Photo: grape Shop
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Colorful glass balls can be used as single vases, reed diffusers and more

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By Ben K, grape Japan

When you see celebrities living out fabulous lives on social media or on TV programs, don't you sometimes think, "I wish I could add a little more color to my own life?"

However, hanging expensive paintings on your walls or buying fancy imported furniture for your home isn't within everyone's reach.

Nevertheless, displaying a single-flower vase can be a good way to bring some color and seasonal charm into your life.

We'd like to introduce you to this lovely series of Japanese single-flower vases called 彩手毬 (irotemari) which can make you feel happy and relaxed.

手毬 temari are colorful embroidered balls, originating in China and made in Japan from the 7th century as decorative items and toys. Combined temari with the word 彩 iro, meaning (vivid or bright) color, irotemari evokes the playfulness of the temari while conveying their bright colors in a compact and easy-to-display format.

Single vases are a great way to enjoy flowers, especially for people who grow plants but tend to forget to water them.

Also, the irotemari will naturally blend in with any room interior, brightening up your home or office.

Irotemari is made through the traditional technique of 津軽びいどろ Tsugaru bidoro in Aomori Prefecture. Bidoro, the Japanese rendition of the Portuguese word for glass, "vidro," traces its origins to the Edo and Meiji Era, but the specific tradition of Tsugaru bidoro dates from the 1970s. The Hokuyo Glass factory in Aomori Prefecture had been making high-quality glass fishing floats since 1949 but when plastic began to replace glass in fishing floats, the factory began using their techniques to make plates, vases and decorative items instead.

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Photo: grape Shop

Each piece is handmade by artisans, so even if the pattern is the same, each piece will have its own individuality.

Why not decorate your room with a unique piece of art?

Inspired by festival yo-yos

Irotemari was originally created with the image of yo-yos used at summer festivals in Japan.

There are a total of 12 different colors. If you've ever been to a Japanese festival in summer and seen children playing with yo-yos, or even if you've only seen them in movies or anime, maybe they'll evoke nostalgic memories. Even if you've never seen them before, it's not hard to imagine how happy a child would be to play with a colorful yo-yo on such a festive occasion.

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Photo: grape Shop

From left to right in the image above: 若葉 (Wakaba / "Young Leaves"), 夏空 (Natsuzora / "Summer Sky") 桜風 (Sakurakaze / "Cherry Blossom Breeze"), 青葉 (Aoba / "Green Leaves") and 星月夜 (Hoshitsukiyo / "Starry Night"). The names are associated with the seasons.

Of these, "Starry Night" is a little more special than the other designs.

Two different techniques are used: yellow-colored glass is applied in lines, and dark blue-colored glass shapes, reminiscent of stars, are scattered over the surface.

Of the 9 types available, "Starry Night", 花雲 (Hanakumo / "Flower Clouds") and "Young Leaves" are made with this special technique, so they are called 彩手毬 華 "irotemari - Hana" (Hana meaning flower and flowery or splendid).

We recommend placing flowers that you selected at a flower shop or even flowers blooming in your garden or that you found along your walk.

It may even make your daily walk or gardening more enjoyable.

Also, if you have several irotemari, you can enjoy the combination of colors.

You can also use irotemari as a reed diffuser, as a paperweight, or simply a beautiful object to decorate your home or office.

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Check out the Irotemari and Irotemari - Hana glass ball series at grape SHOP.

(We use WorldShopping Global. The grape SHOP page is in Japanese, but if you see the WorldShopping widget appear at the bottom of the page, that product can be shipped overseas).

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© grape Japan

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

2 Comments
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A little color never hurts anyone.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When you see celebrities living out fabulous lives on social media or on TV programs, don't you sometimes think, "I wish I could add a little more color to my own life?"

No I never think that

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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