On a blank piece of paper, I can create worlds as I wish.
I like drawing pictures and creating stories, probably because it's fun.
When I grew up and started learning to wear jewelry, I somehow couldn't find something that excited me.
Jewelry is something you wear every day for a long time, even if it is a fashion thing. I wanted something more personal, so I started making jewelry just for fun.
To make it the way I wanted, I had to make it from scratch. I started going to school for engraving.
Engraving is a very simple and repetitive process.
A metal rod is heated, bent, and grinded together many times with a thread saw until it can be welded together....
Even after the welding is finally done, it is a long road to prepare and file it with a hammer until it becomes a perfect circle. The sanding process is a long road.
It was a horribly long process until a simple ring was completed.
I like that!"
I want to make something like this next time. I want to make something like this next time, and this next time, and this next time...!
After six years of making following my curiosity, I was able to make a variety of things .
When I was wearing it by myself, a friend of mine saw it and ordered it, saying "That's nice! I was wearing it myself, and a friend of mine who saw it ordered it, and a colleague of my friend who wore it ordered it and said, "I like that! and ordered it....
I think this person would look good with something like this.... I make them with this in mind.
When I was getting to know the fun of making jewelry not for myself, but for someone else, I felt
that I wanted to know more about jewelry from all over the world.
Days in Italy
After much consideration, I quit my job and went to Italy.
Florence is where people from all over the world gather to learn in the land of tradition.
The process of jewelry making in Italy was so different from that in Japan. Unlike in Japan, where the process is very precise, the process is very informal!
Instead, they emphasize experience, such as the sound of the fire and the amount of hand pressure, and the finished product is indescribable and tasteful.
As a country where engraving has developed through jewelry, the tools are curved to fit comfortably in the hand, and the craftsmen make their own tools to fit their own hands . There are many things that artisans devise and use themselves, such as a part of a bicycle wheel, cigarette butts, even dried squid are used as carving tools .
We were exposed to a hand-carving technique called "Florentine carving," which is unique to Florence, as well as various traditional techniques. The number of things we wanted to make kept growing and growing.
Birth of Quarantot
Let's create a brand."
This was something I had been vaguely thinking about before I came to Italy, but in order to make it a definite commitment, I decided to decide on a brand name now.
I want my jewelry to be not for myself, but for the people who wear it. So, I don't want to put my name or feelings into the brand name.
I wanted to use words that had no meaning in and of themselves.
I suddenly saw the address of the apartment I was living in at the time.
In Italian, "quarant'oto".
At the same time, I decided to make
"Jewelry makes you happy! - Jewelry that makes you happy every day.
I want to create jewelry that will make people who find jewelry that is unique to them a little happier every day.
If I can deliver the feelings I once had to someone....
From that day on, I started to make the prototype of Quarantotto jewelry, which is still on the store shelves.
The first customer
I was still drawing designs that day in a cafe by the apartment at 48.
I had been working as an apprentice at three different studios and instead of going straight home, it was my habit to take a break here .
Basically, Italian cappuccinos are very lukewarm. In the cold winter, I would order it "hot! I would order it hot.
One day, as I was holding the prototype of a ring I was working on,
I said, "I like that one! Can I order it?"
A barista from a café who always makes a hot cappuccino called out to me.
He is the first customer of Quarantotto.
Welcome, lost child!
After returning to Japan after completing my training in Florence, I opened a small workshop and store in a corner of a narrow alleyway in the city of Kobe, halfway up the hill from the sea towards the mountains.
Opening the shop in a place where we didn't know anyone was just a matter of opening the tiny door.
For the first week after opening, hardly anyone came into the store.
Since it is not a very busy place, the only people who come into the store are those who have turned down the wrong alley or .
Through a series of encounters with lost people, little by little, the jewelry of Quarantotto started its journey .
Such miraculous events happened one by one, and one by one....
Things that haven't changed.
After that, thanks to the support and encouragement of many people, Quarantot became what it is today .
A reward to myself for my daily hard work.
People who have never worn jewelry before are now adding pierced holes to their earrings.
Those who have been wearing jewelry for a long time, like a good luck charm.
I wonder what kind of stories and are born in each person who wears Quarantotto jewelry. I am still thinking about my designs in a corner of a café with a lot of light.