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店長 下村 秀樹
愛知県安城市で家具屋を営んでいます。
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友楽不動産
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Creation begins from practice and fears practice

Interview to Mr. Koun Kiyomitsu

Have you ever heard of jewels inlaid handicraft? I think most people hear of it for the first time. When you see the work once, you’ll surely be fascinated with its refined brilliance and elegant colors in a moment. I think we can’t find such gorgeous work like this anywhere.


Dragon & tiger

Mr. Koun Kiyomitsu is the only one expert artisan of jewels inlaid handicraft in Japan. He gives another new lives to pictures painted by great masters, and they keep glittering forever.

Before referring to his view of life, I’ll tell you about what jewels inlaid handicraft is. First original picture is engraved on a special board by skillful technique, and then jewels broken into small pieces are inlaid on its surface and its groove.

About thirty kinds of jewels are used, such as opal, ruby, sapphire, turquoise, amethyst, agate and so on. He can draw pictures with these jewels as well as with paints. A board serves for a canvas, jewels for paints, and tweezers for paints brush. To fix the jewels puts on the picture, special resin is poured on it. This technique was approved by the Patent Office and was registered eleven years ago.

Kiyomitsu Koun

GOLD AWARD to George W.Bush

The difference between the picture of jewels and general one is that picture of jewels has a stereographic effect and gives out peculiar brilliance by light. Besides, it will never be discolored and keep glittering forever as if it was born then. This technique can be done for almost everything, such as furniture, supplies, craft products and so on.

Mr. Kiyomitsu was born in 1927, in Hiroshima. He has his studio there now. He is always very silent and talks very slowly. Maybe it comes from his every day’s life meeting stones he was young and walked around all over Japan to look for stones.

Mr. Kiyomitsu : When I stare at stones, I feel like talking with them has its own beauty and I’ve been much interested in their fascination.

At first he used to draw pictures with beautiful stones, and then began to draw them with jewels. At the same time he spent much time to appreciate many famous pictures.

Mr. Kiyomitsu : At first I had many problems to be solved. I failed again and again, and tried to improve my technique. I was very poor in those days. It was only about seven or eight years ago that I gradually began to satisfy with my work.

Three women and his son always help him with his work. In the process of the work they have to talk off the fat of their hands. While repeating it every day, their hands become a rough, get chapped and blood-stained.

Mr. Kiyomitsu : I don’t like to complain while I’m at work. Whenever I watch my hands, I satisfy with my good work. Patience produces a better work than skill with hands and sense.

As he got used to his work, he began to satisfy with it. But it’s very dangerous to reply upon practice. as he draws one design many times, he is likely to lack seriousness.

Mr. Kiyomitsu : Each work has its own character and individuality. I have to do my work with my original intention. My greatest pleasure is to meet my work after a few months’ efforts.

He sometimes shut himself in his studio at the middle of night, because he can concentrate more at night than the noisy daytime. When he can’t satisfy with his work, he takes away all the jewels inlaid on the board by vacuum cleaner at once. He has to do it again from the beginning. He always tries to see many great pictures to raise good sense of beauty.

Mr. Kiyomitsu : When I send my work out, I feel like giving my daughter away in marriage. Though to make a lot of things in a short time, I’d like to keep making handicraft furniture.

He has often been advised to send his work to an exhibition like Nitten, but he has never entered any contests. Anyway jewels inlaid handicraft has just begun to be known as an artistic handicraft.
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