The Characteristics and Techniques of Satsuma Kiriko.

satsuma005While Edo kiriko is usually colorless and transparent cut glass, Satsuma kiriko is primarily overlaid colored glass (irokise). A thick colored layer is blown into a mold and a thin layer of clear glass is blown inside the colored layer. Subtle color graduations are produced by cutting bold designs into the colored layer. This color gradation, called bokashi in Japanese, is the defining characteristic of Satsuma kiriko.

The deep and delicate colors of Satsuma kiriko, such as crimson, bronze-red, indigo, green, purple, yellow, and sapphire blue, create an oriental atmosphere, and the color gradations produce the effect of quiet simplicity called wabi and sabi in Japanese. Most examples of Satsuma kiriko are pleasingly shaped and small enough to fit in your hands. It could be said that Satsuma kiriko has a unique charm that contrasts with European glass, known for being cool and elegantly beautiful, or Edo kiriko, which has a sturdy, everyday feel.


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