In our works, we use Japanese casting techniques that were previously unknown in the world of furniture. Leveraging the freedom of form provided by these techniques, we create furniture that captures the charms of cast metal. The “Drop casting bronze table” is perhaps the most representative example of that.
With its bronze cast, the leg of this table leaves a strong impression. Its surface has a vertical hairline finish, restraining the gloss while fully expressing the magnificence of the material. The organic lines add a sense of delicacy that coexists with the strength emanating from the body’s sculpted form.
To cast this piece, we pour bronze melted to 1,200–1,300 degrees into a mold and wait for the temperature to fall naturally. When the temperature drops and the metal solidifies, we use a hammer to break the sand mold and remove the casting. We then polish the surface, carefully shaving off rough edges called burrs and other imperfections. This entire process is done by hand. Making a casting of this size by hand entails significant risk, but our casting techniques enable us to form these organic sculptures entirely from bronze.
The tabletop is made from Japanese oak with an iron-water finish. This traditional Japanese dying technique achieves a deep ink-blank finish through a reaction caused by the properties of the natural material. When water containing iron is applied to the oak, the iron in the water and the tannin in the oak react, blackening the surface.
The bronze will oxidize over time, darkening and developing a patina until it seems to merge with the iron-water finish of the tabletop. The radiance of a newly completed Buddhist statue or ritual article has a certain elegance. However, over a long period, the surface will darken, taking on a new form that conceals graceful strength. This table is much the same. In Japan, the ephemerality of an object that is decaying or shifting form is considered beautiful. This appreciation for the value of ephemerality might stem from the Japanese mindset of accepting change as natural instead of resisting it.