Artisans United Gallery and Shop
4022 Hummer Road
Annandale, VA 22003
Monday - Saturday 10 am to 4 pm
(Copyright © 2012 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved. (Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites.)
The photographs above are a very small sampling of Designer Baby Accessories by Peggy Taves. Peggy's work and that of other artisans can be seen and purchased at the Artisans United Gallery in Annandale.
MEET THE ARTIST: NOBUE YAMABAYASHI
Work on Display and for Sale at the Artisans United Gallery
“Origami” literally translates to the “folded paper” in the Japanese language. I was surprised at the amazed reaction of my American friends when I casually folded a paper frog at a restaurant table. For me, a Japanese citizen, origami seems second nature since children in Japan are taught this craft from elementary school and it becomes automatic like braiding one’s hair.
In October 2021, I become a member at Artisans United as I realized that I could create miniature origami shapes into earrings and other unique ornamental pieces. Japan is well known for its paper creations, and history shows references in poetry to butterfly origami as far back as 1680. Japanese culture has embraced origami as a time-honored art and many of the paper creatures are symbolic. One of the most famous creatures is the paper crane (tsuru). The paper crane symbolizes honor, good fortune, happiness and longevity. I choose to feature the crane in my origami jewelry (see picture) because of the many positive qualities it represents.
Each crane I fold begins with a square piece of origami paper sized 3 cm x 3 cm (approximately 1 inch x 1 inch). I carefully and painstakingly fold the paper 22 times to create a miniature crane. I apply a clear glaze and attach the earring hooks to create a delicate hanging earring. It is my hope that my customers will appreciate not only the craftsmanship but also the symbolism the crane has in Japanese culture.
As a matter of background, I had been fortunate enough to complete my undergraduate and graduate studies in Oklahoma and have formed a deep love of American culture. I had always seen myself as an ambassador between Japan and USA but in a professional sense. While living in Japan, I worked in the education field, and I enjoyed spending my spare time to make jewelry in all forms. I hadn’t envisioned my hobby as the bridge between the two countries. Little did I know that the hobby would help me connect me with my new life in Virginia.
I arrived in Northern Virginia in the midst of the Covid pandemic in 2020. As everyone knows, it was a time of limited contact and I felt like a prisoner with very few opportunities to meet people or visit new places. Luckily in 2021, I discovered the library of the Japanese American Care Fund which is in the same building as the Artisans United gallery. As I entered the building and saw the gallery, something just clicked in my mind that I could combine my interest in jewelry, art and culture to create a connection between the two countries. I stopped by the gallery to get information about how to become an artist member and began my journey as an artist.
As a result of my gallery exposure, I was accepted to post on Amazon handmade site and Northern Virginia Community College will display my “Noren” (Japanese door and room divider) in its Intercultural Center in October. [see picture] My one year anniversary as a contributor to the gallery is approaching and I am so glad to communicate with other artists and supporters in gallery and craft lover customers. I sincerely appreciate these connections I have made and encourage members of the community to stop by and see all the wonderful crafts.
The Craft Gallery of Artisans United is a cooperative endeavor, staffed and run by the independent members of Artisans United, Inc. as well as those individuals belonging to the member Guilds. On a daily basis, visitors will find the Gallery artisans happy to explain crafting techniques and to share their knowledge of where craft materials may be obtained. And, too, visitors will often discover impromptu demos in progress as the artists complete their creations. We are always looking for new craftspeople to join our organization. If you are interested in joining us as a member artist, please ask at the front desk for a membership packet which explains what is expected of you as a member of Artisans United.
If you are looking for gifts, please visit the Gallery where you will find an exceptional range of items appropriate for baby, wedding, mother’s day, father’s day, graduation and housewarmings.
THE CRAFT GALLERY OF ARTISANS UNITED
4022 Hummer Road
Annandale, VA 22003
703.941.0202 . www.augallery.org
10-4 pm Tuesday through Saturday and 1-4 on Sunday
Reproduction of this article or photographs requires the written permission of the author and The ENDEAVOR News Magazine. Photographs are courtesy of the author with all right of use reserved. (Copyright © 2012 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved. (Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites.)