Origami is an ancient art form practiced widely in Japan and worldwide. It quite literally means paper folding. It is thought that the art’s origins took root during the early seventh century, as the technique of paper making was introduced to Japan by China.
Parry Yang dreamed up Miss Chopsticks as a result of her miniature origami hobby. “One day it clicked to me that designs could be made tiny enough to be worn as unique piece of jewellery.” After honing her skills to make these intricate creations, the positive feedback she got was enough to make a start and it is now a worldwide business with pieces loved by young and old.
Still in her full time job as a Childcare Educator, Parry is inspired by “happy big smiles on children’s tiny faces”, along with her love of travel and nature.
Miss Chopsticks jewellery is made from Japanese Origami Washi Paper, which is a traditional paper made from the long inner fibres of three plants Koze, Mitsumata and Gampi. Traditional Washi paper is filled with symbolism. Koze (paper mulberry) is said to be the masculine element, the protector, thick and strong. It is the most widely used fibre, and the strongest. It is grown as a farm crop, and regenerates annually, so no forests are depleted in the process. Mitsumata is the “feminine element”, graceful, delicate, soft and modest. Mitsumata takes longer to grow and is therefore a more expensive paper. It is indigenous to Japan and is also grown as a crop. Gampi was the earliest and is considered to be the noblest fibre, noted for its richness, dignity and longevity. It has an exquisite natural sheen, and is often made into very thin tissues used in book conservation and chine-collé printmaking. Gampi has a natural ‘sized’ finish which does not bleed when written or painted on.
Each fold is painted with a strong water resistant glossy finish and the piece is complemented by delicate crystal and beaded pendants made of silver with Swarovski crystal, Chinese crystals and fresh water pearls. Parry’s range includes earrings, necklaces, brooches, hair pieces and rings, among others.
For this season Miss Chopsticks has created brand new Christmas tree earrings and necklaces which are available to purchase separately or as a set. The new Crane Swirl earrings and necklaces will also make their debut at the December Handmade Market, with 10 different colour options. A specially designed necklace with a silver fig vine leaf and origami red rose is also new to the range.
When asked how she feels about Handmade, Parry is enthusiastic. “My first market was in September 2015 and it was a great success, I love meeting customers face to face and engaging with everyone who appreciates origami. I sold most of my stock with extra orders lining up by email after the market.”
Being from Sydney, Parry cites the traffic as one of her favourite things about Canberra. Or lack of it! “I love the chilled out roads to drive on.” Parry also loves how everyone in Canberra appreciates handmade crafts. She loved her visit to Floriade in September and found it to be inspiring – perhaps we will see tulips in a future design?!