Hand-made glass works, ”Joetsu Crystal Glass Co., Ltd.”

Hand-made glass works,
”Joetsu Crystal Glass Co., Ltd.”

Making only glass products for over 100 years!

The company was founded in 1905 and continues to be a leading glass company for over 100 years. They have a versatile product portfolio, ranging from glass dishware to be used in ordinary households, to glass artwork used in famous Japanese structures such as the Imperial Palace and Imperial Hotel.

What does a glass factory look like? Is it automated? In contrast to what we had imagined, we saw a completely different setting with craftsmen working with red-hot soft glass in the factory. A blast furnace, bursting with red flames, is placed in the middle where the glass sand is melted, and the artisans use them to make each of the items by hand.

Putting your heart and soul into the work

Modern technology is adapted in the work process, but it all comes down to the skill of the artisans. The 4th president of Josetsu Crystal, Hiroki Kurata, told us, ”Machines only do the simple work. The rest is up to the artisans to produce good works of art.”

You may imagine a craftsman blowing into the cylinder pole to blow the glass, which is a common scene in this factory, but they also apply other techniques such as using a spatula to stretch the glass, or putting it in a high-spinning machine. There are various ways to add colors to the glass as well. These techniques all add up to make beautiful works of glass.

Observing the different techniques, Nakata asked a question. ”Can any of the process be done over?” Kurata’s reply was ”No.”
Once the glass is cooled, you can’t change its form, not even a bit. So every process is a one-time shot, and that is why the craftsmen put their heart and soul into it.

The glass items created here are highly valued, and are popular not only in Japan, but also in Europe, the U.S., Asia and the rest of the world.


”Joetsu Crystal Glass Co., Ltd.”
737-1 Gokan, Minakami-cho, Tone-gun, Gunma
URL http://www.tsukiyono-kobo.jp/