Kimiko Yasuda is a rising star in the world of kiriko, the cut-glass technique which is an ancient tradition first developed in the seventeenth century. In the making of kiriko, crystal glass is handblown into molds. An artisan blows a thin layer of colored glass into the mold and then a clear glass layer so that the layers attach. When it is cooled, Kimiko begins the kiriko cut-glass process in a design that balances color and clear glass. Using a diamond wheel and/or a whetstone wheel, she makes delicate, detailed cuts by hand, revealing gradations of color and light. Finally, she polishes the glass by hand, which takes twice as long as the cutting process, for a shiny, sharp finish, resulting in jewel-like glass that sparkles and radiates with colored light.
Amber Green Rocks Glass
BY Kimiko Yasuda
As intricate, luminous, and mesmerizing as a gemstone, Kimiko Yasuda’s Amber Green Rocks Glass is a tour de force of kiriko cut glass, crafted from the finest hand-blown crystal in Japan.
Kimiko Yasuda sources her crystal from a boutique glassworks in Otaru, Japan—the only studio making hand-blown crystal in the country. She pairs each raw vessel with an original, hand-drawn kiriko design specifically tailored to its color, shape, and thickness. Yasuda etches her design into the glass by hand through a meticulous, two-stage cutting process, first making rough cuts into the crystal using a diamond wheel before making a series of laborious, time-intensive detail cuts using an heirloom whetstone wheel, entrusted to her by kiriko masters. Finally, she spends hours polishing the glass by hand to achieve its singular, glistening shine and immaculate finish.