I'm so excited about tonight's little goodie because it truly is a very beautiful piece of wearable art. Really, that's one of the things I most enjoy about this blog, because "wearable art" is the best way to define a lot of the things I feature here, particularly when it comes to the jewelry and accessories like this one.
You're gazing at a lovely hana tsumami hair comb featuring three lovely cherry blossoms made of habutae woven silk. Habutae is smooth, soft, and shiny, and is traditionally used as kimono lining in Japan as well as for hair treats like this and kanzashi. Tsumami is the art of pinching silk in order to create a thee-dimensional object; maru-tsumami is round-pinching and ken-tsumami is sword-pinching. In this comb, the artist has made the blossoms with maru-tsumami and the petals with ken-tsumami.
According to Atelier Kanawa,
Since the middle of Edo period(1603-1867), this handcraft technique has been traditionally utilized by maidservants in the imperial court as their hobby. Eventually, this beautiful technique was recognized by the Japanese society, then it began to be used to produce KANZASHI hairpins, sticks, combs and so on. . .
Today, not only MAIKO wear them, but they are worn by Japanese women for new year celebration, celebration for children called "shichi go san", a coming-of-age ceremony, wedding, and those people who perform traditional Japanese dance.
TSUMAMI KANZASHI are made to show the beauty of four seasons. For example, MAIKO wear plum flower in February, cherry blossom in April, and chrysanthemum in October.
Apparently - this is something I didn't know - there are only 15 acknowledged tsumami kanzashi artists worldwide, and it's a piece of Japanese heritage that could easily be lost - wouldn't that be a shame? There are few who can or will take on the continuance of this unique and singularly beautiful art form, so Atelier Kanawa is planning to take a class from one of these amazing artisans this year! Obviously, that means your purchase of her artwork will go toward her being able to do this, not only so Atelier Kanawa can take the class but also pass this art form on to future generations.
In addition to the blossoms themselves, this $35 comb also has detachable hanging petals. The detachable petals fasten onto the comb via a circular spring ring (like the ones you'll find on many necklaces and bracelets) so you can place the petals wherever you like or just wear the comb by itself. There are two teeny, tiny bells in the petals that create a really sweet, lovely, quiet sound as you move about, something I'm pretty sure is a traditional touch as well. This is a perfect touch for your next celebration or as a gift to a bride-to-be, or maybe to someone who is going through a lot right now and would be really blessed and encouraged by such a beautiful gift.
Everything from Atelier Kanawa is shipped secured in bubble wrap in a box, and free gift-wrap is available. You'll also find fused glass and Japanese paper pendants as well as hairpins, combs, and handbags made from kimono fabric at her store. All of the things you'll find at Atelier Kanawa are beautiful and stylish, and items you'll probably treasure forever or be thrilled to give as a gift (for instance, check out this amazing bamboo basket purse crowned with vintage kimono fabric - wow!). Definitely one to watch!