Shambles Handmade Accessories

The mastery of artist and jeweler Hiroyuki Ohara

By Saskia Gilmour    - 3 min read

Japan is well-renowned for its mastery of the crafts. Many foreign visitors come to Japan to purchase souvenirs of high-quality craftsmanship; gifts to last a lifetime. In a network of Nagoya's small streets, one of Japan's great masters, Hiroyuki Ohara, resides.

Master jeweler and craftsman, Hiroyuki Ohara creates contemporary accessories and jewelery. His shop, Shambles (シャンブルズ), which doubles as his working studio, is open to the public all days of the week except Wednesday. The accessories, all of which are all made by Ohara-san, are on display, with a range and prices able to suit most budgets and preferences. A resizing service is also available.

His work includes many repetitive stylistic features including skulls, wings, flowers and vines, and various symbols of mortality. These contemporary and youthful sub-culture design features are crafted into various accessories, including rings, piercing accessories, bangles and pendants. As a lover of music, bands' imagery and music plays a strong influence on the designs Ohara-san crafts.

Shambles' accessories are created by using a series of jewelery-making processes, the most predominant of which is 'lost wax casting'. In this method, the sculptor creates a model using a special type of jewelers' wax. This is later cast in order to make a model duplicate out of metal, usually silver or brass. This allows the crafter to maintain a high level of detail and create forms which would otherwise be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Afterwards, various finishing techniques can be applied, including oxidization and polishing, depending on the desired effect.

For those looking for a unique piece, Shambles has several one-off pieces available for purchase. New designs are also created regularly, with updates posted in the Shambles blog, Facebook and Instagram pages. If you are looking for something even more personal, Shambles is also able to accept commissions. In directing commissions, you are able to ask for specific elements to be included into the design. With the approval of the final concept design, the sculpting process can begin. International orders can also be made, and design commissions discussed in English.

For visitors to Nagoya looking for a unique and personal gift or souvenir, Shambles is a must-visit. An exceptional exemplar of Japanese craftsmanship, Ohara-san's creations offer an engaging alternative to the more traditional Japanese-style souvenirs.

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Saskia Gilmour

Saskia Gilmour @saskia.gilmour

Saskia is an obsessive compulsive traveler with Japan as her #1 preferred destination. Her appreciation for Japan's unique culture was cultivated through several years of studying the language during high school and also an otaku phase about which she prefers to no longer speak. 

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