Apple Geranium Leaf Pendant
A lot of people have brilliant discoveries after coming to New York City. In a place where the world collides, it's easy to understand why hoards of tourists walk around slack-jawed and eyes glazed wearing their wonder on their sleeve while snapping photo after photo of cobblestone streets turning into fish markets turning into ultra-modern glass and steel as far as the eye can see. As a small town Georgia girl cum ATLien cum Brooklynite (Bed-Stuy not Billyburg), there was one thing I was most shocked by upon moving to the Big City: seasons.
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall: what were these crazy shifts in temperature and environment about? In Georgia we have two seasons: hot and hotter. So the first time I was subjected to a snow-filled nor'easter and a pile of colorful autumn leaves, I memorialized it all on film. RikiCraft takes this love of nature one step further: the Japanese designer memorializes fallen leaves by making them into wearable works of art.
Here's how the transformation happens: a leaf springs from a tree (in this case an apple geranium tree) in Riki's family garden and she collects it, enjoying the smell it emits while gathering the other necessary materials to begin the conversion. Next, Riki uses a silver paste to paint the backside of the leaf with painstaking care to avoid structural damage. After the paste dries, the leaf is flipped and the other side is painted. Paint and Dry. Paint and Dry. Twenty times altogether until the one-of-a-kind pendant is ready for the kiln. When it emerges, Riki gently polishes the tiny leaf, attaches it to a silver chain, and lovingly places the delicate finished piece alongside a polishing cloth on a bed of tissue paper inside a starkly white, rectangular box, which is finally tied closed with a single red string.
The Apple Geranium Leaf Pendant is meticulous beauty handcrafted by an artist whose adoration of the outdoors and love for the jewelry-making craft is apparent. Until I can get back to a geographic locale where seasonal isn't simply theoretical posturing, I wear this necklace to remind myself of the place in which I long to be.