Kiriko, or cut glass is a traditional manufacturing method that creates delicate patterns by cutting the surface of glass. The name of “Edo” Kiriko originates from the fact that this glass craft started in the Edo period.
Hikari Shiina (Pikarin), Kumiko Funayama (Kumikkey), and Saki Shibata (Shibasaki), visited Glass Factory Sokichi in Asakusa to challenge making Edo Kiriko!
First, they decided the patterns that they want to make and made a sketch on glass with a pen by referring to the example. Kumikky chose to have a motif of maple, and Shibasaki took a motif of leaf. On the other hand, Pikarin decided to challenge on cutting words instead of patterns! Since it is difficult to create curved lines in Edo Kiriko, she will try cutting Kanji and Katakana words instead of Hiragana that includes a lot of curves. Since it is difficult to create curved lines in Edo Kiriko, she will try cutting Kanji and Katakana words instead of Hiragana that includes a lot of curves.
Now, many of you may be wondering how you can “cut” glass. The patterns of Edokiriko are made by cutting a sketched glass with a machine called grinder. You may imagine an edged tool when you hear “cutting”, but it actually isn’t a cutting tool so there is no worry of cutting your hand during the process unless you break the glass.
Before cutting the designs into glass, we will practice cutting with a sample. They started off by making a simple asterisk mark, but creating a clear cut was difficult than we expected since the lines became curved or turned out in an uneven thickness.
After practice, they can finally cut into our own glass! While Pikarin and Shibasaki struggle from its difficultness, Kumikkey works quietly in a monotonous manner. She was even praised by the teacher! Pikarin and Shibasaki also improved as they repeated cutting.
Here, is the finished glass! They asked the teacher who’s work would be sold most expensively, and unexpectedly, Pikarin’s kiriko was chosen for the originality of cutting words in glass.
Not only experiencing making glass, Glass Factory Sokichi also sells various kinds of glasses including Edokiriko, so try visiting if you are interested in seeing the beautiful glass work in Japan!
Photos by Kaede
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