Japanese Metalworker Ruka Kikuchi at work

Japanese Metalworker Ruka Kikuchi

About Ruka Kikuchi

Born in 1983 in Soja, a city located in Okayama Prefecture, Japan, Ruka has trained to be metalworker under his father Masaaki Kikuchi since early 2000. After a six year apprenticeship he began making his own cutlery and tableware under the studio name of ‘Lue Brass’.

In 2010 Ruka won the Japan Mingei Museum Exhibition prize and relocated his studio from Soja to Setouchi, where he now creates and pursues his craft.

Photography: Takanori Yamamoto

Introduction

Ruka Kikuchi (also known by his nickname Lue) makes utensils and accessories out of brass in the Japanese city of Setouchi. Lue crafts objects that cooperate with the lives of ordinary people, hoping that every time one of his items is picked up and used it brings great pleasure and will last for many years.

Although he makes all his works by hand, he has recently started to explore the production of cutlery using workshop machinery. He hopes that he can push his craft to more people by using top quality metal and interesting design solutions, for example one flat piece of brass punched in to shape with a single mould. All of the works that we stock in the shop are handmade by Ruka himself and have been passed over by his keen eye for detail.

We hope that the photographs here taken inside of his studio give you a sense of how he produces these pieces and the time it takes for perfect the cutlery. Lue starts with a blank piece of metal and ends up with something that’s functional with a lot of character. A product that’s been lovingly made by hand and has a timeless appearance, these all his works are sure to last a lifetime!

Tok on the lathe Ruka Kikuchi outside of his studio in Setouchi, Japan.
Ruka Kikuchi standing outside of his home-cum-workshop in Setouchi, Japan.
Lue cuts the brass to shape. Ruka Kikuchi uses a mould to shape the bowl of the spoon.
First Lue cuts the brass in to a blank for a spoon, he then uses a mould to shape the bowl of the spoon.
The joint between the bowl and handle is heated up before it can be joined.
The joint between the bowl and handle is heated up before it can be attached.
Joining the handle of the spoon to the moulded bowl with a blowtorch.
Joining the handle of the spoon to the moulded bowl with a blow torch.
Shaping the spoon handle with a hammer. Striking the brass with a hammer to shape the handle.
Ruka uses a hammer to shape the form of the spoon, hoping to make an elegant but functional shape.
A glimpse inside Ruka Kikuchi's Setouchi studio.
A glimpse inside Ruka Kikuchi’s studio in Setouchi, Japan.
Handmade Tiles by Ruka Kikuchi. Ruka's tools from his workshop.
Handmade tiles by Lue inside of his home, alongside some tools that he uses in the workshop.
The entrance of Ruka's home-cum-workshop in Setouchi, Japan.
The entrance of Ruka’s home-cum-workshop, a series of objects that he’s acquired.
The entrance of Ruka's home-cum-workshop, a selection of his cutlery in a nice leather wrap.
The entrance of Ruka’s home-cum-workshop, a selection of his handmade cutlery in a leather wrap.
Brass Wooden Handle Spoon by Lue Brass
Brass Wooden Handle Spoon by Lue Brass
Brass Dish by Lue Brass Brass Tea Measure by Lue Brass
Brass Dish & Brass Tea Measure by Lue Brass.
Small and Large Ladle by Lue Brass
Large Ladle & Small Ladle by Lue Brass