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.
Kiku Black Crystal Rock Glass
BY Kimiko Yasuda
The design on this crystal glass has long been used for kiriko cut-glass and is one of the most intricate and difficult techniques, especially on the round surface of the glass. This part alone takes Yasuda about two hours to cut and four hours to polish. This cut-glass design signifies longevity, health, happiness, and goodness.