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BIG TREE~Handmade jewelry~

place5 minute walk from Exit A6 of Ojima Station

Japanese Engraving Meets Western Design In Stunning Turquoise Fusion

Published: April 19, 2017

Silver, stone and wood combine to create art jewelry




One often finds gems in the most unlikely places and so it is with Big Tree, a handmade jewelry shop owned and operated by craftsman Daiki Kaneko, located on a quiet backstreet in central Koto-ku. In the case of Big Tree though it’s gemstones, as Mr.Kaneko works with the mineral turquoise to create beautiful pieces combining silver, wood and the blue to green colours of the ornamental stones.



Born and raised in Koto-ku, Mr.Kaneko met his life’s vocation purely by chance when, as a junior high school student, he received a piece of silver jewelry as a gift. His interest piqued, he bought some silver himself and experimented with designing his own pieces. This led to a career as a CAD designer while a parallel course studying traditional Tokyo engraving with a famous carving teacher ensued. A commission from a knife-maker to inlay turquoise into the handle of a knife was the first step on the road that led to creating an original brand WG’s ( double golds, from the Chinese character for gold in both Mr.Kaneko’s and his partner’s name ). That led to Big Tree ( another reading of the Chinese characters for Daiki ) and a move to its current home in Ojima in 2016.



Mr.Kaneko takes as much care in selecting the wood for his creations as the silver or turquoise. Snakewood, an extremely dense, rare, expensive yet dramatic wood, is well represented, as is Kingwood, the fragrant rosewood loved by several French kings ( Louis XIV and Louis XV ) that preferred the wood in the use of fine furniture. The texture and fragrance of the wood is just as important as its appearance.



Every piece has a story; no two are alike.



Watching Mr.Kaneko at his workbench in his compact back room is a revelation. A light rhythmic tapping, some deft movement and in a few moments a ring is decorated with a delicate yet elegant scrollwork.



A wide range of order made rings, pendants and bangles are available at reasonable prices.



The Southwestern USA has a 2,000 year history of turquoise mining and the mineral was sacred to the Native Americans of the region. The area has produced some of the most beautiful and valuable turquoise in the world. The interior of the Big Tree shop, also designed and made by the proprietor, reflects the Native American heritage in turquoise design.



Combining that heritage with traditional Japanese carving, engraving and stamping arts, Mr.Kaneko is creating a fusion of east and west, of ancient and modern. Long may he continue.




editor:Stephen Spencer