Artistic Techniques


In glasswork, silica sand is melted in a high temperature furnace and manipulated into various forms. Designs may be carved into the finished glass.

Cloisonné enamel work

For cloisonné enamel (shippō, literally “seven treasures”) vitreous enamel glaze is applied to a design delineated by metal partitions (called cloisons in French) and fired in a kiln.

Kirikane cut foil embellishing

In kirikane, metal foil (generally gold) is cut into delicate strips or quadrilateral shapes and adhered to a surface to create a decorative pattern.

Hardstone carving

Carved hardstone (gyoku) is a category of art objects sculpted from semi-precious stones such as agate and mineral crystal.

Inkstone carving

Inkstones (suzuri) are carved from stone using a chisel. The carved inkstone is then polished and coated with a finish of wax or lacquer.


Drawing patterns using gold leaf made into fine powder.

  • Reference: Nihon Kōgeikai Higashi Nihon Shibu (Japan Kōgei Association Eastern Branch), ed., Dentō kōgei-tte nani? – miru, shiru, tanoshimu gaido bukku (What Are Traditional Crafts? –A Guidebook to Seeing, Learning, and Enjoying). Unsodo, 2013.

Well-known crafts