For Tokyo jewellery designer Yuta Ishihara, who designs under the label Shihara, less is more. His jewellery stands out for its clean, delicate lines, with each piece meticulously constructed to reimagine the mechanics of jewellery design. “Instead of adding by design, I subtract,” Yuta tells National Jeweler.
Take Shihara’s earrings, in which Yuta seamlessly fuses function with form. The Diamond Square Earrings are fashioned as a cube, of which one side acts as the post of the earring. When worn, the cube appears to float on the ear, for a subtle, striking, and modern appeal. Yuta is also known for crafting his designs in graduated sizes, so that they can be worn either as small, unobtrusive pieces, or as bolder designs, to make a strong statement.
The designer works in 18k yellow gold, choosing the material as its fine nature suits Shihara’s delicate designs. He also shows restraint with his uses of stones, with a light dusting of white diamonds or luminous Akoya pearls acting as embellishment. One stand-out example is his Half Pearl Pin, which places half an Akoya pearl at a 45-degree angle, and coats it with gold. Set on a fine gold pin, Yuta lends the pearl a graphic appeal.
While Yuta likes to let his jewellery speak for itself, the designer’s background provides an intriguing insight into the precision of his work. He grew up in Yamanashi, a prefecture of Japan that’s renowned for its jewellery production. “It wasn’t until after I moved to Tokyo that I realized how unique it was for me to be brought up surrounded by jewellery,” the designer tells Paris boutique Whitebird.
And while Shihara jewellery feels distinctly modern, it has a timeless quality, too. “I like the possibility that when someone buys my jewellery they can hand it down generations later,” Yuta tells National Jeweler. “Even after I pass away, my creations will keep living with personal feelings attached to the product. There’s not very many things in this world that last for 200 or 300 years. I like the idea that I can create something that would last for that long.”