Nowadays kanzashi as a technique known to many. Sakae is a kanzashi master from Japan that specializes in making astonishingly beautiful hair ornaments. A typical motif of Sakae’s works is large flowers and miniature bouquets, lush leaves and flowering trees.
Earlier hair ornaments in Japan were made from sakura and magnolia trees. Even older jewelry could be made of gold and silver.
But modern kanzashi utilizes silk, brass and plastic. Some masters use agates, corals and quartz in their works.
Sakae, for her part, has a strong preference for using only a single material – synthetic resin, as the basis for her jewelry. Wire, beads and Swarovski crystals serve as decorations.
Looking at the works of Sakae, you could probably deduce that she is a very romantic and sensual girl, but that’s just our opinion. There’s very little information available if you want to know about Sakae herself — she’s a bit of a recluse.
The works of Sakae are incredibly expensive. They are available only in Japan, and are only sold at auctions.
Sakae’s works are not available for export, because she is concerned for their safety. They are very fragile.
A single decoration can cost in excess of 1000USD, and this is just the initial price at auctions.
Her works mainly consist of hairpins and other decorations for hair.
How does she do it?
The process of creating one piece of jewelry is usually a two-step process. First, Sakae bends the desired contour from wire (flower, leaf, etc.), then pours a thin layer of resin over it.
While the resin is not yet solidified, it can be shaped into whatever form you desire. Then the rest of the decoration (petals, in this case) are assembled and the decoration is done!
Sakae keeps most of her craft secrets to herself, but the main principle of making kanzashi is fairly well-known.
Kanzashi is suitable for both festive events and everyday wear.
If you feel a particular connection with these pieces, best grab your tickets and passport, and head for Japan!