Two centuries ago, Japanese artists adapted European glass-cutting techniques to emboss vases and sake glasses with intricate Japanese motifs.
The distinct Edo kiriko style was born.
Today, there are fewer than 100 practitioners of this designated traditional Japanese craft. Akio Kurokawa, who exhibits a collection of kiriko pieces at the Frederick Harris Gallery, creates intricately engraved glassware by hand.
Using a diamond-tipped glass cutter in his Tokyo studio, the 76-year-old engraves exquisitely detailed basket-weave or fauna patterns on clear and colored glass.
The Shinagawa native studied Edo kiriko from 15 years old and founded his atelier in 1993.
While he has garnered many awards for his work, Kurokawa is more interested in sharing the beauty of the art form.
“I make it a point to express myself,” he says. “I do not create the same design twice.”