About Kirikane Glass

                   Casting glass                          Grinding

  I went to Kyoto City University of Arts with the aim of Japanese-style painter, where I studied the replication of classical painting for the training of Japanese-style painting, too. When I was been replicating some Buddhist paintings of the Heian era, I found Kirikane was used on one of them by chance. In the painting which has faded completely through the time of a thousand years, Kirikane seemed shining brilliantly as if it were just yesterday given. Thin and soft, but very strong shining line as a hair, which attracted me and I made a firm resolution to go the way of Kirikane.

  Fortunately, I was able to ask Sayoko ERI, the important intangible cultural property holder, teaching the best. Not only the technique of Kirikane, but also depth of solemnity, spirituality and the attitude as artist are what the mentor taught me.

  Kirikane is an important work of the final finish to solemnize Buddhist statue as well as to decorate woodwork. I have also been engaged in this kind of work before. However, I gradually began to think Kirikane as a special technique for artistic expression, and then, to have an idea to create something original with this Kirikane. I conceived the idea to create some three-dimensional composition with Kirikane in order to expand the possibility of expression given by Kirikane, which made me jump into Institute of Glass Art.

  I learned every kind of glass technique there. Glassblowing, burner work, part de verre, fusing, casting, cutting, polishing, etc .. But none of the teachers knew how they enclosed Kirikane in glass. So I began to study alone. Encapsulating the delicate product of Kirikane into glass with liquidity was full of great difficulties. It is probably because I has been driven by a passion that I hope to see the three-dimensional composition with Kirikane which nobody has done and has seen, that I could continue until today. Since I realized that, the most suitable technique to the representation imagined by me among all of the glass-technique is the way, at first, to encapsulate the work of Kirikane into the mass of cast glass, and then, to cut it out following my aim, this became my own method, and I continue to make and show the works based on this.

  In the classic painting of Japan, the unfathomable beauty is hidden. Picture scroll depicting the story in a small screen. Especially, Tale of Genji picture scroll, one of the greatest masterpieces among them, is executed by elaborate use of subtle various colors of pigments and dyes, and its characters’ eyebrows expressed and blurred as fragrant, by drawing carefully more than 15 fine lines in the only 1mm. Heike picture scroll the scene of which are made up with fine gradation of Kin- or Gin-sunago(gold- or silver-dust). And the gorgeous Buddhist paintings solemnized with Kirikane …. They capture the eyes of the beholders, and invite the beholders look at detail to detail. Even if we look at how long, there is always a new discovery. We cannot have the result forever.
  It is my treasure to able to see close and to study many excellent masterpieces of classic. Making good use of both sensitivity and technique developed by restoring and replicating them, I always make my works,hoping to create a profound world as of the universe which cannot be seen at a glance,in the glass work, and at the same time, encapsulating the predecessors’ deep thoughts put into Kirikane, into my glass work with sincere respect…

 Akane Yamamoto