Akiko Kurihara creates jewelry for which she manipulates traditional materials such as gold, silver, pearls, and other stones, in unexpected ways. Kurihara’s approach to her craft is irreverently whimsical, eschewing seriousness to uncover a new range of possibilities. “I expect that humor in my work would connect me to a person wearing my piece, as well as to people seeing the piece,” Kurihara has said. Tube Ring, for example, is an aluminum ring with a dull finish; she incorporates the form of a screw-top from a tube of oil paint, with a squirt of paint oozing out, in lieu of a gemstone. Similarly, in an untitled necklace, Kurihara co-opts the standard string of pearls but, on closer inspection, she has painted a simplistic face—smiling, frowning, or shocked—on each pearl, infusing humor into an otherwise classical style of jewelry.