Saitama-based Masanori Oji's interests are as broad as his skillset. The handicrafts designer has experience in architecture and graphics as well as product, and after attending a workshop at a brass foundry to learn about the material, it wasn't long until he proposed a series of product designs to the company behind the foundry.
That company is Futagami, one of the oldest brass foundries in Japan, and one that's produced everything from ship fittings to Buddhist altar equipment. In collaboration with Oji they've released a beautiful line of housewares, like the dope bottle openers you see up top, and these gorgeous sets of chopstick rests below.
They also produce rests for Western cutlery...
...in addition to the cutlery itself, which is primarily brass, but silver-tipped at the business end.
And while designing items like brass serving trays are a no-brainer...
...these stationery trays are a good deal more interesting, and beautiful both with and without the leather inserts.
Futagami has also perfected an old-school coloring technique for brass that loosely translates to "black unevenness." It looks pretty sweet on both the trays...
...and as an option on these pendant lamps.
Even these bookends look pretty sweet, and I hate bookends.
And of course, one of the cool things about brass is that it visually ages over time. "Brass products gradually change their color over the course of many years due to oxidization," Futagami writes. "The longer they are used, the richer and subtler they become, dissolving into the human heart and the environment. [You'll] enjoy this loving, brass livingware for many years to come."