Japanese craftsman Rieko Fujimoto graduated from the Osaka University of Arts in 2002 where she studied metalworking. After she was then employed in local cookware shops to produce designs for their collection.
After working in manufacturing she decided to leave for a simpler life, studying with Shigeru Terachi, who is also a well regarded metal craftsman, and has now been working independently for many years.
Rieko uses basic tools, she then pounds the form into a specific functional shape that can hopefully stand the test of time.
Photography: Mark Robinson
In a quiet city called Neyagawa, located in Osaka Prefecture, resides maker Rieko Fujimoto, a metalworker who hand produces functional cutlery and utensils from brass and aluminium. Her studio is quaint and features a wide array of tools, some dating back to the Edo period and others given to her by craftsmen that she has worked with and learnt from along the way.
Rieko Fujimoto’s objects are small but functional, the precision and skill needed to produce such works is something to be admired and should give new meaning to the way in which we view such objects. Simplicity is often a deception, an illusion in the sense that it hides many of the intricacies that make it easy for us as humans to use them and function around them on a daily basis. Rieko is skilled at noticing all the important elements, but at the same time hiding them within the design itself, it’s only when touched and felt in ones hand can you understand some of the complexities hiding beneath the surface.
So we were lucky enough to visit Rieko’s studio to see in detail how she makes one her most popular items in the shop, the brass coffee spoon. Hopefully these photos will give you a glimpse in to the process and the different stages she goes through to get such a polished article. If you’re interested in purchasing some of her crafted cutlery we have a selection available to purchase in the shop.
From the top of the feature you will see the coffee spoon start off as a blank, she hammers and flattens the form whilst it is hot, later cutting the basic shape and placing it in acid. After she smooths the form and works the mouth of the spoon using an old cherry tree, later polishing each piece and removing any sharp edges.