What an incredible show! Last week we held our RAW exhibition – a showcase of leather homewares by Hender Scheme. Here’s a quick recap of the event, starting with some images of us setting up the show with the Hender Scheme team and leaving off with images of the opening reception.
Hender Scheme designer Ryo Kashiwazaki and his team arrived a couple days before the exhibition and hand carried a few delicate items with them for the show, including their new leather rugs and cushions.
Gota is one of Hender Scheme’s designers and makers brought on by Ryo as the company began to expand several years ago. We first met Gota during this trip. He handcrafts many of the in-house Hender Scheme homeware items like the rugs. There he is above inspecting one of his creations. The alternating smooth and rough leather pieces are hand cut and hand-patched utilizing the same techniques derived from the making of Hender Scheme’s footwear collection wherein the soles of each shoe requires layering multiple pieces of cow leather to form a durable base.
Steve and I got married over the summer so Ryo surprised us with the sweetest wedding gift – a couple pairs of his signature shoes. Steve got a pair of the Manual Industrial Product 14s and I got a pair of the Hender Scheme x Karimoku sandals. We can’t wait to see them age over the years.
The team also presented us with two lanterns that they had custom made at one of the many lantern workshops in the historic Asakusa district of Tokyo, an area that is also home to the Hender Scheme headquarters. One lantern displays “Nalata Nalata” in Japanese characters and the other means “Hender Scheme.” We hung them in the corner of our store in commemoration of our collaboration.
Our favorite neighborhood florists, Adore, prepared a beautiful floral arrangement in a Tetsuya Otani ceramic vase for the event…
…And our good friend Stefan Ayon hand stitched a natural veg-tan leather cover for our entrance door handles. They look stunning and we’re going to keep them on for a bit to see how the leather holds up over time as a handle.
On opening night, Ryo surprised everyone by showing up in a traditional Japanese kimono and setta slippers. He looked amazing!
The opening reception kicked off to a great start. With SŌTŌ sake sponsoring the refreshments, the drinks were flowing all night. The sake is brewed in the Niigata region and is so smooth! If you live in New York you can get it at Bowery and Vine, a great liquor store around the corner from Nalata Nalata.
Although the ever so humble Ryo was caught off guard by fans that wanted to have their Hender Scheme pieces signed by the designer, he was more than happy to give autographs to anyone who asked. These natural veg-tan leather pieces already look so beautiful as they age, we can’t even imagine how much added value they will have down the road with the addition of a rare autograph.
The Hender Scheme x Karimoku chair was prominently displayed in the store which gave people the opportunity to take it for a test run. The chair is remarkably comfortable with a wood seat that feels sculpted in a way that hits all the right places and a leather panel that supports the lower back slightly.
All in all, the exhibition was great times! We had a blast hanging with the entire Hender Scheme team (pictured above) in New York for the week. Thank you to everyone who came out and to the people who were a part in making this show a success including Pablo Luis for the beats and our good friend Stefan Ayon who had camera in tow capturing candid moments during the event, not to mention that awesome leather door handle. Also special thanks to our friends Riza Arrieta and Faraday Okoro who kept sake in hand for all!
Exhibition items are still available for purchase and a selection will be made available online in the upcoming week. Feel free to contact us for additional information regarding a particular piece.
We are pleased to announce the details of an upcoming exhibition, entitled RAW, at our Manhattan gallery.
Join us on the evening of Friday, September 9th for the launch of the first ever Hender Scheme homewares exhibition. Head designer, Ryo Kashiwazaki will be in attendance as we showcase the full collection of leather home products by the brand. The highlight of the exhibition includes a new chair, rug, and lighting amongst other leather-focused items. While Hender Scheme has become internationally renown for their footwear line, their homewares also adheres to the same standards of quality and innovation that we have grown to love. Each product is handcrafted to age beautifully over time and features Hender Scheme’s signature natural veg tan leather.
