In Scotland, where I went to uni, they have the saying, ‘guid gear comes in sma’ bulk’, and this proverb, which can essentially be stripped down to the phrase ‘good things come in small packages’, is universally applicable.
Kaoru Hirota, is a Japanese embroidery artist bearing the moniker ‘Hipota‘. Hipota crafts tiny embroidered versions of everything from pineapples to zebras. With some of the pieces doubling as purses and brooches, these miniature crafterpieces are both outfit candy and homeware goodness.
They say that the devil is in the details, but in Hipota’s work, it’s the detail that marks it out as unique. All things bright and beautiful, great and small, become gorgeous mini thread artworks in her hands. Fresh meat, light bulbs and even broccoli, are all crafted down to the smallest detail.
More than just crafting things, it feels like Hipota explores the world with her needle. There’s something so completely enthralling about her little creations, which are created through trial and error, and it’s easy to imagine that each piece is hugely time consuming. To make the pieces she uses a nuibari, or sewing needle, and it’s amazing that she’s used a tool so simple to create so many completely unique little craftables. Because of the minuteness, each piece is different, and while they seem similar to the thick, adorable crochet of amigurumi, Hipota‘s work is much more detailed. Having been practicing embroidery for 7 years, Hipota has really got the hang of it now, although she readily admits that she’s not an all ’round crafter, and it’s just embroidery that she focuses on.
Hipota is slowly but surely earning a name for herself In Japan, and in October she had her first solo exhibition, featuring a range of embroidery plant brooches. This isn’t the first showing of her work and earlier in 2013 she took part in a two person exhibition with Yoshinobu. Her lovely little craftables have also been featured in many a craft book in recent years.
Unfortunately, you’ll have trouble getting your mitts on her work unless you’re willing to jump on a plane, as you can only buy her products in Japan-located stores such as Tote and Bazar et Garde-Manager.