Satsuma Kiriko (薩摩切子) is a type of cut glass Japanese craft that dates back to the mid-1800s. It was originally manufactured by the Satsuma clan but the craft was almost completely wiped out after several wars ravaged the region. Today there are a handful of studios and craftsman that are faithfully creating reproductions and one of those is Satsuma Vidro. The Kagoshima-based studio recently partnered with designer Shizuka Tatsuno on a new brand of contemporary tableware called grad, a nod to the gradients that result from the craft.
A distinguishing characteristic of the grad lineup is that each piece is made from several thick layers of lightly-tinted colors glass. Bold cuts are then made into the glass at a depth and width that naturally creates a rich gradation of hues.
“When I encountered Satsuma Kiriko cut glass, I was fascinated by the depth of gradation reflected in and through the glass,” says designer Shizuka Tatsuno. “The contrasting shades of colour in the cut sections are accentuated as light filters through the glass, and it shimmers elegantly when filled with water. “
Priced at 30,800 yen ($290 usd) each, the glasses are not cheap. But each are meticulously and individually handcrafted by an artisan and their versatile design makes them perfect for almost any occasion.