Details are as follows:
• Opening Reception: Meet Ryo Kashiwazaki and the Hender Scheme team. September 9th, 7:00PM-9:00PM. Drinks provided by SŌTŌ sake
• Venue: Nalata Nalata, 2 Extra Place, New York, NY, 10003
• Nearest Metro Transit: F (2nd Ave), 6 (Bleeker), BDF (Broadway Lafayette)
Note: All items on display at the exhibition can be purchased. Pick-up dates of items sold will be organized at checkout and begin following the final exhibition day.
We are beginning our next lineup of exhibitions with none other than Hender Scheme. We couldn’t be more excited for this one! More details to come but for now, mark your calenders! The exhibition will be held at our NYC store in early September. The opening will be on the evening of Friday, September 9th. As we prep for the show in the coming weeks, we will be focusing on stories and behind the scenes features of the brand, starting with this Journal entry.
On our last trip to Japan we paid a visit to Hender Scheme’s founder and designer, Ryo Kashiwazaki at his headquarters in Tokyo. Here are images from that visit that include a few of the leather home goods you can expect to see at our upcoming exhibition. Over the years Ryo has become a really great friend of ours. It’s been a joy watching his brand develop and seeing the work that goes into his collections. Although we only carry Hender Scheme home goods at our store, we love seeing the process of his footwear collections unfold at his studio. The footwear sketches and final products are always innovative much like Hender Scheme’s leather home products.
The Hender Scheme offices occupy an entire four floor building located in the Asakusa neighborhood of Tokyo. It has awesome views of the surrounding neighborhood from his rooftop where the team often goes for breaks. Ryo situated the offices in this area to to be near his footwear manufacturers. These makers are skilled in traditional leather shoe smithing, something that not too many people still know how to do. Many are actually going out of business due to overseas manufacturing. Amiss this growing pressure, Ryo likes to work with these artisans, giving them a way to continue their craft. One that is slowly being lost.
Since Ryo recently had a baby he has been quite the busy man but he is always so generous with his time, showing us around to his favourite restaurants and bars in Tokyo. We’re looking forward to finally being able to return the favour when he comes to New York in September.
It’s my first time in the country, and the world I find myself in seems completely deliberate. The path of each bicycle, the cadence of each step—there’s intention. It’s not simply carrying out a chore, it’s more the fulfilment of a duty. Satisfaction, versus mere acceptance. It’s a subtle shift, and it makes a world of difference.
This ubiquitous pride in the small things is impossible to conjure unless, generation after generation, people have devoted themselves to the value of their traditions. You find proof of this devotion everywhere. From the kindness of shop owners, to the depth and quality of the products they carry. A knife, crafted in the same manner for hundreds of years, will prepare recipes that have been perfected thru repetition. Those dishes will be served on tableware formed by that same artistry, and known intimately by the individuals sitting down.
There’s a communal heritage connecting each routine to the next, creating undeniable balance. A collective harmony worthy of its process. What a feeling it must be, to be certain of the legacy you’re deepening. What a treasure to be so sure of your days.
White-gloved fingers point with reverence, precision; polished black shoes move to their position on pristine platform tile. Suit sleeves are inched back to study the hands of well-worn watches. The train should be arriving, and so of course it does.
Elegant and reliable and meticulously-designed Shinkansen trains slice thru the countryside. They’re among the swiftest in the world, yet as you sit and watch your surroundings blur past, all is silent. Stewards walk down the aisles and warmly greet their new passengers, making sure all are comfortable. Reaching the end of each train car, they turn and bow, and move to the next. These routines are performed with the same, genuine respect that’s injected in every nuance of service as you traverse Japan, and it’s infectious.
From the world-renowned bullet trains to the underground metro, the routine of travel is taken seriously. Commuters line up orderly, ride quietly, exit graciously– conduct tacitly suggested by those ushering them. Their uniforms represent their line of work, but it’s clear by the manner in which they wear them, they stand for plenty more. A heritage, a home. And as hosts of such a home, there’s cause for pride.
There’s an easiness to it all. Reliability in a trade where you aren’t used to finding it, and it frees you up a bit. To focus on a job of your own. To read a book, catch up on rest. Or simply to observe it all, and appreciate the diligence which grants you such permission.
