Products sold inexpensively at the online outlet stores

A warning about the products sold inexpensively at the online outlet stores; Many who are interested in buying Satsuma kiriko might see them for sale in outlet stores. There is a reason why these products are sold at outlet stores for lower prices. Sometimes artisans decide to sell imperfect blanks to outlet stores. Satsuma kiriko is produced with use of technique called “irokise” which means overlaid color. The colored overlaid glass of Satsuma kiriko blanks is thicker than that of Edo kiriko blanks, and it is hard to visually confirm air bubbles in the blanks. The products sold at outlet stores have air bubbles which the artisans didn’t notice until    […]

Why Satsuma Kiriko is not a traditional craft

Why Satsuma Kiriko is not a traditional craft The reason why Satsuma Kiriko is not a traditional craft. Because the term “tradition craft” is used to refer to more than one type of craft, there is some confusion about its meaning. We would like to explain about those “traditional craft”. Although “traditional craft” is used broadly to refer to a general type of product, there are also “prefecturally-designated traditional crafts” which are unique to certain prefectures and have been made continuously for a specified amount of time. According to the Act on the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries (Act No.57, May 25, 1974), he Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry    […]

Traditional Artisans

Traditional Artisans The crafts are manufactured by hand with traditional techniques. While it takes a long time for artisans to acquire the skills, it’s getting harder and harder to secure and train successors of the traditional crafts due to the decline in demand for the traditional crafts. “Traditional Artisans” are certified after passing “The Traditional Artisans Accreditation Examination” by the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries. Artisans are required to have at least 12 years of experience in creating traditional craft to be qualified to take the examination.   National Association for Japanese Traditional Artisans and Local Association for Japanese Traditional Artisans Accredited Traditional Artisans must organize or    […]

Instruction manual for the use of glass tableware

Instruction manual for the use of glass tableware: Please read carefully before using your glassware. Keep this manual in a safe place. Glass tableware is not heat-resistant, and rapid temperature change can cause damage it. Do not put the glass in boiling water or pour cold liquid into the glass suddenly when it is hot. Do not use on stove top, in microwave or conventional oven, or over an open flame. Cut Glass is fragile and easy to break. Handle it with caution to avoid scratches that may cause breakage and injury. Handle it with caution to avoid scratching or breaking. Broken glass is dangerous. Proper Care for Cut Glass    […]

History of Edo Kiriko

Edo Kiriko was fosterd in the urban culture among the townspeople, and during the Meiji era (mid-19th century), the craft introduced not only Western equipment and instruments, but also their technique while preserving traditional techniques and has been passed down to the present time. First of all, an expert glassblower blows clear glass into a paper-thin shape of colored glass and then rotates this in the air to make the overall form. The result is a two-layer structure with colored glass on the outside and clear glass on the inside. By cutting patterns into the outside surface with different kinds of whetstones, a vivid contrast is created between the colored    […]

Process of cutting designs into kiriko glass

There are many steps in the process of cutting designs into kiriko glass: 1, Drawing Design To trace the cutting design, artisans draw lines and dots on the surface of the glass with a special pencil. 2, Rough Grinding In this step, the basic cutting pattern is roughly ground with a cutting stone. 3, Smoothing In this step, the cutting pattern is smoothed until it is fine and sharp. 4, First Polishing This is the second to the last step, in which the cutting pattern is further polished and smoothed. 5, Final polishing In this step, the opaque surface of the glass is polished to bring out its clear brightness.    […]

Beauty and types of drinking vessel

About Sake and Shochu cups (Beauty and types of drinking vessel) The true flavor of sake is best enjoyed when it is poured into every sake cup from a flask designed for storing it such as barrel, cask, pot and bottle. You can’t enjoy the true flavor of sake when you drink it straight from the bottle. Sake tastes best when you drink it from your own sake cup. In tasting sake, selecting a cup is prone to be ignored. An umber drinking glass or kiki-choko, a small sake cup, is usually used for sake tasting. While these cups are convenient for comparing aroma or flavor between different kinds of    […]

Polishing Methods

Polishing Methods There are two types of polishing methods: “acid polishing,” which uses chemicals (a mixture of acids) and traditional “hand polishing,” which uses wooden boards and polishing powder. Satsuma kiriko artisans in Osaka use only hand polishing. Acid polishing dissolves the surface of the glass but doesn’t bring out high quality of its texture and brightness. Hand polishing makes the glass naturally bright and brilliant without damaging the sharp edges of subtle cutwork.

Cutting patterns

Cutting One of the features of Satsuma kiriko is delicately cut patterns, such as latticework and designs made up of small dots, on the surface of the glass. These patterns are made with the use of a wheel. Artisans must have a high level of skill because the glass is cut from beneath and the thickness of overlaid colored layer makes it difficult to see the grinder.   Nanako mon-you (small dots pattern) Kikka mon-you (chrysanthemum pattern) Hakkaku-kagome mon-you (octagonal pattern: literally patterns of bamboo woven baskets) Rokkaku kagome mon-you (hexagonal pattern: literally patterns of bamboo woven baskets) Sayagata mon-you (traditional interlocking swastikas pattern Sasanoha mon-you (bamboo leaves pattern) Kenni    […]