The fantastic world of EDO-KIRIKO created by the glass artist Kosho Nemoto

The young 30-year-old glass artist, Kosho Nemoto creates the delicate and bold EDO-KIRIKO glassware, a traditional craft that has been handed down in Tokyo. (Below text by Kosho)

Kosho is a 3rd generation of Nemoto glass crafts that continued from his grandfather, and now he takes an important role of the future of EDO-KIRIKO. The two series by Kosho are completely original and exclusively-made works popular at the domestic and overseas exhibitions. In this article, we would like to explain what makes Kosho’s glassware so fascinating, and what the artist feels about EDO-KIRIKO art and its future.

-雫-Shizuku- and -蝋-Rou- series

-雫-Shizuku- is a water drop, and 蝋-Rou- is a swaying candle flame. Representing the harmonious coexistence with nature, this glassware series reflects the breath of life, lively motion and fragility.

The difference between bold curves and straight cuts greatly changes the impression of each item, and that the finely cut pattern (monyo) also shines beautifully, exposing this delicate and impressive piece of art.

Feelings for the work

“I made only two series where I created designs with different numbers of cuts on the surface,” said Kosho.

By changing the number of drop or wax patterns, a side view also changes. Those with many patterns will have a more delicate shine, and those with few patterns will have a more graceful shine, resulting in a difference in quality. According to the number of patterns, the titles are ‘Naturally’, ‘Luxury’ and ‘Limited’.

The pattern created by pairing a drop and wax becomes infinite which allows you to freely combine the pairs according to your taste, without necessity for a set pair.

A journey from a craftsman to glass artist

30-years old Kosho’s exceptional skills turned him from craftsman to a glass artist. We asked him about what triggered his journey and how it happened.

What inspired you to become a glass artist?

"When I first displayed my work at the exhibition, some person bought it for 1 million yen. At that time, I clearly saw my path for becoming a glass artist. If I make something that I deem good, I think that a fact that it has been sold is important, regardless of my background.

How did your father Tatsuya, a 2nd generation of Nemoto craftsmen, react when his son started to work as a glass artist?

He told me that it was too early to act on my own. However, I revealed my ideas, got a job from outside and generated revenue. So, my father understood that if he wants to change something and continue to do business in the future, he has to accept my proposal and now provides me with great support.

Glass artist Kosho in the future

Kosho is leading a team "Kosho Sensho" which consists of EDO-KIRIKO artists. We asked him about future prospects and activities as a team and individual.

Why did you decide to create "Kosho Sensho"?

The younger generation of craftsmen today want to increase their activities to expand sales channels and promote their work abroad, but they are confused about the right way to do it. As a part of the team, I would like to hold pop-up exhibitions and other activities. In doing so, I hope to revive the tradition that is passed on through generations.

What kind of activities would you like to do by yourself?

With an aim to make art for the overseas market, I created a team called “Japan Craftors”. The concept is to highlight all artists, even those working behind the scenes. For example, I want to empower people who build necessary machines for the cutting process, so they could compete with the times. Creating a system that can respond to requests from overseas would be a good idea.

What do you think about being an EDO-KIRIKO craftsman?

This profession should become a dream job. When I asked the feedback from children who visited the workshop, I found out that they had a negative image of craftsmen being dirty and not well-paid. I want glass artists to be respected because of their work not because of their working clothes and hope children will dream to become glass artists in the future!

Afterwords: expectations for the future

During this interview, Kosho talked casually, but his words envisioned the future, and I felt his passion and aspiration to move forward. Moreover, I was impressed with the serenity and  passion expressed in -雫-Shizuku- and 蝋-Rou- series.

I will definitely follow Kosho’s activities on spreading the glass art value and creating the future.

Biography

Kosho was born and raised in Tokyo, in a downtown area with a thriving makers culture called Kameido.

At the age of 25, Kosho was searching for a way to express himself, when his grandfather’s death made him re-evaluate his family business and join Nemoto Glass Craft.

During his 3-year career as a craftsman, he received an ‘Aspiration’ award for his work, exhibited for the first time at the Japan's largest EDO-KIRIKO glass event.

Since his works are purchased by individual buyers, he plans to create an ecosystem that transcends borders and connects creators with individuals who want to buy original products, under the theme ‘from craft to art’. 

HP:三代目 kosho | Nemoto Glass Crafts