Japanese artist Sakae creates delicate floral hair accessories using colorful resin and wire. In Japan, these ornamental hair pins are known as Kanzashi, and today they’re worn with kimonos by Japanese women on special occasions. Sakae calls her craft “dip flower,” which involves sculpting the metallic wire into floral shapes and dipping them into the liquid plastic. Once the individual petals, leaves, and buds are dry, the artist then combines them to create glassy bouquets of lifelike cherry blossoms, carnations, lotus flowers, and more.
The tradition of wearing Kanzashi began during the pre-historic Jōmon period (1000 BCE), when the Japanese believed that the pin rods held special powers and the ability to ward off evil spirits. It wasn’t until the Edo period (between 1603 and 1868), that women started wearing the ornamental hair accessories purely for fashion. During this time, hairstyles became larger, more extravagant, and required more pins and combs. Artisans then began producing a range of decorative Kanzashi, and some pieces were even designed to be used as protective weapons.
Sakae carries on the Kanzashi tradition, capturing the fragility of real life flowers with amazing detail, and invites fans of her craft to “adorn your hair with flowers, butterflies, and other subjects captured forever in their prime.”
Because each piece is so fragile, Sakae’s hair accessories are currently only available in Japan through Yahoo! auction. However, there are plans to sell abroad, so keep an eye on the artist’s Facebook page for updates.