Rei Minohara-Starke’s whimsical, romantic and sentimental collection highlights the distinct beauty of her beloved adopted country in Australia, whilst drawing upon her own feelings, stories and memories from her childhood in Japan. Minohara-Starke’s fascination with golden wattle branch, a floral emblem of Australia, reveals embracing a new identity whilst remaining true to her roots, reflecting her continuous journey of discovery. Using primarily silver and copper with her signature etching and hammering style, she creates a collection that reflects the space and light of the natural world. The use of gemstones is at its raw and natural state, revealing its true organic beauty when untouched. With the dedication of creating body adornments and objects for those who seek pieces of individual keepsakes, she endeavoured to create a piece that tells the story of the person who wears it.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. When did you first aspire to become a jewellery designer?
I came here from Japan in 2006. Before that I was kind of workaholic person even though I had graduated from an Art university. But one day I just thought, ‘I’ll be a jeweller’. I had never made jewellery before and did not know a lot about jewellery but once I started to study at TAFE I became fascinated. Just like that ‘this is it!’. Nothing is easy but with focus and persistence the end result can be something beautiful! Then someone else loves it and it became a part of that person. What a fantastic job!
My inspiration comes from two different directions. One is from the story – books or someone’s story – and the other from the nature, both Australian and Japanese.
What is your signature style?
Fine detail and delicate lines.
Provide a little insight into your creative and technical process?
Describe the person wearing your jewellery. What type of person did you have in mind when designing your jewellery?
She has simple and clear mind, bit shy, but has strength inside. Of course she loves the beauty of the nature.
What is your motto in life/Your favourite quote?
Trust your intuition.
How do you relax when you’re not making jewellery?
I like visiting galleries and museums, walking around and collecting plants – flowers, seeds and branches – or walking on the beach – collecting shells and castaway objects.
The beauty of various unique Australian native plants (so totally different from Japanese plants). And the sky and sea.
What is your favourite piece from your own collection? What is your most treasured or significant piece?
My golden wattle bud ring of golden wattle series is my favourite. It’s difficult to do casting with such a delicate, fine and fresh plants. Always a challenge and can only be done in the season of bloom. Then its there, a ring. You can see every part of this plants from this series – buds, leaves and branches.
3 words to describe your jewellery.
natural – silivery- beauty