The art of tsumami zaiku
Q. I've heard of kanzashi, but what is hana tsumami kanzashi?
The name kanzashi, which is used to describe the technique, is a shorthand for the original name of the technique, called in Japanese tsumami zaiku (つまみ 細工) and translates as pinching, from tweezers used to hold the silk pieces. Kanzashi (簪) are hair ornaments used in traditional Japanese hairstyles, and this word refers to all hair ornaments, regardless of what they are made of, be it silk, gold, tortoise shell or wood, while hana (花) means flower. So basically, hana tsumami kanzashi can be translated as "a silk hair ornament in the shape of a flower and made by pinching".
Hana tsumami kanzashi are typical of maiko, apprentice geisha. These are created from squares of silk by a technique known as tsumami (pinching). Each square is folded multiple times with the aid of tweezers, into a single petal. It's a difficult but rewarding technique.
Q. Do you make kanzashi all by yourself?
Yes, I do. Each kanzashi is made out of hand-folded petals, which are made from individual squares of high-quality fabrics. I often use vintage kimono recycled fabrics.
Q. What materials do you use?
I use mostly silk, either from Milanówek, which is the traditional Polish center of silk manufacture, or vintage kimono silk.
Q. I'm vegan and still want to own kanzashi.
Due to popular demand, I imported Italian cotton and rayon chirimen, which is 100% plant fibers and very high quality.
Feel free to ask for my current stock of vegan-friendly fabrics.
Q. I want to learn to make kanzashi.
You can find all sorts of instructions online, from simple flowers from cut ribbons to traditional techniques (I recommend the latter). There are also books in Japanese that give you clear instructions. The ones I have are by master Himeko, Seiko Sakurai, and Master Tsugumi Sato. You can also purchase my tutorials in my Etsy shop.
Q. Can I learn directly from you?
It's not possible, as I am not fit to travel or receive guest learners. Apart from having a regular day job, my health won't allow me.
Q. Do you accept custom orders for kanzashi?
At the moment I usually do not, but it's because of my health - I cannot guarantee any ceratin delivery date. If you still would like a custom-made tsumami piece to match an outfit please contact me via the Contact Section of this site or FB Fan Site orEtsy Shop. We will discuss the current waiting time and details, but sadly contacting me can't guarantee me accepting a commission, especially if you in a hurry.
Q. Where is your workshop based? Can I visit and discuss my order personally?
My workshop is based in Warsaw, but I am currently not accepting visitors and cannot meet personally even for order pickups.
Q. How do I pay for my order? Is it secure?
Currently, I either sell through Etsy, send invoices via a verified PayPal account or - if you live in Poland - a regular bank transfer. All the above are secure, verified ways of sending a Payment, with Etsy being the most popular due to the fact that it's a trusted third party.
Q. What are your shipping rates?
In EU it's usually around 4 EUR for a non-registered parcel (shipped at your own risk), 6 EUR for a registered airmail. They usually arrive within 10 days. The latter has a tracking number
In case of US, Canada, and Australia it's 5$ for an unregistered airmail or 12$ for a Global Express. They usually arrive within 21 days of shipping. EMS is possible, its price depends on where you are located.
There is no middle ground between unregistered and Global Express to US, Canada, and Australia. Apparently, as of October 1st, 2015 USPS stopped tracking registered INTERNATIONAL packages, except for a few countries. Which pretty much means that your letters and parcels that were sent by you with tracking numbers are turned to regular service the moment they pass the US border, thus Global Express is recommended.
Always feel free to inquire about shipping, I will be happy to check it for you.
Q. What is this store's return and exchange policy?
f you are not satisfied with the item, please return it within 3 days of its delivery for a complete refund (minus shipping).
I will not issue a refund for an undelivered item if an incorrect shipping address was provided. Refunds aren't available for custom orders.
Also, slight variations in color are not ground for return (every screen portrays color differently).
If you are unhappy with your order, please contact me and I'm sure we can deal with this to your satisfaction.n.
Q. How do I care for my kanzashi?
Kanzashi should be kept out of sunlight and dust, preferably in a jewelry box (if you own more than one kanzashi it's good to add a lavender sachet to the box). I do my best to make Wisteria Garden's kanzashi durable, but as with any delicate material, care should be taken when handling and storing your piece.
Do your best to stop them getting wet. My tsunami works are made with traditional techniques, which involve water-soluble glues. Mild humidity resulting from humid air or very light rain should not be a problem, but please be informed that it's best to avoid it.
Tsumami zaiku are not machine washable, nor can they be dry-cleaned. In some cases, they can be spot-cleaned by hand.
Contact me in case of any questions concerning this topic.