Wednesday marked the last day of this year’s NYCxDesign Week as well as the end of our one-week long MATUREWARE by Futagami exhibition. We showcased Futagami’s new brass fixture line and the complete Futagami home goods collection. The owner of the company, Toshihiro Futagami and the designer of MATUREWARE, Yamazaki Yoshiki, flew all the way from Japan to witness the international debut of their collection at our store. It was particularly exciting for Yamazaki as it was his first time in New York. It was also a great opportunity to see people’s reaction to his other works in addition to MATUREWARE, like Onami and RetRe. New York welcomed him with open arms! In between showing our guests our favourite spots in the city, we spent a couple days setting up of the exhibition. We made it a point to install each fixture so viewers could really see how the mechanisms worked and especially to get a sense of Futagami’s signature sand-casted brass texture in action.
We’ll leave off with images of the setup and a glimpse of the opening reception but first we wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone involved with MATUREWARE for the company’s big win! On our ‘last supper’ with everyone before they had to take off to Japan, we suddenly received word that MATUREWARE had taken home the grand prize for Best Hardware of 2016 in the inaugural NYCxDESIGN Awards! The award was presented by Interior Design Magazine and ICFF and boasted a very influential list of judges. Well deserved to say the least. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
We can’t wait for our exhibition next week! We’ll be showcasing the complete Futagami collection in addition to their latest architectural hardware line, MATUREWARE. More information about the opening night where we will be unveiling the collection can be found here. In anticipation for the event, I just wanted to share some images from a recent Futagami foundry visit since it’s fresh in my memory. I am always mesmerized when owner Mr. Toshihiro Futagami gets involved in the brass casting process. It never ceases to amaze! He told us in the past how his favorite part of the making process is releasing the fully set brass out of it’s sand mold to reveal a completed object. After witnessing the tedious casting process a couple times now, I understand the joys in taking a material like brass and transforming it into a beautiful design. Just wanted to give a small glimpse into the world of Futagami and leave off with these images.
As some may have noticed, we have an exhibition coming up that we’re very excited about! On May 11th during NYCxDesign Week, we will be showcasing the new architectural hardware collection MATUREWARE by Futagami at our Manhattan gallery. More information about the exhibition can be found here.
We just received the items from Japan in preparation for the showcase. Each piece is so beautiful, it was one thing seeing them in progress during our meetings at the Futagami foundry in Toyama, but another to actually hold the completed versions in our hands. Since we are displaying architectural hardware, we’re looking forward to actually mounting each piece so viewers can get a sense of how they look in a home or commercial setting after installation. We’re also looking forward to transforming the whole store around to accommodate the collection for that special week so expect a completely different look!
We hope you can join us during the special event, especially all the fans of the Futagami home goods collection. In the meantime, we will leave you with a few images from the MATUREWARE catalogue.
We welcome you to join us in the celebration of the international launch of MATUREWARE and the first complete Futagami home goods showcase on the evening of Wednesday May 11th, 2016, at Nalata Nalata.
MATUREWARE, an architectural hardware line by time-honored Japanese brass foundry, Futagami, is designed by Yamazaki Yoshiki and directed by Oji Masanori. The nearly fifty-piece collection features the company’s signature crude-cast texture called Ihada, throughout a range of solid brass fixtures for commercial and residential spaces. The texture produced by sand-casted molds, ages with time, eventually producing a rich patina unique to Futagami’s solid brass objects.
The collection currently offers fixtures in 5 categories: Door Handles, Switch Plates, Shelf Brackets, Latches and Name Plaques.
Launching internationally during NYCxDesign week at Nalata Nalata, the MATUREWARE collection represents a pioneering endeavor for handcrafted brass objects in the realm of architectural hardware.
• Opening Reception: May 11th, 7:00PM-9:00PM. Meet designer Yamazaki Yoshiki and owner Toshihiro Futagami. Refreshments will be provided
• Venue: Nalata Nalata, at 2 Extra Place, New York, NY, 10003
• Nearest Metro Transit: F (2nd Ave), 6 (Bleeker), BDF (Broadway Lafayette)
Note: All MATUREWARE exhibition items are available for pre-order. The Futagami collection of home goods will be available for purchase during the exhibition. The exhibition runs until May 17th.
