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A Hekinan gift of cloisonné art


Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling and Cultural Arts Director Frances Chapin hold artwork donated by the city’s sister city, Hekinan.

This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of the sister city relationship established in 1988 between Hekinan, Japan, and the city of Edmonds.

In April, Mayor Dave Earling led a delegation of local residents to Hekinan to celebrate the relation-ship, as well as the 70th anniversary of Hekinan’s founding. At that time, Earling and Mayor Negita exchanged gifts at a reception in Hekinan, with Edmonds receiving a framed cloisonné image of Mount Fuji from Hekinan.

In late October, Mayor Negita and a delegation of Hekinan residents will travel to Edmonds for a week.

The exchange of artwork has been a key element in the sister city relationship.

In 1990, Edmonds received a collection of artwork from Hekinan to commemorate Edmonds’ cen-tennial. At that time, 19 pieces of art were brought to Edmonds and became part of the Edmonds Arts Commission’s public art collection.

A collection of art by Edmonds’ artists was sent to Hekinan.

Since that time, the two cities have continued to exchange artwork and Edmonds’ Hekinan collection now includes over 40 pieces. Arts and Culture Director Frances Chapin, said the new piece is Ed-monds’ first cloisonné Public Art piece.

Examples of cloisonné from various parts of the world date back to the 12th century, but the specific Japanese technique for creating very fine cloisonné was first developed in the 1800s by Tsunekichi Kaji, who was born in Nagoya, close to Hekinan.

Cloisonné is decorative enamel work on a metal base with thin silver wire separating the design are-as of the enamel. Once the piece is fused, the finishing requires extensive grinding and polishing to achieve the high luster the Japanese work is renowned for.

A selection of artwork and crafts from Hekinan, including the newest gift, is displayed on the third floor of City Hall in the administrative area, open to the public during building hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.


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