Inside the Ozeki factory 06.11.15

  • Toshihiro Ishikawa spent two years developing Barber Osgerby’s Hotaru collection

  • Ishikawa lays mulberry paper across the bamboo frame

  • “When you work on existing products, everything is already decided,” said Ishikawa, “but for this project, we had to do everything from the start – work out the dimensions, choose the materials, communicate with the designers.”

  • Ozeki’s headquarters in Gifu, central Japan

  • The wooden mould for the Hotaru Buoy lantern

  • Each lamp is created from a circular formation of interlocked curved wooden planks, which create the shape of the light

  • Strands of wiry bamboo are fixed around a ten-piece wooden mould of a Double Bubble lantern to create the frame

Craftsmen at the Japanese company have been making chochin paper lanterns for over a century. Now the family-run business has teamed up with Barber & Osgerby to give new form to its delicate, sculptural lights. Featured above, Keith Ng's photographs of the workshop in Gifu accompany an article in our latest issue by Danielle Demetriou

Chochin paper lanterns are among Japan’s most treasured artisan items. Craftsmen at the Japanese company Ozeki have been making them for over a century, but its latest design is resolutely modern. Working with London-based design duo Barber & Osgerby, Ozeki has produced a collection of vast white structures, comprising two minimally conjoined spherical forms and measuring nearly a metre in height.

The Hotaru lamps were unveiled by London-based brand twentytwentyone during this autumn’s London Design Festival. Soon afterwards, Icon's Danielle Demetriou and Keith Ng visited Ozeki’s headquarters in Gifu, central Japan. Some of Ng's photographs from the trip are featured above; Demetriou's article is in our latest issue.

Flick through the e-version of our 150th issue and request a copy of the new-look Icon here



Keith Ng



Danielle Demetriou

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