Many of my friends know about my lifelong passion for knitting, sewing, weaving and other textile crafts. This summer, I had a chance to travel to Estonia to study their traditional crafting methods and experiment with materials and techniques such as silver and tablet looms. During my visit, I met an outstanding Japanese artist-artisan-crafter 木凜 kirin aka Hikari Tanaka who makes – among other things – beautiful, hand-embroidered bookmarks. She uses used, cotton flannel coffee filters and embroiders them with plant motifs derived from flowers, leaves and vegetables. The backsides are made of old textile leftovers such as Japanese old cotton and prints.
Hikari has graduated from the Tokyo Gakugei University in 2010 and has also studied crafting at Skals Design and Needlework Folk School in Denmark. Her beautiful products are sold in Cafe Slow and small markets in Tokyo, and she has also had several exhibitions and workshops. You can follow 木凜 kirin on Instagram to see more of her works that manifest her outstanding handwork skills.
I asked Hikari to make a small batch of bookmarks specifically for us here at bookm-ark.fi. They arrived from Tokyo a couple of weeks ago, just in time to premiere at the Helsinki Design Week Design Market 2018. Each of them is unique, they all look pretty as a picture, and they make an excellent gift to any book lover. Please take a moment to celebrate true artistic skills to create art by hand and visit the product page to choose your own one. Be quick – once they’re gone, they’re gone.