Unsurpassed Jewelers of the Land of the Rising Sun
There is a special charm
In these, storm crumpled,
With the passing of autumn
Butterflies, too, sup upon
Dewdrops on the chrysanthemums.
Oh, wake up, wake up!
Become my friend,
A sleeping moth!
Japan is a mysterious country in the East, the first one to meet the sunrise. It is the country, where the past meets the future, the country of ancient traditions and high-end technologies. Amazing, full of secrets and charm, incomprehensible and therefore so attractive, the country is not ordinary in all respects, this also applies to its jewelers.
In front of Kaoru Kay Akihara, all the leading jewelers of the world bow their heads in respect. In her jewelry, there is nothing unusual or extravagant at first sight, but all these jeweled masterpieces are made with such amazing precision and have such charm that they cannot be confused with anything else. They need to be admired. Only then, they will discover their true beauty.
Kaoru Kay Akihara
Talented Japanese woman born in 1944, in the family, representing one of the oldest aristocratic families of Japan, including the one connected with the Imperial family. Having become comprehensively educated, including in the field of traditional Japanese arts, Kaora founded a small studio of Gimo Trading in 1974. In Japan, aesthetics was brought to absolutism, since knowledge in the field of floristry, drawing, and the art of tea ceremony is the norm. Ten years later, in 1984, Kaora opened a creative division, by choosing the name of Gimel. In 1991, jewelry house of Gimel starts its history.
Lotus Flower brooch. Gimel..
The natural beauty of Japan is a source of inspiration for Kaora and the small team of artisans of the Gimel Jewelry House. The soul of Kaoru is completely dissolved in nature and ancient traditions. The place where the workshop of the Gimel Jewelry House is located – the top of Mount Rokkō, next to the city of Kobe, the capital of Hyogo Prefecture – is characterized by extraordinary beauty. Moreover, this harmony of nature may have had an impact on the formation of the inner world of Kaoru and images of jewelry masterpieces being created.
The huge windows of the Gimel Studio offer a fascinating view of the Japanese national Park of the Mount Rokkō. From here you can see the transformation of nature during the year: colors of the sky changing, the clouds drifting, butterflies and dragonflies fluttering, full of life and freshness of young leaves, clumsy bumblebee dancing around a flower, sunflowers in love with the sun, the awakening of nature in spring and withering in autumn. In Japanese culture and traditions, there is a clear division of the four seasons. Japanese people meet changes in nature with equal attention and expectation.
The view from the terrace and windows of the Gimel workshops.
Daily climbing the mountain Kaoru Kay Akihara sees a special meaning for her employees: "I want my artisans and office workers to be forced to climb the mountain every day. On the way up, they see trees and flowers, changing colors and states of nature. I believe that a goldsmith should always look at something beautiful – only then the perfect jewelry will come out of his hands. I find it easier for me to make people truly feel things than to try expressing them in words."
In Gimel, there is no division of labor traditional for Europeans. Each artisan is fully responsible for his piece of jewelry: from cutting and polishing of stones up to their setting.
Gimel artisans at work.
Also, Gimel never works with metal that was in use before, only with a brand new one, and Kaoru Kay Akihara selects personally every precious or semi-precious stone, for all jewelry born in Gimel. Kaora considers this approach to the creation of jewelry masterpieces to convey the philosophy of Gimel most fully. Full compliance with the plan and the general spirit of the company is achieved.
The brooch of Morning Glory. Gimel.
Metal in jewelry by Gimel is almost invisible, and the brand name is considered a mandatory presence of pearls in each product. This is due to Kaora's special love for pearls. She believes that the pearl becomes a part of the owner's soul and will remain therein for several generations.
Dragonfly Brooch. Gimel.
In 2000, Sotheby’s recognized her as “one of the most revolutionary and influential jewelers of the 21st century.” In September 2017, the Nagoya City Matsuzakaya Art Gallery hosted an exhibition of more than 500 jewelry masterpieces by Gimel.
Advertising poster of the Gimel exhibition in Nagoya City Matsuzakaya Art Gallery.
Simplicity and exquisite skill are the things that make Gimel the pinnacle of jewelry artisanship. Kaoru says, "Gimel tries to capture the beauty of nature at its best moments, before life begins to leave it." The goal of Kaora Kay Akihara is to create the piece aesthetic and eternal for the future world, in which there is time for quiet contemplation, and each day gives inspiration.
It is impossible to convey the beauty and elegance, with which Japanese jeweler Buchin Yoshioka creates his jeweled insects. The jeweler lives his almost secluded life, by spending most of his time in his small workshop, in a tiny village next to Fujiyama, interrupted only by a short sleep and ascetic food.
Views of Mount Fuji.
Bumblebees, butterflies, dragonflies, born of Yoshioka's talent, mobile, and for the most part, visually, not much different from their living prototypes. In addition, herein, Buchin Yoshioka is ready to fight to the end, to the full similarity of nature, and all for the sake of satisfying his own curiosity.
Dragonfly. Buchin Yoshioka.
To make one masterpiece of jewelry, it takes from three months to six months for Yoshioka, taking into account the fact that Buchin works fanatically, until he faints, with perseverance bordering on self-torture. The insects painstakingly recreated by Yoshioka tremble in one's hands: their legs can bend in four places and can be fixed in any position; their wings open with a slight click, the head turns and rises, the mouth opens and the eyes rotate.
Mantes. Buchin Yoshioka.
Insects, born by talent and perseverance of Yoshioka, are incredibly expensive, and although Buchin looks completely indifferent to the future of his pets, he does care for their future – otherwise he would not have photographed his insects in all angles possible.
Dragonfly. Buchin Yoshioka.
Products by the Lobortas Classic Jewelry House delight with their extravagant luxury, sensual passion and deep philosophical meaning. Each piece is a story, a special mood, original look and admiration with the world. Graceful colors, original ornaments, amazing in their designs, and even innovative interpretation stresses the fact that only professional artisans, artists and designers are working over each product, by making a special mood and the admiration of the world.
The Firebird. Lobortas House
Photo by Vladislav Filin.