工藤修司 kudo shuji

Wandering around the Rooms fashion exhibition, I stumbled across Shuji Kudo’s tiny jewelry collection. It was one of those “lust at first sight” things. Maybe it was the way the barbell rings seemed to float on the hand. What was going on here?? They looked like meteors with some special anti-gravitational pull hold them in place.

Then, there were the pendants that double as sundials, casting shadows of two people who slowly come together in embrace.

Both stuck in my mind for several years…. until I finally had the chance to visit him in his atelier this week and talk to him about his brand and design process.

いつだったかのRoomのエキシビションで、思わず足を止めたジュエリーがあった。Shuji Kudoというデザイナーが作ったものらしい。これが世に言う”一目惚れ”と言われるものか。とにかく、隕石のような形したバーベルリングが手の上に浮かび上がっているようなアクセサリーを見て、”これはどうなっているんだ!?何で支えてるの?!”と思わずにはいられなかった。まるで無重力で浮いているような、不思議な感じ。他には、日時計を模したペンダントなんかもあって、とにかく胸が躍るのが分かった。そうして私の胸の中で残ったまま数年が経った。そうして今回、ようやく念願のアトリエ訪問が叶い、ブランドについてや、デザインの行程について伺うことが出来た。

meteorite jewelry bu kudo shuuji

kudo shuji jewelry

rings by shuji kudo

Shuji Kudo is a graduate of the Hiko Mizuno College of Jewelry in Tokyo. He works most prominently with silver, creating each piece by hand in his atelier in Nerima-ku.

“I start out with an idea and a sketch, but it never turns out the way I drew it. I don’t follow my own instructions so minutely….I guess I am not a typical Japanese artisan (laughs). Instead, I work with my pieces organically, stopping to always check the balance of the piece.”

クドウ シュウジさんは、ひこみづのジュエリーカレッジ出身で、主に扱うのはシルバーのジュエリー。作品は全て練馬区にあるアトリエで手作業で作られる。
“最初は丁寧にスケッチを書いて作ろうとしていたんだけど、どうやってみても描いた通りの形に出来なくて。どうやら日本の職人タイプとは違うみたいで(笑 だから、とにかくバランスだけ気をつけてその場で創り上げる方式に切り替えたんだ。”

block ring

rings by shuji kudo objects

Scattered around his atelier were objects and sculptures that resembled the spacey aesthetic of his rings. “I like to create sculptures as well. I was actually inspired to become an artist by one of my ancestors who was a sculptor and had a very unique style of his own.”

Kudo said that discovering his own aesthetic was one of the most difficult aspects of his career so far.

“I knew I needed to have a unique taste that was singular to me alone. Of course my style is always evolving, but I now know that these pieces are truly a reflection of me…”

object by shuji kudo
art piece by shuji kudo

His barbell rings are the most spectacular, and he has a number of options in his arsenal. “I have presented my pieces at a few shows here and around the world including Denmark. The most surprising thing is finding that most of my customers are older ladies. In fact, one came to me and said, ‘I want you to take this two-finger ring and make it three fingers. I want it big.’ They are so cool.”


triple finger ring

barbell ring

The most difficult part of the design process is polishing the inside of his “meteors” to a perfect mirror-like finish.

“That part is the hardest, the most time-consuming and I dislike it out of all of the processes. Sometimes I`ll hire out to get it done, but most of the time I do it myself. I take a long time to finish…I take my time on everything.”

Kudo showed me some of his tools, including 70 different polishing and buffing heads.


working space

kudo shuji buffering pieces


A jewelry designer for three years now, he focuses mainly on rings and pendants, and has also created a few pairs earrings. He then showed me a prototype of a letter opener that looked like a mix between victoriana and a creature from “Alien”.

“I took the wax model to a bookstore and they told me that as soon as I had finished making some to take them to there right away,” he laughs, “but I have to sit down and make them then I guess. At my own pace. (laughs)”

sundial pendants
Sundial Pendants.
kudo shuji 工藤修司プロフィール
You can order Kudo’s pieces online at his shop:
Tokyo Fashion Diaries by Japan Fashion blogger misha janette | ファッションブロガーのミーシャジャネットの東京ファッションダイアリー