It is of great honor and excitement to introduce Nanuchka Yang, a Chinese jewelry designer, “business” hippie, traveler and also a dear friend. Nanuchka mainly work with silver, wood and also macrame (knot tying) for her jewelries. Every Sunday, she goes hunting in the local vintage market for rare Chinese Stone such as old jade. I was delighted to have make acquaintance and work along side with her, even though, only a day.
My first time meeting with Nanuchka was to hit a ride to Lijiang which is arranged by our common friend, who didn’t make it because she was sick. We met at her shop. The initial thought was that “it was a nice shop”. I always thought that she was just a friend of the shop owner, till I met Hania. I realized Nanuchla is the owner/crafter of the shop. Nanuchka was very kind to allowed me observed her working and work on simple tasks of some of the pieces.
My first task was cutting the wood piece (below) into half. It took me almost 2 hours to cut it. I know I am new at this job but 2 hours for a small piece of wood is ridiculous! Nanuchka petted me and say “good job”. She then put the wood in water. Guess what? It sinks. She explained that it is an African wood which is very dense and sturdy making it a good material for jewelry.
I will never look at wood the same again after this!
After graduating from journalism, Nanuchka went traveling around China with very little or no money at all. Upon arrival at a new place, she starts finding work or set up a road stall, to earn money for the next trip.
“Life is not easy but looking at the blue skies make me feel better. I have learnt how to survive. After Tibet and South East Asia, I went back to Dali, Yunnan and sold my jewelry (mostly macrame) on the streets. I learned many more skills along the way and now, I am still on the same street but in a shop doing the things I enjoy.”
I am always excited to see the youth of our generation taking back the crafts – that is mine hope for the future. And more so, adding their flair and style to it.
Thank you for being such a inspiration, Nanuchka.