toru horiguchi innovates japan's 200-year old tradition of glass design
 
toru horiguchi innovates japan's 200-year old tradition of glass design toru horiguchi innovates japan's 200-year old tradition of glass design
aug 28, 2014

toru horiguchi innovates japan's 200-year old tradition of glass design

toru horiguchi innovates japan’s 200-year old tradition of glass design
all images courtesy of japan suite

 

 

 

imagine the cup you are about to drink from in the same way you might look at a precious stone. as you examine it from different angles, lifting it to your lips, you are presented with an alternative vision, an unseen beauty as the angles change. equally important is how that glass feels in your hand. the artisans carrying on the nearly 200-year old tradition of making edo kiriko are well aware of this and strive to create appealing cut-glass items you can use and enjoy every day. toru horiguchi, whose works are offered by japan suite, is one such artisan carrying on the custom while still pushing the boundaries. he says his best works find their origins in everyday things around him, not by thinking too deeply or profoundly as he strives to design glassware that is both visually stunning and great to use.

japan suite toru horiguchi edo kiriko glass works
guinomi shuseki hane shot glass

 

 

 

edo kiriko was developed in 1834 during the late edo period when kyubei kagaya, influenced by cut glassware brought to japan by dutch traders, originated his own cutting techniques by sculpting items with emery. this was a peaceful period in the country, and the unprecedented style reflected this tranquility. it is characterized by smooth cuts, rounded edges, and complex geometries that sparkle, glint, and display an alternative aesthetic depending on the side it is viewed. the craftspeople who create the style have taken a technique from abroad and developed a type of glassware that has become a distinct part of the Japanese culture. the use of glass for everyday things gained much greater popularity in the second half of the 19th century as more and more western ideas came to japan.

japan suite toru horiguchi edo kiriko glass works
soba choko yorokejima tea cup

 

 

 

horiguchi’s grandfather, ichio, who took on the pen name shuseki, was a skilled master of the edo kiriko style. he later passed the torch to his predecessor – tomio suda – who trained toru as the current and third shuseki. ‘succession names’ such as this, hold great honor and importance for those they are bestowed upon. horiguchi always is conscious of this distinction and the responsibility that comes with it.

japan suite toru horiguchi edo kiriko glass works
hane with its packaging

japan suite toru horiguchi edo kiriko glass works
guinomi shuseki tabane

japan suite toru horiguchi edo kiriko glass works
guinomi kai kakudashi

japan suite toru horiguchi edo kiriko glass works
guinomi kai nanako

japan suite toru horiguchi edo kiriko glass works
detail of hane

japan suite toru horiguchi edo kiriko glass works
close up of kadashi

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

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