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Emiko Suo. Japanese, 1966-

Created: 1996
Materials:Stainless steel and gold leaf

Emiko Suo’s father was a jeweler in Japan, and she was brought up listening to the sounds of the iron hammers and files of the five or six people in the workshop. When the staff decided she was old enough, she was allowed to try imitating their work, making “amusing items” by hammering out or filing a piece of metal. Those childhood experiences have stayed with Suo, expressed as a sense of playfulness in her work. Suo has said that she prefers working with materials like extremely thin wire, thin metal plate, and gold leaf; separately  they may be weak but together they grow stronger and can even be assertive. The intricately and painstakingly assembled Neckpiece clearly illustrates her flair for design and innovative approach to precious and non-precious materials. Shaped into a torqued circle, it projects over the wearer’s shoulders and behind the head, framing the face like an Elizabethan ruff collar, and shimmers when viewed from different angles.

Museum Purchase: Founders' Circle International Jewelry Fund. 2006.106.4