Kokontozai: KASHIYUKA’s Shop of Japanese Arts and Crafts/[ENAMELWARE] | カーサ ブルータス Casa BRUTUS

Kokontozai: KASHIYUKA’s Shop of Japanese Arts and Crafts/[ENAMELWARE]

『カーサ ブルータス』2020年7・8月合併号より

Searching all of Japan for handcrafted items that express its heart and soul, our proprietor, KASHIYUKA, presents things that bring a bit of luxury to everyday life. The encounter this time out was with kitchen goods crafted of enamelware. Storage containers, handmade at a factory in Tochigi City, that are “simple, clean, and sturdy.”

Noda Horo is Japan’s only maker of enamelware home goods that performs all the processes, from steel molding to glazing, themselves. “I was surprised to learn that the enamel goods I love using daily are handmade by artisans,” said KASHIYUKA.
A simple form in smooth and lustrous white. On this venture I visited the factory of Noda Horo, an enamelware item I, myself, use daily. The impression one gets on hearing “enamelware” is of cookware and kettles, but I prefer the lidded storage containers. People are making a lot of prepared and preserved dishes right now, so this is very much the handcraft for this moment.
Purchase No. 28【ENAMEL STORAGE CONTAINERS】Handmade enamelware — beauty in its sheer simplicity
Noda Horo, which has a factory in Tochigi prefecture, was established in 1934.

“Horo enamelware is made by baking a vitreous enamel glaze onto a special steel plating that is sturdy and resistant to heat and acidity. As the material presents a poor environment for bacterial growth, it seems to preserve the flavor of the foods preserved in it well. It’s said that the decoration of the golden mask of Tutankhamun, dating from the 14th century BCE, employed the same technique,” Mr. Yasutomo Noda, head of the company, informed me as we toured the factory. First comes the shitabiki stage, the base coating that enables the glaze to adhere to the steel. The pincer device, called a yattoko, holds the pots and containers while they’re immersed in glaze. The item is then taken out of the glaze and swung in the open air, allowing centrifugal force to apply an even spread to the liquid glaze. It’s a difficult technique that takes at least ten years to perfect.
A cooking pot, held with pincers, is dipped in glaze, and swung in the air to even out the surface coat.
Goods are suspended from a conveyor around the interior of the factory, en route to the kiln.
Products with completed base coats are hung on a conveyor that surrounds the interior of the factory and leads into the firing kiln. At 850 ℃ it’s like a huge, blazing tunnel! The items are moved through the furnace, the glaze baking in the radiant heat. They’ll go through another phase of glazing and baking, from which will emerge enamelware that is white and lustrously smooth.