When approaching handmade week I wanted to be able to explore many diverse ideas of what handmade can mean. Sure, it could be some nice cups you’d find on Etsy, but it can also be high art. This is especially true of the work of Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto, who does truly incredible things with the simplest of materials: salt.
His work stems from the death of his sister, who passed away at a young age from brain cancer. In Japanese culture there is an idea of throwing salt over yourself after you attend a funeral, which acts as a sort of cleansing. So Yamamoto started using salt as his medium, creating intricate labyrinths and mazes as he calls them.
It’s pretty awesome to see just what he’s capable of creating with salt. He creates not only intricate patterns but full scale installations as well. I think the other part of his work that’s quite interesting is where he chooses or is welcomed to create his art. When you look at the pieces below you’ll notice one location which looks like a stunning, old castle. The combination of this beautiful space paired with Yamamoto’s intricate work is quite a spectacle.
I suggest watching the video at the bottom post which gives a nice bit of insight into the artist. There’s also a beautiful book of his work called Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto, which does a great job of profiling the artists work.