Shell Art or as Hatsue correctly states it, Shellfish Art has been around since the dawn of mankind and over hundreds of years many books and pamphlets have been published. Some describe the creative process and in others the history of the art along with pictures of artists and their work of the era. A few months ago I received an excited e-mail from Hatsue stating “Seizan-Do” offered to publish a book about her art and over a period of a few short months it arrived. Opening the package I wondered what it was going to look like arriving so soon but much to my surprise it was hard bound and touching the Valentine picture on the cover had a 3 dimensional look and texture and I was impressed.
Opening the book to the table of contents, disclosed a numerous list of categories such as Roots, Gallery, Scene, Tools, Production process, Former teachers, Shell Shows, Atelier & Studio, History & Gallery Museum and more.
The 47 page picture Gallery section is representative of her creative art dating back to her beginnings in 2006.
All of the pages in the Gallery are sharp, crisp and clear on high grade gloss paper.
There are also pages included in the Gallery that give a close up detailed look of her work.
The Scene section speaks to, “Shell art in our life”, in items she has created for weddings, personal accessories, jewelry boxes, paperweights and gift items.
In the Catalog section are pictures of shells with their names and in a following page, their names in relationship to color.
Another nice touch which you don`t commonly see in books of this nature, two pages covering her Production process.
There are so many quality pictures in her 80 page book it would be over welling in a blog so I will leave you with this story: I will never forget the first time I met Hatsue in October of 2012 at the Philadelphia Show. I stood on the side walk wearing one of my watch pendants when all of a sudden I heard someone shout out my name, “BILL”, Bill Jordan”! I answered, “yes” and she shouted out again, “I HAVE YOUR DVD”! That was the first time I realized my work in Shell Art had gone International and before I knew it we were on the 3rd floor of The Academy asking me how I create letters using Sea Urchin Spins and how do I go about creating pocket watch pendants, it was a great first meeting to say the least.
Later on I sent her a message about our first meeting.
On that day you’re Love for the art and mine came shinning through and I did not have a lot of time to show you my creating process, but when you came to the Sanibel Show in March we really got down to business and even with our language barrier we learned well from each other. You have won many awards for your creations but what is important to you as it is to me is to share that knowledge. We both know what it takes to create art out of shells and for you to travel thousands of miles as you do to learn more and bring it back to your country and share it is beyond commendable. I thank you for all your hard work and all you do to promote Shell Art. Bill Jordan
Hatsue Iimuro, biography in her own words:
I was born and raised in Yamanashi prefecture in Japan and moved to Boston with my family due to my husband’s job and lived there from 2005 to 2009. In 2006 I took a trip to Cape Cod Massachusetts and visiting all the different shops noticed an octagonal frame with a mosaic of sea shells enclosed and was amazed to see such a superb masterpiece of shell art not having seen anything like it before in my homeland of Japan. I was informed it was a Sailors Valentine and fascinated by the arrangements of the shells in different colors and texture in a limited space of the octagon box and in 2006 started creating my version of Sailor’s Valentines.
The theme of my creations was to combine Sailors’ Valentine Art, the traditional art in America, with Japanese traditional beauty ever since my first piece and this is what I’m committed to in all my future work of Sailors’ Valentine.
My studio in the woods of Yamanashi prefecture is where I basically work harmonizing the shells, nature’s product of the sea, to the wood frame, which is nature’s product of the forest.
My passion is to be a “Bridge” between America and Japan as a Sailors’ Valentine “Teacher and would be thrilled to see our two “Countries” become one “World” someday through my action and work among people in two different worlds.
I would like to thank Bill Jordan www. sailors-valentine.com for his continued support of my work in promoting the art world wide as I am here in Japan.
Web Site http://www.japan-sva.com/
魅惑の貝がらアート セーラーズバレンタイン “Oriental Sailors’Valentine”
Enchanted Shellfish Art Sailor’s Valentine is now available in my “Strictly Shell Art Store”
Sarasota shell club newsletter, including an article on Victorian shell art. See: www.sarasotashellclub.com