Mariko Sumioka


I feel awe and respect for natural and man-made objects
which have been there and lived since ancient times.

This idea is deeply rooted in my origin: Japanese culture and environments.
The Japanese respect, understand and accept nature as one of their members.
I am fascinated by Japanese traditional architecture,
which is an essential part of human lives as a central part of a culture
and a place where people have basic connections with natural surroundings.

I am inspired by Japanese unique architectural characteristics:
natural materials and colours, dark and bright contrasts,
linear forms, geometric shapes and spaces.
Since human beings live in architecture, there are some reasons in each element.

I have researched theoretically and visually into those handed down traditions
and tried to bring them into my pieces of jewellery.
My work explores a connection with human bodies
and how the wearer and viewer interact with each other, themselves and the objects.
Also, studying the principle of Zen and the essence of the Japanese love of nature helps me to understand people’s attitude behind their culture.

Drawing is an essential part of my creation, especially collaging.
By adding elements onto others,
I always find many different ways of assembling these elements
in both drawing and creating jewellery.
This technique also helps me to break down my original thoughts into different ideas, and to find new ideas and designs by abstracting elements.

Enamelling with simple colours enables me to explore my images of natural materials and textures which can be found in Japanese architecture.

I have also challenged and investigated contemporary ideas of jewellery
as sculptural objects or body pieces.
I do not force people to wear a piece in a certain way,
but want people to play with my pieces and find their own ways of wearing them.


Education
2009-11
 BA(Hons), Jewellery & Silversmithing, First Class, Edinburgh College of Art, UK
2008-09 Certificate, Study Overseas Art & Design College Program, Japan College of Foreign Languages, Japan
2007-09  Diploma(part-time), The Professional Jewelry Training Course, Akasaka Jewelry Design School, Japan
2003-04  Exchange program (2 terms), International Studies,
University of California, Santa Barbara, United States
2000-04  Bachelor of Economics, Osaka University, Japan

Awards
2011
  Top six runners for best new designer of the year,
New Designers 2011 Graduate Show, London, UK
2010  Edinburgh College of Art Scholarship, 2010/11
Short course bursary for Creative and experimental surfaces in enamel, West Dean College, UK
2009  International Students Bursary 2009/10, Edinburgh College of Art

Exhibitions
2011
 The Designer Jewellers Group, Barbican Centre, London, UK
Specials, Dazzle, National Theatre, London, UK
Precious Space, Gill Wing, Islington, London, UK
Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, Graduates 2011, Manchester, UK
Marzee International Graduation Show 2011, Galerie Marzee, Netherlands
New Designers, London
Degree Show at Edinburgh College of Art
2010  Mid-Point Exhibition at Edinburgh College of Art
2009  Christmas Sale at Edinburgh College of Art 

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