Thursday, July 17, 2008

Five Whats With Miki Tanaka

Miki is my dearest friend that I met through my husband 7 years ago and I am the biggest fan of her jewelries (visit her website and you can find her most complete collections at Opening Ceremony in L.A. and NYC). In May, she and her husband, Bob, left New York City, her home for the last 10 years, for Shandaken, in Upstate New York, and I am so impressed by how this city dweller is adapting the country lifestyle and has almost completed 2 jewelry collections at her new studio.
What did you have for breakfast?
Granola with fresh fruits from a farm stand, yogurt and honey from a neighbor's bee hive. BEST coffee from Stumptown, Oregon. The farm stand is close, and they are open for 24 hours. Sometimes there is nobody there, so we put money in the honor box.

What is a typical day like living Upstate with your husband?

My day starts off by a loud coffee grinder. The aggressive sound and fresh coffee smell totally wake me up. Have breakfast with my husband. Check emails and look out the window towards back yard, where lots of birds and wild animals walk across. This morning, I saw the groundhog again! Then I go to my studio/work .....
COOK lunch! Have lunch with husband on the porch, watch humming birds flying to our feeder. Go check the mail box, this became my favorite thing in the day. I have to walk down the drive way and open this rusted mail box, which i never had one till i moved up here.
Go back to the studio room.. more work.... Sometimes in late afternoon, my husband takes me for a ride on his motorcycle. We like to go on the small roads, which we've never seen before. Unlike driving a car, we can feel the fresh air and smell of flowers or fresh cut grass around us, and it is very refreshing. .... water my herb garden.
COOK dinner! Typical dinner would involve charcoal barbeque outside. Sometimes half chicken, fish, burgers. My husband's mountain skill comes handy to make a perfect fire. .... Cooking became big part of living up here. The house's got the greatest kitchen, which inspires us to cook. Have dinner with husband.
Video chat with my parents in japan. Go outside look up the starry sky. Watch the fireflies in the meadow. And go to bed!

What are your inspirations?
My latest inspirations are from functional old designs (they are often so fundamental and durable), antient metal work (as always), antiques, simple country life style, starry sky, and early morning light. The house we live in is very inspiring as well. It is a boarding house from the 1800's renovated by BDDW when they were starting out. The details and the materials on the house are very unique. I know the guys put a lot of heart into it and it shows.

What are the pros and cons of living in the country?

Pros: fresh air and clean cold well water, more living space, at dawn the sound of the birds is overwhelming, remembering some forgotten basic pleasures, wildflower hunting, no cell reception (it was a con first, but now it is a pro!).

Cons: isolation, driving to grocery shopping, no walking, lots of mosquitos.

What do you miss about New York City?
Time with friends, amazing restaurants, morning carrot zuccini muffin and cappuccino from market table, the walk to work, running riverside park, shopping, the MET, vibrant streets, street music, hearing different languages, our old apartment.... wow, I really miss the city.

(bonus what)
Can you show us what your latest collection looks like?

I can show you a few pieces from men's new collection, they are made of hand carved ebony and sterling silver. They are going to be out in the world very soon!

For women's .. you have to wait!
photos: Miki and Bob Shultz, thank you!


miss sophie said...

what a lovely post! i just blogged about Miki's gorgeous ebony and silver earrings the other day - can't wait for her women's collection to come out :D

cobito said...

what a beautiful place! good luck to Miki and her husband living among nature. I'm very happy for your decision of moving to the country side.