We grew up eating sushi in my family, although mostly on New Year's Day and special occasions. It wasn't the fancy kinds you now find in restaurants either, but our family-style makizushi (rolls in seaweed, or nori) and inarizushi, or ageh-zushi as we always called it (seasoned tofu pouches - may sound odd, but it's yummy). Sushi is, oddly enough, a kind of comfort food for me. If you're interested, you can read all about our New Year's Day celebration from this past January.
Although some people assume I make sushi jewellery because I'm Japanese - or at least I look it! - some people do actually ask why I make it and how I started. It is rather an odd thing to do I guess.
I made my first mini sushi platter as a little gag gift for my mom, back in 1999 (or was it 1998?) out of some polymer clay that I got at an art supplies shop. I experimented making lots of mini-foods - pastries, cakes, sandwiches, fruits, veggies... and then sushi popped into my head which I thought would give my mom a good laugh. The first sushi platter I made was pretty basic looking, but I was pleased with it back then, as was my mom. Here it that original first wonky platter - it's now on my fridge!
Little did I know that this would one day end up being my full-time work! Friends and family started ordering them from me and when I donated a bunch of them to a small craft show fundraiser in 2000 (or was that 2001?) and they all sold out, I thought it might be time to try selling them on my own.
And selling my first sushi platter when I opened my Etsy shop back in late 2005 was such a thrill. Up until then I was selling at local craft shows and I couldn't quite believe that someone who saw photos of my little platters on the internet liked it enough to actually buy one! It still amazes me that people want to buy something I made...
Here's Cassandra, looking smashing in her Sushi Combo necklace & earrings set that she recently got for her birthday from her Aunt Bridgette, who ordered them from me on Etsy - thanks so much for sending me the photo!
These are my newest California roll earrings, now available in my shop, complete with soy wrappers, that are great for a bit of colour on the outside of your maki. The wrappers come in pink, orange and green as well, but I wasn't sure if that would look too far-out and un-sushi-like. I'm pretty happy with the subtle look of these. I also made some saba (mackerel) nigirizushi earrings this summer and photographer Yumi Ang took a photo that you can see here.
From part of our family celebrations, to a major part of my business, sushi is a part of my life for good (^_^)!