About The Artist Minori Tagaki
Glass artist Minori Tagaki in studio.
Modern Japanese and Canadian artist Minori Tagaki was born in Shizuoka, Japan, a small town one hour outside of Tokyo. The city combines both the joys of city and country living. You can see lush green fields, views of Mount Fuji, and the deep ocean in Suruga Bay.
“I was very lucky to grow up in such beautiful surroundings. Growing up in Shizuoka, I enjoyed swimming, scuba diving, hiking, and travelling.”
Growing up, Minori would watch her grandmother indulge in crafting beautiful dresses. Her grandmother’s artistry would go on to inspire Minori’s creative soul.
In 1997, Tagaki found a glass exhibition in her hometown and began learning about Tombodama. This ancient Japanese practice of glassblowing allows an artist to create intricate designs with two or more colours in a single bead. In western cultures, this process is either called lampwork or flamework. This fascinated Tagaki and thus began her lifelong passion.
Minori’s Artistry in Glasswork Jewellery
Her style combines the elegance of glass with the raw energy of streetwear. Tagaki often includes elements of joy from tiny little fruits to bright yellow details in a chunky chain. You’ll often find similar elements in her work in that of Moschino’s or Kate Spade’s collection.
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Lampwork (flamework) uses a torch or a lamp to melt glass materials. Once the glass reaches a molten state, the artist shapes the material using tools and other techniques.
Compared to other materials, glass gives off a distinct look and feel. The material itself is delicate which gives it a sense of natural femininity. With glass jewellery, the colours often appear bolder than in other materials. Because glass can be molded in so many different ways, there are endless possibilities to what designers can create. Tagaki believes “a lot more people enjoy [would] wearing glass jewellery,” because of its unique appeal.
Exploring Her Glasswork Artistry in Canada
Minori Tagaki continued to perfect her glassblowing technique using Tombodama. When she moved to Canada, she was quickly inspired by West Coast culture and began blending her traditional designs with the West Coast’s modern style.
“Since I moved to Vancouver, I was captivated by the confidence of Vancouver’s women, the urban glass skyline, the incredible West Coast ocean, and [the] forests.”
For 10 years, Tagaki would work in her Granville Island studio until 2021. She then moved to her current studio in East Vancouver. There, she shares her space with four other glass artists all with distinct styles. The collective’s studio is also in the same building as the Terminal City Glass Co-op, the first non-profit and cooperative glass facility in Canada. The co-op allows Tagaki to take advantage of equipment such as sandblasters, kilns, cold work tools, and more.
“Glass jewellery is unique and colourful... I hope people feel fun and confident when they wear my products.”
Artina’s Jewellery is very excited to include Minori Tagaki in our lineup of talented artists. Her fruit necklaces and earrings as well as her stud earrings are available in our Victoria and Vancouver stores.
You can also check out Minori's website here.