Karei - meaning Gorgeous Splendor - derives it's meaning from the 15th and 16th centuries in Japanese history. It is one of the aesthetic senses steeped in cultural pursuits and the display of splendor that surrounds the Momoyama and Edo Periods. The emphasis during this time was on reflective light.
As a glass jewelry artist, I have a great interest in incorporating the Japanese tradition of braiding with silk (kumihimo) and the forming of molten glass on madrels (lampwork) to form beads. These two media lend themselves to an interplay of light to form a unique blend of splendors for my jewelry designs.
Kumihimo - In the Japanese language means the gathering of threads. This technique involves using several highly developed looms for specific types of braids. The history of kumihimo is sparse because of the highly kept secrets in braid societies much like the glass bead artisans in Italy who kept their techniques a secretive business. More information is known about the work done on the round braiding loom called the marudai.
Lampworking - As the word suggests, glass was once worked on wax or oil lamps, with metal tubes or blowpipes to influence the heat of the flame on glass that was melted and formed into detailed figures and novelties. Today, modern torches that mix the blazing capacities of oxygen and propane are used to make the same sorts of figures and glass beads. I work with glass rods imported from Italy and a Minor Bench Burner torch.
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