Yuko Tanaka - Syobu Earrings
This piece was part of the Yukata Jewelry Show 2022 exhibition. Learn more and view the entire collection HERE.
Artist: Yuko Tanaka
Materials: sterling silver, 14k gold fill
Dimensions: 3/4" x 3” x 1/8”
Artist Statement: Born and raised in Japan, iris (syobu) immediately reminds me of May 5th. It is customary to take baths filled with floating iris leaves on this day. I used to enjoy the fresh scent of the iris leaves while soaking in a hot bath. In ancient Japan, the imperial court performed seasonal ceremonies several times a year. May 5th was one of these ceremonial days celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth moon in the lunar calendar. It was also known as the Iris Festival. Old literature tells that the nobles wore crowns (for men) and hair ornaments (for women) made of iris leaves. People believed that the sword-shaped iris leaves would ward off evil. Inspired by this tradition, I created pieces with the design of bundled iris leaves. I hope these pieces protect the wearer and become a modern-day talisman.
Artist Bio: Yuko creates jewelry and metal objects in her Seattle studio inspired by the surrounding nature, man-made things, and daydreams. She enjoys the challenge of the material and meditative nature of working with hands. When she is not in her studio, Yuko enjoys biking, hiking, and playing with her cat.