NEWS

New and old stories about Japanese Crafts. 

Kiriko Day — Another Reason to Celebrate in Early July

Kiriko glasses are a fantastic accompaniment for chilled sake and food in Summer. July 5th is Kiriko day in Japan to celebrate the history of this style glass making, distinguished by designs cut into the glass.

Edo Kiriko was popularized in the mid-19th century by Kagaya Kyubei. It is said that Commodore Perry was very impressed by the intricate cuts on the gift glasses he received. Since then, the technique has been developed and today, artisans enjoy the liberty of designing new and contemporary versions of Kiriko, adding to the evolving legacy.

Guinomi Kai by  Horiguchi Kiriko 

Guinomi Kai by Horiguchi Kiriko 

Guinomi, Hane and Tabane by  Horiguchi Kiriko 

Guinomi, Hane and Tabane by Horiguchi Kiriko 

Ishikawa Artists Shine in NYC This Month

New York City played host to several artists from Ishikawa Prefecture in Japan in September. We were in Ishikawa last year visiting Kanazawa and Yamanaka, and have met many great new artists there. We are encouraged and excited to see their work being recognized broadly.

It started with with Toshiharu Hisatsune, an artist displaying Kaga Yuzen, a style of textile craftsmanship unique to the Ishikawa region. He exhibited his Kimono and Noren (a room divider made of fabric) in Brooklyn, and he demonstrated for the audience how he dyes fabric. He told us some interesting stories about the history of Yuzen and about traditional wedding rituals in the Ishikawa area.

Then, we met Satomi Den, who is a glass artist working in Kanazawa. Satomi-san has been working on a unique method of glass-making, which was inspired by her previous study of metal work. Satomi-san had her latest show at the tatami room at Globus Washitsu. It was great to meet her and discuss her work. It was quite interesting as her work is influenced by European lace design, but its beauty still shined through in a Japanese setting.

Finally, we saw an exhibition and lecture by Toshio Ohi, who comes from a long line of great craftsmen. His father is a renowned 10th generation master Ohi Chozaemon, and Toshio-san has been developing his own style in the genre. He is a true jet-setter, coming to NYC twice this month in between busy days as an artist, lecturer, jury, tea master, and teacher in Japan. His energetic and magnetic lecture was rich with knowledge in Japanese history, culture, and traditional tea ceremony background. We really enjoyed his thoughts and global perspective.

Meanwhile, we have been talking to a lacquerware artisan from Ishikawa, who has a fascinating philosophy, which is reflected in his life and work. He inspires us everytime we communicate. We are looking forward to showing his work in the future.

We sense Ishikawa’s geographical and political position in history has a strong effect in their psyche. As Ohi-san said, these encounters with people is a treasure in life. It is a pleasure getting to know these Ishikawa artisans. They keep inspiring us greatly.

Kaga yuzen wedding noren by Toshiharu Hisatsune

Kaga yuzen wedding noren by Toshiharu Hisatsune

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Glass work by Satomi Den

Glass work by Satomi Den

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Toshio Ohi talks at exhibition opening

Toshio Ohi talks at exhibition opening

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Another encounter with Kanazawa artist in NYC

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田聡美さんの個展に伺いました。ヴィンテージのレースをモチーフにしたとても素敵な作品ばかり、創作方法もユニークです。おっとりとした人柄も魅力的な方でした。

Visited Satomi Den's glass art show on Broadway, I was fortunate to have a conversation with the artist about the inspiration, craftsmanship and Kanazawa where she is from. Very charming person, too!

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