2 April 2018
Leaf brooches and pendants in 18-karat gold
Japanese jewellery designer Jurio Fujita takes creative freedom to the next level with his mythical, ethereal designs. His creations, adorned with dazzling gems and pearls, are microcosms of the world we live in – strange, beautiful, mesmerising.
Jurio Fujita’s face lit up like a starry night when asked what made him become a jewellery designer. He quickly pointed to a golden brooch in the shape of a leaf, complete with bite marks from a caterpillar resting on a pearl.
“This is my latest work. I’ve always known that I was born to be an artist,” Fujita tells JNA. Despite not having a formal gemmological background, he used his inherent talents and previous experience as a photographer to translate his artistic pursuits into jewellery pieces.
An aficionado of ancient Egyptian and Greek art, Fujita combines mythology and history with complex structures in his designs.
The year 1969 marked his foray into jewellery design when he made a silver ring for himself. “In 1971, my pieces were showcased at a jewellery exhibition in Japan. This opened doors for me and I met influential people that I consider my mentors, including Elsa Peretti of Tiffany and Ronald Winston of Harry Winston,” he noted.
Pearl and diamond rings
Apart from art and history, Fujita also takes inspiration from nature hence leaves, trees and flowers figure a lot in his work. “I wanted my leaf brooch to look as realistic as possible especially the parts chewed up by the caterpillar. I also included a caterpillar in the piece. This kind of design is inspired by nature at work,” he said.
Masks are likewise a staple theme in Fujita’s creations. The “Sculptural Mask” design has been a vital component of his collections for the past 30 years.
According to Fujita, the enigmatic faces with exquisite features depict “intelligence and experiences.”
“It is interesting to discover that while many people highly appreciate these pieces, there are those who feel the opposite. But this will not stop me from creating pieces that appeal to buyers who share my artistic vision,” the designer continued.
Another popular collection is “Intaglio,” which draws creative influences from Ancient Greece and Rome as well as medieval and modern Europe. Intaglio is defined as an engraved gem usually of semi-precious origin.
One of the most popular patterns from this series is a Greek lion, a garnet intaglio purchased by Fujita in London. “Many of my clients who wore a piece with this pattern said it had a positive effect on their lives. This lion pattern and the name
‘Jurio’ are registered as my trademarks,” he revealed.
Fujita’s jewellery pieces are all in 18-karat gold but he also offers 22-karat gold and silver pieces, or a combination of these metals.
Apart from diamonds and coloured gemstones, the designer also makes use of South Sea and Akoya pearls in his designs.
He further described some of his designs as organic and true to their original form. Most of his works are forged through surface treatment technology, lost-wax casting or metal inlay.
Rough emerald pendant
According to Fujita, his buyers have greatly evolved over the years, with clients from China and Hong Kong now comprising the bulk of his customer portfolio. While he used to design mostly for Europeans and Russians, Asian consumers have recently taken notice of his creations. This buyer demographic has likewise advanced in terms of preferences and expertise compared to 10 to 15 years ago.
“In the past, Chinese buyers were more concerned about the weight of the diamonds in a jewellery piece but now, design has become a more significant factor for them. Chinese buyers are becoming more educated and have developed a more sophisticated taste, which is a welcome development,” commented Fujita.