Interview 02: Misa Tateyama & Kiyoko Makino – The Foundation Built On A Healthy Workshop

"I hope you find something you want to use on a daily basis, and experience the beauty of glass.”

Misa Tateyama

All started from an unforgettable encounter with a glass paper weight. Her passion turned into a full time career. A mother of two children.

Kiyoko Makino                                                                                                     
I was selling clothes in my previous job.  One day, I happened to reunite with a classmate who works for a glass company, and I was drawn to the way he worked with joy and it inspired me to become a glass craftsman. A mother of one child.

The idea of "a glass workshop that preserves traditional craftsmanship" seems harsh and challenging, but Hokuyo Glass, the maker of Tsugaru Handblown, has a slightly different atmosphere. Every individual is dedicated to making glass, and in a large workshop you can only hear the clear sound of making glass. But the moment you leave the furnace, all that is left amongst the peers is pure friendliness. 

No matter the age or gender, the environment allows you to freely discuss their sensibilities and inspirations of the glass, which becomes the foundation of the new ideas. Not to mention, we’re constantly learning from one another.

The veteran female craftsmen, Tateyama and Makino, are the driving force behind creating such an atmosphere. Since they joined the company at the same time, the two have been refining their glassmaking skills  together while being each other's motivating forces. 

Although Tsugaru Handblown products may look similar at first glance, their personal styles are reflected in the pattern and balance - what makes the handmade products “fun to choose”. Today, in addition to Tateyama and Makino, the number of young female craftsmen is increasing. The two are hopeful, "I want to continue exploring my style, while nurturing young people," are making glass that makes you feel “fulfilled."