The famous Tsumami-zaiku artists will talk about their thoughts about Tsumami-zaiku.
Ms. Kornelia Jer, a Polish artist who currently lives in Sweden. She makes Tsumami-zaiku for her own pleasure and researches the craft.
2009 – first came across Tsumami-zaiku when looking at photos of Kyoto maiko, began making her first flowers
2010-2016 – was selling online Tsumami-zaiku in Europe and USA
since 2011 – involved with the Kimono de Jack UK group, making Tsumami- zaiku to wear with kimono in London
2012 – moved from Poland to United Kingdom
2016 – started learning Japanese to be able to connect with Japanese Tsumami-zaiku artists
2017 – “Kanzashi Gatsu” (かんざ四月) project – making kanzashi every day for the whole month of April on instagram @kanzashiyume
2017 – first trip to Japan, visiting Tsumami-zaiku shops and museums and learning more about the craft
2018 – moved to Sweden
2019 currently – working on a special Tsumami-zaiku project with Polish designers called “Folk Kimono”
Q1. How did you start working on Tsumami-zaiku? (Or did you get involved?)
I started my adventure with Japanese culture in 2009. I discovered Tsumami- zaiku through photos of maiko in Kyoto. I didn’t know Japanese language back then, so it was difficult to learn the craft, but through online tutorials and NHK videos about Tsumami-zaiku I have learnt the basics.
Q2. What are your commitments to your work and what do you care about?
I care about using traditional techniques and materials in my works. I always use habutae silk and nori glue. I want to perfect my technique so that more people can become interested in this beautiful craft through my creations.
I also want to research Japanese shokunin system and learn more about the history of family workshops and individual styles to preserve it for future generations.
My biggest goal and dream is to learn Tsumami-zaiku art in Japan and become a certified instructor so I could spread the knowledge about the craft in Europe.
Q3. What is the attractiveness of Tsumami-zaiku for you?
Tsumami-zaiku has a very delicate form that can be turned into anything you can imagine. I love to learn about the beautiful and intricate Taisho and Showa era designs as well as stunning Tsumami-ga paintings. What I love the most that through a simple square of silk and basic folding techniques you can express your unique individuality and style.
Q4. What do you think about the future possibilities of Tsumami-zaiku?
I would like for the craft to become more known around the world. I hope that through the kimono wearing revival we will see more and more people also being interested in Tsumami-zaiku to wear in their hair. Hopefully through the popularity of kimono in Western fashion, we will be able to see more Tsumami- zaiku being used on runways as accessories with high fashion outfits?
Q5. What do you want to make in the future?
I would like to perfect my craft by both making the traditional Tsumami-zaiku designs as well as create my own ideas for innovative designs.
I am currently working on Tsumami-zaiku collection inspired by traditional Polish hair accessories that were worn with regional outfits. They involve European flowers that were worn as flower crowns. This collection is a part of a project called “Folk Kimono” designed by Polish artists interested in kimono and kitsuke.
Q6. How do you think you can use/arrange or deploy Tsumami-zaiku in your country?
Both Sweden and UK have a growing fabric hobby audience. Many people seek courses to learn new crafts and so I think Tsumami-zaiku is a perfect craft for people to learn. At the moment I am trying to spread the knowledge about Tsumami-zaiku online and hopefully once I will get a chance to complete the training in Japan I will be able to educate people about Tsumami-zaiku in Europe.
I think Tsumami-zaiku can work perfectly for wedding hair accessories, fascinators, and hats as well as home decor. It is such a versatile craft!