Poster designed in collaboration with Megan Hall of Basislager Atelier.
In the Part I recap of our recent trip to Japan, we ended with a glimpse of Kyoto. Here is Part 2 for that trip, starting where we left off.
We began with an authentic tea ceremony in Kyoto at the En Tea House in the historic Higashiyama district.
I absolutely love drinking from traditional green tea cups that are shaped like bowls, without handles. The traditional Japanese teacup shape differs from that of Western cultures, making for a rare experience in that sense.
The whole ritual of a tea ceremony is magical. All the essential components and tools used during the ceremony like the tea bowl, scoop, whisk, caddy and chakin cloth, all feel like precious objects. The manner in which the tea master prepares and presents the matcha in perfect sequence is nothing short of a highly skilled performance. Of course having casual tea or an informal tea gathering, chakai as they call it in Japan, can be a ritual in itself but we highly recommend checking out a formal tea ceremony if the opportunity arises. We’re looking forward to bringing a lot more products that promote Japanese tea culture into the store in the coming months, so be on the lookout for more teaware.
The next morning we wake up at daybreak to catch the train to Gifu, where we would be meeting with Mitsuhiro Konishi. Our meeting was very brief last year and I left feeling evermore curious about the specifics of Konishi’s craft as a metal artisan who specializes in hand-hammered flatware. This skill is uncommon in our generation of craftsmen so we made it a point to check out his process during this visit.
Konishi lights up his torch and begins heating the spoon shaped metal cutouts. When the metal is red hot, he places it into a mold made out of a harder metal alloy and begins shaping the spoon with his hammer. It’s loud, but fascinating to witness the spoons come to life with each hammered facet.
Before heading back to Tokyo, Konishi shows us a few sketches of forks and points out the retirement center across the street from his workshop – a Tadao Ando designed building to our surprise. Thank you Konishi for welcoming us to your studio!
I was really looking forward to circling back to Tokyo where we’d be making more studio visits, the first with designer Oji Masanori.
We’ve met with Oji on multiple occasions in Japan and New York when we hosted the Yukari and Kumu exhibitions. He has been incredibly gracious to open up his home and studio in the past, each time giving us a deeper understanding of his design process. The visit was a tremendous pleasure this time around because we had the chance to see Oji’s new studio and more importantly, to meet his wife, first son and adorable newborn baby boy, Isshin. His meaningful name translates to “one heart”.
I was especially curious to see how Oji lived with his own designs, giving me new perspectives on how his works could be integrated into the home and office, like his very handy Sojirushi brooms for an outdoor space. It’s always great to chat with Oji and get the inside scoop on all his projects, especially over COEDO beers.
Rina Ono graciously invited us into her home as well. She and her husband Tadanori even prepared a home cooked meal for our visit. It was really awesome eating from the Cara wooden dinnerware line in particular. Didn’t know Rina was such an amazing cook too!
She also gave us a sneak peek into her latest designs, standing bamboo storage baskets. What struck me the most however was how blonde the finish of the bamboo weave appeared. I had a thought that they would be a nice addition to our white-on-white bathroom in Brooklyn. Thank you for the incredible hospitality Rina and Tadanori!
Later that evening, we caught up with Daisuke and Kenichi of 10¹² Terra in Chiba.
We discovered many changes at the 10¹² Terra studio since our last visit. They showed us new products including a glass pendant in development. It was very exciting to realize that the design studio was beginning to expand into new product categories, especially the realm of lighting fixtures. Always a pleasure meeting with these two emerging designers and seeing their new creations!
Sometimes memories become a bit of a blur when you’ve been living out of a suitcase for days, jumping cities and hopping from one train to the next. The morning of Day 11, with it’s 4am call time, was one of those hazy moments. It didn’t help that we had a 4 hour road trip to Nagano ahead of us to visit the glass blowers, Studio Prepa. Matt snoozed in the back of the tiny sedan while Taku and I traded off at the wheel. It took me a while to adjust to driving on the right side of the road (and car), so it was quite the adventure to say the least.
