What is lampwork beads?
Glass artists handmade them by melting glass.
■They have been made for thousands of years■
Glass beads have been used as jewelry and currency for thousands of years. Researchers say that the method was introduced to Japan in the Nara period. Beads made by heating a glass rod with flames to melt and wrapping it around an iron rod are called "Tombodama" in Japan. "Tombo" means dragonfly in Japanese.
It is said that the origin of the name comes from the fact that the circle pattern designs were popular in the Edo period. People thought these patterns look like the eyes of dragonflies. There is no quick and easy way to make tombodama glass beads. All the colors in one glass bead are combined from different glass rods, which must be fused together in the final process.
■Osaka is famous for producing glass rods■
In fact, Osaka is the main producer of art glass rods in Japan. Therefore, there are many people in Osaka who are engaged in glass art.
The glass rods I chose are made using traditional methods. At a traditional glass workshop in Waizumi City, chunks of glass are melted in the kiln. The melted glass is poured into a container with a hole. The hot glass drips through the hole quickly so workers must push the container around to create consistent smooth glass rods.
The process of making glass rods, which is the material of Tonbodama, is considered a cultural tradition that should be protected.
■I want to protect Japanese tradition and pass it on to the future■
I use glass rods made with traditional methods as materials and carefully make glass beads using techniques that have been around for hundreds of years.
I am really happy that I, who is from Osaka, can make glass beads with materials produced in Osaka. As a member of the Lampwork Association, I am working to preserve and develop Japanese culture and to create a prosperous society where people can easily buy domestic art.
Not only classic designs, I also create innovative jewelry without boundary.
■ Recieving attention from the media ■
Thanks to everyone's support, I have been featured in fashion magazines featuring Osaka, and have frequently won first place in Rakuten rankings.
Thank you for your continued support of STUDIO WAZA.
*I do not sell loose glass beads alone. It takes time to make beads and I can only produce enough for my jewelry line.
*I do not take orders for custom designs. STUDIO Waza only sells original designs.