What is Mitsuro Hikime?

What is Mitsuro Hikime?

Mitsuro Hikime -- 蜜蝋引き目 -- has been around for centuries, enjoyed by jewellery artists and jewellery lovers all across Japan.  It is a unique wax that helps create textures and twists that are similar to those found in nature.

I use this unique wax to form textured twists and curves into unique one of a kind pieces of silver jewellery.  Using my hands and a tea light candle I warm the wax into a nice pliable texture.  Then it's basically trial and error to find shapes and forms that speak to me and feel right.  I often try and retry different styles.  It's not unusual for me to come back and look at my pieces later only to hate them and squash them up, returning the wax back into my wax stash.  

Once I have fallen in love with the formations I tidy them up as much as possible and mark where I want the sprue (the channel where the molten silver will be poured into the cast) to be placed.  I wrap each piece carefully and post over to my friends in Scotland who cast my pieces magically from wax into beautiful recycled silver pieces!

The most exciting part of the process for me is receiving the castings back and seeing how they look in silver. It's something similar to seeing what your pottery looks like when it comes out of the kiln, or maybe what your cake tastes like after it's been in the oven.  

Then I go about painstakingly filing and polishing the backs to finish each piece perfectly.

Each of my mitsuro hikime pieces is one of a kind. I make the formations in wax in my studio in Belfast and send them off to be cast in recycled silver. I never make more than one, so if you chose one of these pieces you will be the only person with that design in the whole universe.