Glass blowing isn’t just an art, it’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle for Tomoko Nangu, who specializes in the art of glass blowing. He focuses on crafting tonbo-damas (meaning “dragonfly ball”) for both traditional Japanese clothes and western clothes, alike. Tonbo-damas are glass beads with a hole in the center which were used in conjunction with the traditional clothing of Japan. Nowadays, the clothing is vastly different, what with people wearing nothing but leather and denim.
Nangu is working on making tonbo-damas more mainstream and fashionably sound among western design. In doing so, Nangu has broken the mold of tonbo-damas being labeled as “round with a hole in the center,” by crafting ones shaped like pears or droplets of water, and using exotic and vibrant colors and patterns. Though it’s no glass idol I’d worship, I sure can’t wait to see the tonbo-dama bong.