Architect Shinichiro Ogata has plenty of modern-day commissions, mostly high-end interiors. But "at some point, I became strongly attracted to the things that were created with the wisdom and technology that had been cultivated over a long period of time," he writes. "I want to cherish 'tradition.' That is to think of someone from the distant past who shaped me."
To scratch this itch Ogata formed S[es], a product brand that creates "daily life tools," primarily centered around things we all do, like eat and drink. Practically speaking, the brand creates new objects that look old; Ogata's modern design sensibilities are distilled through the traditional craftspeople he seeks out to produce the objects using traditional techniques.
Here are some examples, some of which have detailed descriptions, while others don't:
"A copper afternoon tea stand with two cedar trays."
"In order to bring out the texture of copper, the craftsmen have applied a deep discoloration process. Because it is unpainted, you can enjoy the aging characteristic of copper that becomes more attractive the more you use it."
"The round trays are made of Akita cedar and hand-made by artisans in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture. Finished with 'Uzukuri,' a process that makes the wood grain stand out beautifully by scraping off the soft parts of the wood while polishing."
This Sake Warmer, which is a low-tech way to keep the hooch from cooling:
"A sake warmer is a tool that keeps drinks such as sake and tea warm by pouring hot water into the main body and lighting a candle at the bottom. (Because it is only for keeping warm, you cannot boil water.) In order to enhance the antibacterial properties of the pitcher, the inside is tinned."
"In addition, it comes with a handle that can be removed, so you can move the sake warmer."
"Manufactured in Tsubame Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture, which has advanced sheet metal technology."
This Lamp Shade of hand-blown glass, which softly distorts the light: