This unique set of Japanese swords are the fruit of the collaboration between Australian designer Mark Newson and craftsmen from Japan’s Tohoku area. The piece aims to combine the minimalist aesthetics of contemporary design with the age-old skills of the traditional Japanese craftsmen.
Aikuchi is a contemporary art piece which is created by incorporating a Japanese sense of beauty, traditional craftsmanship and innovative design.
But the hard part of this project was not merely to come up with a good-looking design. It required a true, in-depth collaboration between Newson and the craftsmen in order to be able to produce the first Aikuchi sword. The Australian designer traveled to meet them in their Tohoku workshops and discover their time-tested techniques. As a Japanese craftsmen will typically master one craft only, several were needed for the project. Experts in lacquerware, woodwork, and blade-making put their skills to work during a tedious trial and error process.
You can have a glimpse of the adventure that led to the making of the swords in this video:
As you would expect, an object created to cross the borders between art, design and craftsmanship will not be easy to get your hands on: it comes at an undisclosed price, and only 10 pieces will be produced.