getting too hard. *Mix the milk mixture well two hours after first putting it in the freezer and maybe twice or more again later for a good texture to make sure there are no ice crystals in it. *Move the Kulfi from the freezer to fridge half an hour before serving. *You can reduce the amount of sugar and instead, pour some honey over it when serving but reducing sugar will give the mixture a harder texture. *Icing sugar would help the texture to get softer for the dessert when it’s frozen.



材 料
 牛乳 : 1000ml 
 米粉 : 大さじ1

 1. アーモンドパウダーと米粉をカップ等の容器に入れておく。
 2. 鍋に牛乳を入れ、弱火で少し煮立てたら、更に火を弱めて、暫く良くかき回し続ける。
 3. 2の牛乳の一部を1に少し加えて混ぜ合わせ、ゆるいペースト状にしてから、砂糖と一緒に2に戻す。
 4. 弱火で焦げないように、かき混ぜながら30分程煮る。
 5. だいたい半分程の目安の量になったら火を止め、カルダモンパウダーとラム酒を加えて混ぜる。
 7. 5-6時間、冷凍庫で固める。

 *30分程煮る必要があるのでキッチンで他の料理をしたり片付け等の時に、"ながら作業" で作ると良いと思います。

There is a certain Scandinavian vibe throughout your imagery. Is this intentional? Are you inspired by the Nordic lifestyle? あなたの写真のイメージには、どことなく北欧の雰囲気が漂っていると思うのですが、これは意図的なものですか? スカンジナビアのライフスタイルに何か影響を受けているのでしょうか?

To be honest, I’ve never thought about it. But I always love atmospheric Scandinavian dramas’ visual art and in recent years, Chris selected some Scandinavian cooking books for me so those might have unintentionally affected my photography. Last Christmas Chris gave me a book about Hygge - I didn’t know at all that it’s been actually quite a big topic in recent years in the UK. I’m always aware of the power of the sun and how much it affects our feelings so I’d been wondering how Scandinavian people cope with the dark winter and I thought there must have been unique wisdom to apply for their life there. There seem to be many ways to understand Hygge, but I personally take it as a simple way of living and focus on the fundamental elements in life. To me it seems to be a little similar to Zen, where you practice to live simply with deep understanding of how you live your own life.


Have you always been into jewellery? Are you wearing your own designs? ジュエリーには以前から興味があったのでしょうか? 自分自身の作品を身につけますか?

My younger sister is an antique jewellery collector so I think I was influenced a lot by her. One of the wonderful characteristics in enamel jewellery is that you can actually wear a traditional craft directly on your body and it becomes part of yourself. Interesting fact is that apart from rings or bracelets, other jewellery like necklaces or earrings are not actually seen by the person wearing them. They are also worn to be seen by other people, which means that jewellery can also be a type of communication. I always wear my jewellery partly as a charm or amulet.


Do you have an interest in literature? What book can we find on your bedside table? 文学に興味はありますか? ベッドサイドにはどのような本が並んでいるのでしょうか?

I used to read much more before and I tend to read the same authors’ books repeatedly. My lifetime favourites are Soseki Natsume, a novelist from the 19th century and Ryotaro Shiba, who is known mostly for his historical novels but was also a travelling and cultural essayist. Besides Japanese writers, I have a collection of William Somerset Maugham’s works. I love his humorous world and the writing style.


Are you a fan of Japanese cinema? If so, who is your favourite director? 日本映画のファンですか? もしそうであれば、どの監督が好きですか?

Unfortunately, I still haven’t matured a strong interest in Japanese films yet. But I would love to watch all Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) and Yasujiro Ozu (1903-1963)’s films some time. Just like books, I watch a lot less films these days, however I’ve always been a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock’s films.


What are your current projects? 現在はどの様なプロジェクトを抱えていますか?

At the moment, I've been concentrating on my wedding collection including simple band rings. Many of my customers are male so I will expand men’s collection too. I’m also planning to redesign most of the Edo-komon series and create more cloisonné rings. My official website, E.M.O.S.I.W.N., should be ready in the near future.

今はシンプルなマリッジリングのコレクションに集中しています。多くのお客様が男性なので、メンズコレクションを充実させていきます。それから江戸小紋コレクションはほぼ全てリニューアルする予定で、クロワゾネのシリーズを増やして行きます。ウェブサイトもオープンする予定です E.M.O.S.I.W.N. 。

What are your personal ambitions and dreams? 個人的に熱望している事や夢はありますか?

I have a clear vision to connect all my current activities. One of my ultimate dreams is to collaborate with other creators and host exhibitions and workshops overseas with them on a regular basis. My husband and I also have a dream to open a café gallery in Japan in the future. We’d like to introduce many artists’ works from around the world, offering some food or sweets we’ve been developing. We want the gallery unique to our origin combining Japanese and Welsh/British tastes. We would also like to host many events including the Japanese tea ceremony. We would love the café gallery to become a space for people to experience full of lovely inspiration.