Studio Prepa’s workspace is in a beautiful airy building that they constructed themselves beside their home on the mountainside of Nagano. The workspace is enormous! It’s able to house all their glass blowing equipment, shaping tools, dyeing solutions and prototypes.
We met Mizuho and Katsuhisa of Studio Prepa a few years ago but this was our first visit to their workshop. We’ve always been fond of their blown glass pieces, so to be able to get a glimpse of their renowned techniques was a very precious experience.
Watching the husband and wife duo working together in perfect harmony was very special as we’ve always had an affinity for couples that work together, for obvious reasons. Synchronized in all their movements, they have to ensure there is no lag time when working with the hot glass. Timing is key. Sharing is also key! Something I realized when they began trading off tools in order to demonstrate how to make a lotus bowl.
Nagano was also the site of the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. It’s a place of great disappointment for most Canadian hockey fans like myself, as our men’s hockey team failed to win a medal. The road trip up to Nagano was a little bittersweet in that sense but once we got to Studio Prepa’s studio, it was all smiles and warmth from this talented husband and wife team. Thank you to Katsuhisa and Mizuho for making a big space for Nagano in my once bitter heart.
Back in Tokyo, we were invited for dinner at Yakumo Saryo on Matt’s last night in Japan. We thought it was the perfect place to end off his journey. Although we don’t have a photo of Matt because he was behind the camera most of the time capturing images for our upcoming publication, he was a huge part of this trip. It was awesome having him as my wingman!
Yakumo Saryo combines a restaurant, tea salon and store, a lifestyle vision of renowned designer and owner Shinichiro Ogata. We were honored to have dinner there, especially since we will be carrying the Simplicity collection of home goods in the near future. The dining experience was imbued with Ogata’s philosophy of bringing a traditional Japanese culture to a modern audience. He is involved in all aspects of Yakumo Saryo, from architecture to the preparation of the menu. With a focus on Kaiseki cuisine, the dishes are prepared with the freshest seasonal ingredients. The ingredients rotate monthly and the restaurant’s seasonal food guide is available on their site. We were thrilled to find out that the ingredient for the month of March was an Amadai Tilefish. The fish was treated with so much care, the chef even made sure to present it to us before it was cooked. I have to say, the food was amazing but eating off of well-considered cutlery and dinnerware added even more to the experience… just as much as something like a fine wine would in Western dining.
The next morning I needed coffee to jumpstart the last couple days of the trip. I’ve always wanted to check out Connel Coffee designed by Nendo. It’s located in the Sogetsu Kaikan building designed by architect Kenzo Tange in the 70s. On top of all that, the building also houses a rock garden designed by Isamu Noguchi. A haven for design enthusiasts, to say the least!
If you’ve shopped our products and read their first-person introductions, you’ll quickly realize that we’re big fans of double meanings. Which is why I was really drawn to the mugs of Connel Coffee, each with their own unique hand formed ceramic handles. The café’s name is a play on the Japanese word for “knead”, a nod to Nendo’s namesake, which actually means “clay”.
After caffeinating, I dropped by the Kiso Lifetsyle Labo offices to say hi to Takanori, check out their latest products and run over our designs. We are in the midst of developing a new line of hinoki wood objects for the bathroom with the company and can’t wait to unveil it! Stay tuned for more design process Journal entries as we move forward with this collection.
I couldn’t have ended the trip on a better note than at a confectionery store, specifically, Higashiya – the confectionery store of all confectionery stores, designed by none other than Shinichiro Ogata. True to Ogata’s design philosophy, he has taken an incredibly old Japanese convention and brought it to a modern time where today’s patrons can enjoy and understand the true pleasures of age-old traditions in their contemporary lifestyles. The art of wagashi in this case.
There are a couple locations. Higashiya Ginza is incredible although this time I went to the Aoyama district location, Higashiya Man. This location charmed the pants off me. It is tiny and even has a window that you can poke your head into to see their famous one-bite wagashi being made daily. If you can’t make it to the physical store, you can drool over the book by Shinichiro Ogata that documents the evolution of Higashiya with beautiful images.
Check out Part I here and stay tuned for more from our adventures in Japan as we update our Journal in the coming month.