Now that it’s gotten a bit chillier I’ve had an everyday-use stew pot, for a traditional root vegetable “nabe-for-one”, on my mind. On this trip I visited Himenosaku in Yao city, Osaka prefecture. The studio was established in 1924, and has been continuously making aluminum and copper cookware. Their technique is known as uchidashi, a way of forging the metal by hammering.
“Aluminum and copper are soft metals, but pounding compresses the molecules to make them stronger and more rigid,” said Mr. Hisakazu Himeno, third-generation artisan. Today he showed me how the lightweight and easy-to-use aluminum Yukihira saucepan is made. Using a shaping method known as heraoshi, he places the pot on a solid base and begins to hammer it, starting from the inside bottom center. He continues outward in a freehand style. He pounds the wall of the saucepan from the outer side.