Handmade Jewelry by Nao goldwork

TOP Greetings Gold granulation technique

granulation 1
granulation 2
Flow of
the production process

Fiat lux 1 Fiat lux 2

Jadeite 1 Jadeite 2

Emerald Ruby Pink Sapphire

Blue Sapphire 1 Blue Sapphire 2

Wirework Repoussage


I found a small jewelry die at an antique market in Paris.

Small jewelry die I found at an antique market in Paris.

Author's signature engraved on the jewelry die.

Enlarged photo of the jewelry die

I pressed out gold parts of earrings and
I found that it was a wonderful mold.

Using an antique jewelry die,I pressed out gold parts.

Gold earrings of Repoussage

With gained gold parts, I made gold earrings.

Traditional metalworks of Japan

Menuki(目釘)Mekugi is the pin inserted through the holes in
the hilt and sword to hold them firmly together.

Menuki(目貫)is the ornamental cover of mekugi.
Menuki is a pair of Japanese sword fittings
attached to either side of a sword hilt.

Highly regarded goldsmiths created Menuki
with superb designs for swords of Samurai.

Menuki: Ear of rice (稲穂)

A Menuki for Japanese sword fittings, and the name of the design is the ear of rice.

Size:4.9cm x 1.4cm

Ear of rice

The ears of rice grow up to about 20 cm in length,

and each rice stalk bears approximately 80 to 100 grains of rice.

Menuki : Yarn winder

A Menuki for Japanese sword fittings, and the name of the design is Yarn winder.

Size:2.8cm x 0.9cm

Japanese antique Yarn winder

A Japanese antique yarn winder

Mae-Kanagu(前金具)is the Metal fitting attached to
a portable pouch of pipe tobacco leaves.

Mae-Kanagu : Ladle (柄杓)

It is a Metal fitting attached to portable pouch of tobacco leaves, and the name of the design is Ladle with gold family crest

Size:3.7cm x 1.1cm

This Mae-Kanagu has a jet black ladle which has a gold inlay
of the family crest Roku-yo, also known as Six Stars.

Roku-Yo was the family crest of
the Toda Matsudaira clan of the Shinano Matsumoto Domain,
the Toda clan of the Shimono Utsunomiya Domain, and
the Toda clan of the Shimotsuke Ashikaga Domain.

The catch of Mae-Kanagu(Silver)

The catch of Mae-Kanagu (Front)


The catch of Mae-Kanagu with a Silver Hall-mark (Back)

Back with Silver Hall-mark

Ajiro is a wickerwork made by thin pieces of bamboo or grass,
weaving them alternately vertically and horizontally.
Using Ajiro, a holder of a Kiseru, shaped like a cigar tube is
woven, then, black lacquer is applied on it to harden the holder.

Ajiro Black lacquer Kiseru holder

Kiseru pipe holder of woven Ajiro, black lacquer applied

As you can see in the photo below, when the outer tube was pulled out,
you will see another wickerwork tube: the wickerwork tube was doubled!!

 Inside this Kiseru pipe holder, there is another tube of woven Ajiro.

Then, I examined the inside of the outer tube, I found that
a gold glittering Maki-e tube was fitted just inside the outer tube.

Gold Maki-e is a Japanese lacquer decoration technique
in which gold powder is sprinkled and fixed
on the surface of the lacquerwar that has not hardened yet.

Hidden inside is a  gold glittering holder with Maki-e.

This gold Maki-e tube hidden secretly inside can be used
in combination with the tube cap to hold a Kiseru pipe.

 This hidden gold maki-e holdder can be used to hold a pipe with tube cap.

In March 1624, Tokugawa Shogunate issued an order to the general public
prohibiting sumptuary, deciding that the use of the gold is, of course,
not allowed for combs, hairpins and other decorative items .

When I purchased this Ajiro Black laquer Kiseru holder,
there was no residual tobacco scent inside.

Silver Kiseru TOBACCO pipe of Japan

Silver Rau kiseru TOBACCO pipe with a stem of rare red spotted bamboo.

This types of kiseru is called Rau Kiseru,
which are made of three parts:
the mouthpiece (吸口, suikuchi), stem (羅宇, rau),
and shank (雁首, gankubi).

In the photo,stems are rare and beautiful
chinese red eyes spotted bamboo.

It is Xiangfei bamboo 湘妃竹(xiāngfēizhú),
also known as red spotted bamboo(紅班竹).

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