Talented Tokyo-based jeweler Keiko Okamoto shares her home workspace with us and talks about the idea of “beautility”.
How long have you worked from home? I have been making jewelry for about 12 years, the last 10 I’ve been doing it full-time. I have a sweet little workspace in my apartment, so I walk about 5 seconds to work!!
And where is home? I live in the old part of Tokyo. In this area, there are museums,Tokyo National University of Fine Arts, neighborhoods of craftsmen, and Japan ‘s biggest wholesale district. It’s a perfect location for working and I consider myself very lucky!
Describe your style? How would you define your aesthetic? Simple yet elegant! Well-made goods are not just useful but also beautiful. There is a long tradition in Japan of recognizing the perfection and beauty in things you use in everyday life. “Yo no Bi” as it is called, beauty in utility, is considered a very important value. I get enjoyment out of being surrounded by “beautility”.
How do you keep your office organized? In my case, I don’t need to keep the workspace organized. So everything I think or find is important and has it’s place. Sometimes it’s waiting there for years and sometimes I can use it right away. Somehow all my work is connected and ideas and techniques that might have found there origins years ago in larger or more abstract works resurface. I really like that.
When you were setting up your home workspace what did you keep in mind? I wanted to fill the workspace with bright natural light.
Is there any piece of home work furniture you covet? I love Aeron chairs. The overall ergonomic design of the chair is great. And I especially like the adjustable height foot rest.
What is a desk accessory you can’t do without? I’m a note-taking nut, so paperweights and clips are indispensable. And, likely quite different from a desk accessory – Skype – for staying close to my friends and customers around the world even though I’m half a world away from most of them.
What would you change about your own workspace? I’m actually pretty satisfied with my workspace, but I have a great interest in feng shui. I’d like to completely redecorate my apartment based on feng shui.
What do you most love about your space? The workspace has a big window, and I can occasionally see the picture-book scenery.
What inspires you? The first thing that comes to mind is classical ballet. Costume, scenic art, music and etoiles are a huge source of inspiration. And I love to make snap shots of things. I always carry a little camera with me. I’m fascinated by patterns – on a leaf, an iron fence, stone wall, texture of a tree, water-rimples and so on, most of my work finds its origin there.