Past and present of Satsuma-kiriko
Satsuma-kiriko dates back to 1846 when glassware was made for use by ”iyakukan”, a pharmaceutical house established by Shimazu Narioki, the 27th lord of the Shimazu clan. Subsequently Shimazu Nariakira, the 28th lord, set up and ran a factory to manufacture glassware in full scale. The former site of Hanazono Refinery, located within the premises of the castle, repeated research and successfully made red glass. At the time in Japan, red glass could be made only in Satsuma Domain. After that, Satsuma kept making a variety of glassware and made Satsuma-kiriko now known nationwide.
Characterized by “bokashi”
Kiriko means engraving cut patterns on glass. Satsuma-kiriko is characterized most by the gradation of colors which is referred to as “bokashi”.
Meticulous work is the secret of its beauty
Making Satsuma-kiriko requires some steps to be taken. They are roughly as follows.
1: Use a crucible to melt the glass. Wind the melted glass around a blowing pole.
In the atelier, Nakata saw the craftsman’s techniques very close and also experienced winding and cutting the glass during its manufacturing process. Even the slightest error would spoil the beauty of the resulting work. Nakata experienced the difficulty for himself.
- Satsuma Vidro ”kogei”
- 5665-5 Nagano, Satsuma-cho, Satsuma-gun, Kagoshima
- URL http://www.satuma-vidro.co.jp