Sakamoto is a third generation Japanese American who describes himself as a minimalist. His platinum and 18K yellow gold creations take on strongly sensual shapes and are feminine and masculine in form. The yin/yang qualities of the collections highlight duality, showing that even the most opposite of forces can compliment each other. Robert Goodman Jewelers is excited to carry this unique collection in store.
Tell a little about yourself
Born a third generation Japanese American in Seattle Washington, design and art was a something that captured my interest at a young age. Both my parents and two brothers, all have a keen sense of design aesthetic, especially my mother. One could say this was somewhat a way life in our household.
Why did you become a designer?
Drawing was one of my favorite pastimes at young age; my subjects included cars, homes, and boats. Once in high school, careers that interested me included industrial design, architecture, and graphics. Always knowing I wanted to design something, just not sure what. Ultimately, I chose graphic art for a major.
A graphic designer and very good friend of my older brother, whom I considered somewhat of a mentor while in college, made a phone call to his friend that owned a jewelry store to see if he was hiring. Soon I started working at the Jewelry store doing odd jobs.
This was a very unique jewelry store (really more like a gallery), which exclusively made one of kind pieces. The owner, knowing of my interest in design offered to teach me the techniques of jewelry making after hours when the store was closed for the day.
Five years at the store would ultimately lead me to Los Angeles and establish my own studio in an attempt to present my work to a larger audience beyond Seattle.
Awarded “New Designer of The Year “by the Jewelers of America soon followed, and being one of the first invited members of the American Jewelry Design Council, listed in JCK Top 100 designers are considered among my professional highlights.
What influences your collection and style?
If I had to describe my work in a few words it would be “architecturally inspired …….organic in spirit.” However, truthfully my complete environment influences and inspires me, and most definitely this includes my wife and children. I am sure my Japanese heritage also comes out in my work.
What do you hope customers feel/ take away from your jewelry collection?
Design is a way of communicating to others, jewelry by chance happens to be my media to do this. It is my goal that the person wearing my work has a sense of who I am without even meeting me. Good design whether in nature or man-made, can take the viewer to another place, a spiritual place in its best form. To be able to bring joy to others and to connect with others through my work is the ultimate reward in my journey.
What brought you to partner with Robert Goodman Jewelers?
My relationship with the Goodman’s goes back to when I was just starting in the jewelry business with Robert’s father Raymond, when he was a member of the panel that voted me New Designer of the Year back in 1986. So it is a unique relationship, one that now introduces some of my work to the next generation thirty years later.