Hanawa refers back to her home culture as a starting point in her pieces, as she makes use of "Shibuichi", the Japanese alloy traditionally utilised in sword-making. By varying the quantity of copper in the alloy, she changes the intensity of colour conferred to the jewellery, varying from an intense red to paler pink, to deep purple or almost black when heated. Hanawa uses the cracking defect, typical of the alloy when laminated, to her benefit, insofar as dramatic effects are created. Her pieces are very distinctive: by combining the traditions of her homeland to the contemporary jewellery studied in Florence, she has found an interesting blend, resulting in jewellery with a unique language.
Noriko Hanawa was born in Japan. She graduated from the Musashino Art University, Tokyo. In 1999 she studied contemporary jewellery at Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School, Florence. The following year, she joined Le Arti Orafe school of jewellery design in Florence, but returned to Alchimia between 2003 and 2005 to study under Manfred Bischoff and Manuel Vilhena. Between 2004 and 2005 she followed a series of workshops with Manuel Vilhena in Lisbon, with Charon Kransen at Alchimia, with Graziano Visentin at Alchimia and with Kadri Mälk in Tallin, Estonia. She has taken part in several exhibitions in Italy, Japan, Spain, Germany, Portugal. She has obtained the following awards: 1998 J.NEWS International Jewellery Design Competition; 1999 Freshman Jewelry Design Competition, First Prize. Her work is present in the following publications: “1000 Rings” Lark Books, 2004, “Fabulous Jewelry from Found Objects” Lark Books, 2005 and “500 Necklaces” Lark Books, 2006.