Kuri Yasuno. I was interested to know what made this gem genius tick. What inspired her? She was gracious enough to let us in on some of her secrets. Take a read and then go on over to her Etsy shop and treat yourself and everyone on your list. (I included the current pieces I own for you to swoon over).
The necklace that started it for me: Tangerine Quartz. Be still my heart.
I came to the States when I was 5 years old with my family from Japan. I arrived speaking no English and being dropped in to school with a bunch of American children. That was a fascinating experience. There were so many things that were different. Names, food, sports, clothes, everything. When I arrived here, we realized that a lot of the clothing didn’t fit me because I was pretty small, so my mom made a lot of my clothes for me, specifically party dresses and such. She’s very creative. She picks up new crafts time and time again. She just finished knitting handbags and moved onto hand woven slippers (zori). My grandmother was also creative and was always crafting all sorts of things. It appears I come from a line of very creative women. Other than jewelry design, I have a few loves. I love languages and music. I was a language major in college and have a music and fine arts double minor. My main instrument growing up was the piano but I also can play the cello and sing proficiently. Currently I am a mom of two boys 12 and 10 and one of my favorite things to do is to teach them to sing in 3 part harmony. Its a great party trick. I love to doodle but I can’t say that I am a great artist. I just love looking at pretty things and I find myself always creating.
How did you start designing jewelry?When I was in High School, I did a summer college program. (can we say nerd? I was that too.) anyway, I met a girl (now woman) who showed me how to bead. At that time, I was just playing with seed beads. Then I kind of forgot about it. YEARS later, about 5 years ago, I was in a shop in California with a friend of mine. She showed me some beautiful pieces. I said I think I know how to do this. After that trip, I started wire wrapping gemstones and sent her a necklace. After that, I just got hooked. I started making more pieces and then I started making gifts. Soon after, people were purchasing my pieces for gifts and here I am today with my little etsy shop and my dining room table “workshop."
What inspires you?
I love all the different colors I see in nature. Looking at water, plants, trees and the sky I see all the colors swirl around. Then I lay out my beads and see what I like together that may resemble what I saw.
Other times, the gemstones themselves make me think up of different combinations and colors.
What are some of your favorite gems?This is a tough question.
I feel like labradorite and moonstone are some of my favorite. they go with everything and have that internal flash.
On the more higher end, i love tourmaline. the colors of that gem are so beautiful, anything i create with it is just gorgeous.
I also have a soft spot for all the blue of apatite, the soft greens of moss aquamarine and pink topaz.
First piece your created?
I think it was that necklace I made for my friend. it was iolites, I believe. The first piece i sold tho, was a kyanite piece.
My favorite piece has to be my “one of everything” necklace that I wear often. Its a random selection of gemstones all wire wrapped into one simple but colorful necklace.
Ocean Jasper. I feel like a forest princess when I wear this.
Product Mommy's newest piece from Kuri. Sapphire Blue Iolite and Moonstone.