Mamoru Tsukamoto has been making glassware for 55 years. He is the longest serving artisan at SGHR Sugahara, where he has been for 30 years and now head of the production department. The Japanese Government’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry have certified Tsukamoto as a traditional craftsperson of Edo glass. Only makers with superior skills and techniques and over 12 years experience in the production of Japanese traditional crafts can be awarded this accolade.
At SGHR’s studio in Chiba, Japan, Tsukamoto is in charge of production of free-blown glassware. In London his works are on display at Pantechnicon in Belgravia. SGHR pieces at Pantechnicon by Tsukamoto include SIRENA ‘foam plates’, a collection designed to represent the beauty and strength of liquids. One of his signature works is ‘3 TYPES OF BUBBLES’, a range he designed himself. The base of each bubble glass looks like foam springing up in the sea. Tsukamoto explains, “I made three expressions with the theme of “bubbles”. The sparkling bubbles in the transparency of the glass show various forms depending on the shape.”
Tsukamoto also collaborated with other artisans to design SGHR’s mini vase collection consisting of five organic shapes, and seven different colours. They are small, delicate, and have soft curves only possible to create by hand blowing techniques. Pantechnicon stocks five designs from the MINI VASE collection in a variety of colours.
The hardest part of glassblowing, according to Tsukamoto, is to finish making the piece exactly as he wishes, even after all his years of experience. Each piece Tsukamoto makes is made with great care. He says the message he’d like to send to users of his glassware is, “I hope the user can feel the beauty of glass and warmth of a handmade piece.”