Visit artist "Ota.Glass.Labo"

by Tsuda Ryo

About three hours from Nagoya, between mountains in Ayabe area in Kyoto, we visited Ohta Glass labo. When I hear Kyoto, it reminds me of old temples, shrines, and other historic building in Kyoto city, but much like in New York, in Kyoto prefecture, there are a lot more rooms to explore until Japan sea.

Welcoming us with bright smile on her face, we met Ohta-san. Though she was always curious about glass work, she actually started the work after turning 28 when she was working at a regular company. She told us that she found a school specializing glass work where she studies all different kinds of making glass works. After graduating from the school, she found a job in Kobe as a teacher, teaching glass works especailly stone-mold way that she liked. At the same time with her spare time she was making her own works, and in 2016, she decided to work for herself making Ohta glass lab.

So, this time, she showed us how to go about making her glass works, which is mostly stone-mold way. First she has to make glass pieces from sand, which will be used later on, and at the same time she makes clay plates. The clay plates are used to put designs into glass plates. Then she melted the glass again to pour down to the clay plates and burn them in kiln. The glass is easy to break with this technique, so she has to be extremely careful when increasing the temperature and cooling down as well, which takes about 3 whole day after starting up the kiln. Moreover, it shocks me that the clay plates that she uses to put glass is different every time, meaning she makes the clay base every single glass plate that she makes. It is very detailed and time consuming work, but she does that all the time. So, in fact, her plates are never be the same and each has its own charm.

As she was showing us her works, she offered us Tamba kuromame. It is special kind of edamame which is famous in the area. It was soooo good and by far the best edamame I ate in my life. Later, I looked up on google and found that it is called 幻の枝豆 because its season lasts only for two weeks. When you have a time to visit Ayabe or Tamba area of Kyoto in Autumn, you better check this edamame, it will surely blow your mind.