Earrings on model created by Kumiko Morse
When Kumiko Morse needs to de-stress, she crafts. Since she works at a therapeutic preschool for children who are dealing with behavior and emotional issues, she crafts a lot.
“This is my therapy,” says Morse, showing off her workspace, set with origami paper and a Japanese TV show playing on a nearby laptop. “This is what I do to relax and be in my own world.” The results of her break from reality: stunning, hand-crafted origami earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces she sells on Etsy and at local festivals.
Originally from Hiroshima, Japan, Morse learned origami as a child but stepped away from the art until she saw another artisan creating origami jewelry online in 2008. She started selling her work in 2010.
To create her work, Morse uses Japanese washi paper she orders online or asks her parents in Japan to ship. After folding the paper, she coats it with two types of liquid she keeps a secret. The most difficult part of her work is finding the time to create. "Not only because I have a full time job, but because it takes so much time to make, and I always get so overwhelmed before big events like Craft Lake City or Living Traditions Festival, trying to make as many pieces as I can," she says.
Photos provided by Kumiko Morse