Japanese Metalworker Naho Kamada crafting at her workshop in Tokyo, Japan.

Inside the Studio of Japanese Metalworker Naho Kamada

About Naho Kamada

Born in 1982, Naho Kamada is a Japanese metalworker from Kumamoto Prefecture who now resides in Tokyo. She studied under craftsman Takejiro Hasegawa, the third generation of the Hasegawa family who have a long tradition in producing metal items for the tea ceremony.

Naho Kamada became independent in 2008, producing metal objects that people can use on a daily basis and enjoy with longevity in mind. Her concept being to make modern pieces of metalwork that might make it possible to push forward this age old craft but still use the traditional techniques that have been passed down to her from craftsmen in the field.

Photography: Kazuhiro Shiraishi

Introduction

Metal is a material that is both cold and hard, so I think it takes a special kind of artist to put their own character in to such an object and craft with a special sensitivity that applies warmth to the material itself. This is exactly why we asked Japanese metalworker Naho Kamada if we could represent her work in the shop and we were honoured that she agreed.

Naho Kamada’s background as a creative is an interesting one and gives us some clues to how her style has evolved over the years and what inspires many of the intricacies in her work. As a student she liked oil painting and studied this art form quite extensively. Although she didn’t want to be a painter she knew she wanted to make something with her hands, whether that be using glass, ceramic or another medium. After viewing metal objects by chance she became inspired and looked at the possibility of studying to be a metalworker, later being offered a position as an apprentice for Takejiro Hasegawa, the third generation of the Hasegawa family. This family has a long tradition of producing items from metal for the tea ceremony, so Takejiro and Mami, Takejiro’s wife who is also a metalworker, guided Naho and taught her the foundations of how to craft functional objects from metal.

Approximately 3 years later in 2008 Naho stepped out on her own and started producing independently. She has since gone on to be very respected as a metalworker and is known to choose soft metals and hit these material with precision and a soft action, often choosing wooden tools over harder tools to carry through a subtle sensitivity in to the objects. When you pick them up this care in the making process is translated through to the object and makes you feel a connection with the maker, something that other craftsmen are just not able to convey.

We were lucky enough that talented Tokyo-based photographer Kazuhiro Shiraishi took the time out to go to her studio in Tokyo to showcase some of the skills and the beauty behind her work. I hope these inspire you and you will view her works in our shop. We think the collaboration between this photographer, artisan and our platform has made for something special. Enjoy.

Naho's desk and tools needed to craft metalwork.Naho kamada uses basic tools as seen here.
Due to the nature of her work Naho is able to make in a small space. This is where she creates her works by hand.
Hammer and tools to craft metal by hand.
Naho Kamada uses a tool to measure out on a sheet of metal.Close-up of Naho Kamada measuring out so she can make by hand.
Naho Kamada uses a set of callipers to measure out the circumference of a vessel on a sheet of metal, these will then be shaped and formed by hand.
Naho Kamada cuts the metal by hand.Naho Kamada uses a blow torch, making the metal malleable and easy to be shaped with a hammer.
Using a blow torch to heat up the surface of the metal.
By heating the blank sheets of metal Naho is then able to shape them by hitting the metal on a form.
Naho Kamada examining the metal before she makes the works by hand.She measures out the size using a pair of callipers.
Naho examines the size with a measure before using callipers to mark the base size of the object that she is going to make.
Naho Kamada begins to hammer the surface of the metal, working from the sides and turning it up to shape the form.Close up of Naho Kamada hammering the form in to shape.
She begins to hammer the surface of the metal, working from the sides and turning them up to shape the form.
Up Close shot of Naho Kamada at workNaho Kamada and her child hammering the form in to shape.
A selection of metalwork made by hand by craftsman Naho Kamada.
Metal shavings in Naho Kamada's studioNaho Kamada's work station
Naho Kamada in her studio making her metalwork.Up close shot of Naho Kamada hammering the wall of a metal cup.
Naho starts to complete the shape of the wall and continues to work in a circular motion.
Using a small hacksaw to cut the metal.
Upclose detail of sawing the metal.
Using a pin tool to mark out the location of where it needs to be cut.Tools inside the studio of Japanese metalworker Naho Kamada
Little Pieces from Naho Kamada's collection of objects.
Sketching ideas inside of her studio.
More tools and objects inside Naho Kamada's workshop.
Tools and objects inside the studio of Japanese metalworker Naho Kamada.
A unique selection of tools and objects inside the studio of Japanese metalworker Naho Kamada.
Picture frame hanging on her wall in her studio.
Blanks and other leftover pieces of metal from inside of her studio.
A ring and a small sculpture in the studio of metalworker Naho Kamada.
Little knick knacks laying around. These are stone and flint pieces. Naho is heavy inspired by nature.