Kochi Prefecture is a mountainous region where 84% of the land area is forested, so forestry and woodwork are major local industries. In these industries, rather than treating bamboo as just something where the emphasis is on passing down traditional techniques, new ideas such as adopting it for use in industrial products are being actively carried out, treating it as a local resource for both the present and the future. The designer Stefan Diez has presented a number of European interior brands that combine a unique structure, achieved through many experimental processes, with a graceful sense of balance.
Taketora [Bamboo Products] have been carried out with a view to considering the unique material appeal that only bamboo offers, and the potential expandability that could be extracted from this appeal. After visiting Taketora and its surrounding bamboo forest for research, Diez has focused on the essential, living nature of bamboo – the way the fibers become denser the closer they get to its surface, giving it superb elasticity and resistance to breaking, and the fact that its specific gravity is higher than oak wood, making it harder. Taketora designs and develops furnishings that draws on its techniques to create richly dynamic finished products, while developing the detailed performance that has been passed down for producing benches, low fences, and hedges for over 120 years.
The town of Hasami, home to Hasami-yaki ceramics, is located almost in the middle of Nagasaki Prefecture, near the border with Saga Prefecture. In 1599, on the order of Omura Domain (whose territory was largely in what is now the Sonogi district of Nagasaki Prefecture), three kilns were constructed in the town of Hasami, starting Hasami-yaki ceramics. The kilns were operated using the water power from the Hasami River, which flows through the middle of the basin out to Omura Bay. Initially, celadon using pottery stone taken from the upstream village of Mitsunomata was produced, but from the mid-17th century to the early 18th century, when pottery stone which would fire pure white, without any blemishes, was discovered in Amakusa, porcelain is also believed to have been produced in Hasami.
In the Edo period, porcelain was out of reach for most people. However, the Hasami-yaki kilns produced daily utensils with sturdy, simple designs such as kurawanka bowls and Mitsunomata sake jugs. This meant that many people were able to use porcelain in their daily lives. Thus Hasami-yaki, which has continued to heavily influence the development of Japanese cuisine, maintains this perspective and approach to this day as its tradition, producing bowls, dishes, and other items for daily life that are easily accessible and versatile.
Saikai Toki [Porcelain Products] has focused on the culture of Hasami-yaki, with the beauty of its white porcelain and the perspectives and approaches which have been part of peoples’ lives for four hundred years. In addition, with the goal of spreading new expressions to the world through the richly emotional context of Barber Osgerby, Japan Creative aim to create applied art products that combine the practical functions required of industrial products with the beauty of furnishings.