The Birth of 100 Signature Colors by the Tsugaru Handblown Craftsman

Our colors are inspired by the beauty of nature and the rich scenery of Japan's four seasons.

What makes "Tsugaru Handblown" unique from other glass makers?

It's simply the myriad amount of colors we’re able to paint on glass. The colors painted on glasses are typically produced by combining different compositions of the ingredients, and "Tsugaru Handblown" has developed the recipes for over 100 signature colors. Even if the colorways look the same on the glass , they are most likely colors made with different formulations to allow consistency in colors even when different molding techniques are used.  Changing 0.1g of ingredients within 1kg can affect the hue and the degree of perfection. The color-making technique is the true Umami of "Tsugaru Handblown" - the color variations the offer cannot be found anywhere else in the world. 

One of the main reasons why we started to make our own color glasses is due to the geographical condition of Aomori, Japan. During the winter season, the roads get completely closed due to the snow, therefore, we could not depend on the transportation to bring us the ingredients needed in a timely manner. This required us to mix our own supplemental ingredients to create the colors we needed. 

Nakagawa, the current workshop manager, played the major role of developing a new technology called “color creation.” Although had never learned to make colors before, he went through constant trial and error, color by color, and committed himself to developing colors over the next several years.  After 30 years of training, he has become a master craftsman who is now able to compose colors the way he envisions, with just a few tries!  He is now working on developing an array of red, which are considered to be one of the challenging colors for glass making. 

Committed to Creating Heart-Warming Colors

Another crucial element in color making besides the composition is the "melting" process that melts the glass that allows it to mold. Depending on the timing of the mixture and temperature of the furnace, the color development may become inconsistent and inaccurate. It is also the job of The glass-melting team is responsible for discussing the hardness and blowing strength of the glass with the molding craftsman and determining the most efficient way or producing colors. Some colors require up to a few years to develop - requires true commitment, hard work and passion from every craftsman involved. 

Nakagawa's method is currently being passed on to the next generation of  young glass makers. At first, it was challenging for them to just remember the names of the colors, but nowadays, blending the basic formulation has become their jobs.  The young craftsmen bring unconventional ideas and breathe new life into our workshop.  "Although it takes time to create new colors, I want to create colors that will remain in someone's heart. I'm glad that the next generation will create glass colors based on that desire." Nakagawa's core mission will continue to color Tsugaru Vidro.