Archive

Objects

Jochen HolzGlassworks by Jochen Holz
04 – 28 June

This month, we are presenting work by a glassblower, Jochen Holz.

All the pieces in the show is hand blown in his studio in East London. Jochen’s design approach is lead by the making process and the flow of hot glass, navigating the possibilities and restrictions of the technique and material. He creates functional, tactile objects ­ organically conceived drinking glasses, carafes, vases. Every piece is unique, individually considered and finished, made from durable and heat resistant borosilicate glass.

We hope many of you can visit us to see these beautiful pieces under the bright sunshine.

——————–

Jochen Holz, Born 1970 in Germany
1992­-1995 training as scientific glass blower in Hadamar/Germany
1997­-2000 BA Hons Edinburgh College of Art, Applied Arts
2001-­2003 MA Royal College of Art, Glass and Ceramic
2003­ lives and works in London

——————–
Momosan Shop 79a Wilton Way, London E8 1BG
Thursday – Sunday:  11:00 – 18:00

竹林1

In this great weather, we sweat more and therefore drink more water, either tap or bottled.

The smell of the chlorine discourages drinking tap water, but the idea of supporting bottled water industry is also not so appealing. With products such as filtering cartridge available, again, amount of plastic package used in such products often seems excessive. Remembering my grandmother using binchotan (white charcoal) for purifying water and making rice cooked fluffier led me find out more about charcoal and its production process.

Some charcoal such as binchotan and bamboo charcoal are used as filtering materials. With bamboo charcoal, since bamboo is a fast-growing plant the supply is abundant and sustainable in Japan. It only takes 5 years for bamboo to complete maturity. Badly managed bamboo forests could propagate tremendously and attacks the trees and shrubs around. It also can cause blasts as well as cliff deterioration. Managing bamboo forests and make good use of it helps to protect the balance of the forest.

The same problems can be said in the UK. Britain imports around 95% of its charcoal needs all the way from tropical rainforests, yet this could be supplied from national resources. Making charcoal out of neglected woodland in the UK and purchasing them supports not only greater wildlife but also benefits local economies.

bamboo_charcoal

Bamboo Charcoal available at Momosan Shop is produced by Mr Suehiro from Kumamoto, Japan. At the age of 75, he still travels mainly to developing countries teaching how to make bamboo charcoal.

What makes bamboo charcoal a perfect filtering material is that the super-porous structure which is produced when it is fired at much higher temperature than usual charcoal making process. This numerous small pores absorb chemical substances and odors in tap water and gives great filtering abilities. After bamboo charcoal is used as water filter, it can be still useful as moisture regulators around the house, then finally broken into small pieces to be buried in the garden to help improve soil. Nothing to throw away nor to waste. This makes it a perfect solution for tastier tap water.

Could it get any better?

 

At Momosan Shop, you can find a range of other bamboo products.

Cherry Blossom in Kakunodate, Japan

Cherry Blossom in Kakunodate, Japan

So, can we finally trust that the Spring has arrived in London, too?
While we have been waiting for the warmer season, the cherry blossom in Japan has pretty much come to an end. After appreciating the bloom, it is probably a good time to introduce another way to appreciate the cherry tree.

Kabazaiku is the regional craft of making products from wild cherry tree bark in Kakunodate, Japan. Originating from the 18th century, Kaba craft was initially used for making brush handles, bows, and sheaths for swords. Passed down from masters to apprentices, the techniques are continually evolving.

The bark of the abundant cherry trees is cleaned and polished to make it smooth and uniform

The bark of the abundant cherry trees is cleaned and polished to make it smooth and uniform

The bark is cut into the desired shape, then reapplied to the core wood using the cherry sap as an adhesive

The bark is cut into the desired shape, then reapplied to the core wood using the sap as an adhesive

The application process involves using a metal trowel which is heated over a fire

The application process involves using a metal trowel which is heated over a fire

The cherry bark maintains a relatively constant moisture level, acting as a natural insulator against changes in humidity, essential in the storage of tea leaves. The distinctive dark red colour is a combination of the natural colour of the bark and the tree’s sap.

 

At Momosan Shop, you can find a range of cherry products that might be a nice addition for a new season.

A Geometrical Study by Lars Frideen / £55, available from Momosan Shop

Lars Frideen is one of the designers I asked to participate in the current exhibition “Hexagon”. I always appreciated his knowlegde and passion in wood.

The projects starts with cutting six identical pieces of wood with a hole drilled in centre of each pieces. These pieces are put together to form a cube. All sides are then cut at a 45 degree angle and all corners are then cut off at a 35 degree angle. What you are left with a form consisting of number of geometrical shapes; circle, triangle, square, hexagon, octagon and rhombus.

Wood used are reclaimed wood that Lars has collected over the years. For examples, Jarrah salvaged after decades of service off the coast in Whitstable, a log of Hinoki brought back in his suitcase from Japan or a small piece of Rosewood from Brazil found on the street in London.

Lars does not give a specific use to this beautifully crafted object but the users can give variety of purposes depending on their imaginations; an educational toy, a penholder, a candle holder, sculpture on the desk ….

Lars also made boxes for the geometric balls. From angled off-cuts, he also made hexagonal coasters. This piece reminds me of Hakone’s Yosegi-zaiku in Japan. Lovely addition to the tea-time set.

All left from this project are saw dust and wood chipping. He is planning to make paper out of them!

Wood used in the process including; Ash, Cherry, English Oak, American Oak, Hinoki, Sugi, Red Cedar, Iroko, Burmese Teak, Rosewood, Mahogany and Jarrah.

Momosan Shop has selected works with hexagonal forms to complement the shop’s own collection. Designers exhibiting include Antoli, Lars Frideen, Gemma Holt, Wanju Kim and Max Lamb. Photography by Jason Chow

 

Momosan Shop has invited several designers to take a part in the show themed around “Hexagon”. The show is part of London Design Festival and will start from tomorrow.

Hexagon
14th – 23rd September
Mon~Fri : 12:00 – 19:00
Sat~Sun : 11:00-18:00
Late Night Event : Tues 18th, until 21:00

Momosan Shop
15a Kingsland Road, London E2 8AA

At the same location, Rupert Blanchard opens his workshop to the public for the first time with an exhibition of his new work.

Handcrafted tops, more styles available from Momosan Shop, price ranges from £4.50 to £16.

The spinning top is one of the oldest recognizable toys found. Many types of tops exist independently in cultures all over the world.

When I was curating a collection under the theme of “Objects for Learning”, spinning tops were one of the objects to include. After an extend research of wooden tops all over the world, I found a small run factory in Austria. It was started by a family man whose obsessions with the tops began when he turned a small top for his wife’s birthday. Since then, he has developed numerous types of wooden tops and establishes a factory in 1991. Their tops are all handcrafted, manually painted and marked in burned-in stripes. A great deal of work is put into a small object like these tops. Watching each piece spins differently in characteristic ways is a quit pleasant moment.