Nozomi goes by the name of Thread Jewellery Ricca and creates beautiful Yubinuki, or thimble rings. Nozomi was previously a designer for the Japanese sewing brand Cohana, so her work is of the highest quality and she has a keen eye for beautiful designs and colour palettes. She graduated from Kanazawa College of Art, which is located in the hometown of the traditional Kaga yubinuki. Whilst working for Cohana, she took a nostalgic trip to Kanazawa and joined a yubinuki workshop. She was hooked and started to make yubinuki in 2016. This year she has opened her studio (with classes and shop) in Kyoto.
Kaga Yubinuki are a type of thimble, but worn lower down the finger, above the knuckle. They are an evolution of a traditional Japanese thimble design that developed during the Edo period (1603-1867) in Kaga (now the Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan) and are made using paper, silk padding and leftover kimono silk threads. Now worn more as decorative items around the neck or even as earrings, they have developed into a colourful and intricate artform. In Nozomi's words:
"The art was started by seamstresses who sewed beautiful kimonos.
They saved their leftover materials: silk threads that were too short to sew a kimono,papers, silk wadding and pieces of cloth. And they made new yubinuki from those things on the new yearʼs holiday.
I think it is cool that yubinuki are so beautiful, in addition to being created from treasured and valued materials. I love silk threads and the Japanese kimono. I want express the Japanese sense of colours, patterns and details in my work. It's like wearing the kimono"
The designs are often symbols of good luck and can be reproduced in myriad colour combinations to give different effects. The silk thread that Nozomi uses is dyed in Japan and reflects the light beautifully to create depth and movement on the surface.
Each piece starts with a thick paper base and an inner of bias tape. This is then padded to a rounded profile with silk wadding.
Then the pattern is marked by making accurate divisions on a piece of Washi tape, which is then applied to the outer surface of the ring. The pattern is then created by zig zagging the silk thread around the surface and weaving it in and out of the strands until it eventually covers the whole surface. Each thimble can take up to 4 hours to complete. You can see Nozomi at work in her video here.
I do hope you like these incredible pieces!
The first collection is available in my shop here. They come individually boxed and would look wonderful worn on a chain as a beautiful necklace, or added to a sewing treasure trove display - a special and unique treasure for any textile lover.