I Became Obsessed with Jewellery Making and Metalsmithing Since the First Moment. Interview with Misato Takahashi by Klimt02

Published: 13.05.2021
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Misato Takahashi. Brooch: Magic Moth #2 La Lluna, 2021. Sterling silver, stainless steel.. From series: The World WIthin. Unique piece. Misato Takahashi
Brooch: Magic Moth #2 La Lluna, 2021
Sterling silver, stainless steel.
From series: The World WIthin
Unique piece
© By the author. Read Copyright.

When I first started making jewellery I wanted to create something even they are not wearable or I didn’t think much about the wearer. For me, it used to be one-sided self-expression but now I always try to stand in the wearer’s point [...] to make more people aware of contemporary jewellery.
Tell us about your background. What were your first influences to be creative and become an artist and what has drawn you to contemporary jewellery?
First time when I was introduced to contemporary jewellery I had a headache because I didn’t understand it at all. Even though I majored in linguistic and cultural studies and worked in a few different fields related to communication with foreign countries, I have been interested in drawing, painting, and crafting since my childhood. Once when I was living in Edinburgh I started a course for jewellery making just as a hobby. Never I imagined I find myself in Barcelona, finishing a vocational course of artistic jewellery at Escola Massana, where I got involved in this contemporary jewellery world. Honestly speaking, I still struggle to understand what it is, but I became obsessed with jewellery making and metalsmithing since the first moment, also I enjoy the communication through pieces, sometimes a challenge to interpret them.

How important is networking for you in your professional practice and what are your preferred tools for this?
I am very much surprised by how effective social media is. I have Instagram and Facebook as platforms and they allow me to connect with many people, including other contemporary jewellery artists, makers, and my customers from all over the world. Both IG and FB have different profiles of users and having them both is helping me to reach out to a broader range of audiences.
For networking, I love to visit exhibitions and talk to artists. Under the current situation, it’s difficult to have such an opportunity, however, I’m really hoping we get back together in events and exhibitions this year!
What are your general thoughts on the contemporary jewellery world, (education, market, development...), where do you see chances and where are dead ends?
I am a newbie so I feel so humbled to talk about this topic, but I personally think that we have to approach to more public outside of the industry – contemporary jewellery is still being niche.  
What I can do personally to contribute to that….very difficult but I try to meet the following requirements:
1. Quality of the piece – Is it well made? Not too fragile?
2. Wearability - Physically wearable? Comfortable to wear?
3. Quality as an art – Does it hold artistic value?
4. Maintenance – Is it easy to maintain the piece without any special care or treatments?

Misato Takahashi, Brooch: Magic Ram #4 Wand, 2021. Acrylic resin, drift wood, brass, Japanese lacquer, sterling silver, 23.5k gold leaf, stainless steel. From series: The World Within.

Thinking about your career, what role do technology and the digital play in your artistic development & communication?
I’m open to any technology and new resources in terms of making and also communication. I would love to adopt 3D printing, computer-generated design, laser cutting for my work.
Regarding communication, due to pandemic, the way we communicate has made a drastic change - courses, exhibitions, conferences are held online, we can be connected and learn even though we are not physically in the place, which is a great opportunity to learn and be connected without borders. Of course, there are many things that we can do better in a physical way (meeting people in person, observing pieces, etc.) but digital communication also will be the standard as one of the dual ways to exhibit and trade art pieces.

How has your work changed over the past few years and what are you excited about these days?
When I first started making jewellery I wanted to create something even they are not wearable or I didn’t think much about the wearer. For me, it used to be one-sided self-expression but now I always try to stand in the wearer’s point and remind myself of what I listed above to make more people aware of contemporary jewellery.
I’m finishing my course at Escola Massana this year and now I call myself a professional jeweller and I’m very excited about what is out there, meeting many people through contemporary jewellery, learning more, to see how much I can go and where I end up.