The Tajika Exhibition of scissors and shears is still going on for a couple more days but it’s been such a great show we wanted to give an early recap of the event this time around. In case something catches your eye, you still have a couple days to check out the exhibition in person or inquire over email. Takedown begins Friday evening (October 28th) and our gallery will go back to regular inventory starting Saturday morning.
On opening day Daisuke Tajika spent the afternoon helping us set up the show. Just a few moments before opening our doors for the evening, we dimmed the lights and Daisuke added last minute touches to the displays, which included over 80 pairs of scissors and shears! As the only items lit up, the scissors looked incredible in the recessed display shelves with light bouncing off the blades.
Once we opened, guests went straight for the sample scissors. We set up demo stations to give everyone a chance to try the scissors out for themselves. It’s one thing to read about what makes Tajika scissors special but another to actually feel them in your hands – the weight and tension, the sound as the blades perfectly snip through leather, paper or branches. It’s a wonderful sensation.
We couldn’t have been more excited to have Burrow cater the event. We’re huge fans of this Brooklyn based pastry café. Aside from the scissors of course, pastry chef Ayako Kurokawa’s scissor inspired, “super pointy” pies were another highlight of the night. So much so that Ayako’s assistant, Phoebe, couldn’t hold on to them for longer than a half hour. If you didn’t get a chance to try their pies at our show, check them out at their charming little café in DUMBO, or check out Ayako’s awesome instagram account here.
Daisuke also brought with him displays that showcased the work in progress of certain models of scissors. The displays depict various manufacturing stages, including assembly, forging and molding. Personally I liked the work in progress display of the Herb Shears that showed about 15 steps of the making process. Some of their more complex shears like their Kevlar scissors take up to 200 steps.
Another special addition was actually an item that belongs to Daisuke’s father, Takeo Tajika. Brought with him all the way from Ono City. The hammer is one of Takeo Tajika’s favorite tool that he uses everyday when working on the production of their collection. A self-made tool, the handle has been used for around five years. His fingers naturally create the grooves in the wood through continued usage. When the handle is completely split, he replaces it but continues to use the steel head that has been in his possession for decades.
The ‘Scissor Blade Inspection Machine’ was another interesting device. It is used to detect distortion in the blades alignment by the use of light that refracts against the scissors. Just one of the many machines invented by Takeo Tajika to solve their company’s various production issues ensuring the highest quality end result.
Opening night was a success! The next morning Daisuke came by to say his goodbyes and give each pair of scissors one last polishing. Seeing him care for the blades so carefully made me realize how truly dedicated he is to his craft.
We also took this opportunity to have him re-explain the scissor machine his dad invented. To be honest we still don’t understand how to use the machine very well! I’d imagine it takes many years of training for the eye to detect the ideal blade alignment.
The portrait above is of Daisuke Tajika. As one would expect, he has a heavy responsibility moving forward as the next in line to manage his family’s business. Although it’s a big task, after spending the week with Daisuke and getting to know him, everything about his heart, mind and creative spirit, has us confident that the next evolution of the Tajika studio is in good hands. We will miss him and cannot wait to meet again later in the year for another update.
Special thanks to Jacob and Ari for their help in the installation setup. To our friend Stefan Ayon for capturing photos during the opening reception and for being ‘on point’ with his scissor puns. Thank you also to the Tajika family’s friend, Noriyasu, for his wonderful translations the whole night. To Matthew Puntigam of Dandy Farmer for preparing the green touches and to Matthew Johnson for providing the black and white behind the scenes images that lined the walls of our gallery. Again a huge thanks goes out to Pablo Luis for the music and Ayako Kurokawa of Burrow for the pastries.
The Tajika scissors and shears collection will be available for a limited time after the exhibition and a selection will be made available online in a few weeks.
With our upcoming Tajika exhibition just around the corner, we wanted to delve a little deeper into the relevance of showcasing over 80 pairs of different handcrafted scissors! As one of our client’s said it best, “You know how crazy that sounds, right?”
We met the Tajika family before we even started the store. We liked the family’s story so much because for multiple generations they have been incredibly focused on one craft and one craft only – the art of making scissors. We knew we needed to have their scissors available when we launched because they were a brand we could truly stand behind with their incredibly well handcrafted products. At the time, many people gravitated towards their Copper Household scissors but when we visited their two-story studio in Ono city we found that they also produced many other types of scissors that were just as fascinating for the reason that each were directed towards a specific purpose. It made us think that the most basic tools that are taken for granted, could actually be specialized.
Since our first encounter with the Tajika family over three years ago, we’ve been slowly collecting scissors that contribute to the way we see the simple act of cutting in our everyday lives. For example, the SLD Steel Fabric scissors are the scissors that Angélique uses to cut fabric and the Household scissors are what we use to wrap gifts at the store. Prior to this, we only used one pair of scissors for everything, admittedly with dull blades and plastic handles. It was only after discovering Tajika that we realized it’s quite a joy to use the right tools for the right purpose.
Members of the Tajika family, originating with Daisuke’s great-grandfather, have been the only owners of the company, making it a family-run business for four generations. Decision-making, production, marketing, even packaging is done by the family members. At the moment the team includes three people: Takeo Tajika, his wife and their son, Daisuke Tajika and the three literally do everything themselves. Daisuke is in line to succeed his father. With this great responsibility, he expanded the company and created what is officially known as the TAjiKA brand, which currently has about seven or eight pairs of scissors, for example the Branch and Root Shears, Garden Clippers and Herb Shears, just to name a few. Many of the other specific types of scissors are in reality the brand TAKEJISAKU – the original scissor brand that Daisuke’s forbearers conceived. In a way, we are catching the brand and witnessing their evolution during a transition of ownership between father and son.
Much like their scissors, it’s fascinating to see machines that the Tajika family has developed for specialized tasks. Whether large or small, each machine in their atelier, located just across the street from their home, is meant to help produce an important component of a single pair of scissors. When we inquired further about the machines, we discovered the most captivating part to be how the father, Takeo Tajika, actually engineered most of them. We couldn’t believe that he had invented and made a lot of the apparatuses and tools that solve different scissor production issues that they have encountered throughout the years. Although the company was an inheritance, Takeo Tajika has clearly helped to push the boundaries of their manufacturing capabilities with his ingenuity.
It’s also refreshing to see Daisuke put his own spin on things. Whether he creates a new pair of scissors or expands on an idea his father created, it’s interesting to hear the stories of all these developments collide and flourish from nothing into tangible products. Each pair of scissors has a story and we’re really excited to be a small part of it with the introduction of our very own pair of Tajika x Nalata Nalata scissors, ‘The Blackened Scissors’ that will first be made available on the exhibition opening night and online soon after!
The Tajika collection, scissors that we consider to be the finest in the world, is created from the minds and hands of one family and to support an extinguishing craft is quite gratifying to say the least. I guess this exhibition is particularly meaningful to us because of the transformation we’ve seen Tajika undertake in just a few years. Four generations in and Daisuke Tajika is taking a huge leap of faith to represent the Tajika company, the one his great-grandfather started over a century ago, to showcase at their first international exhibition in New York in the pursuit of finding opportunities and connecting with new communities. When people ask us why we started Nalata Nalata, this studio is a good example of why. It goes without saying that a history as rich and an expertise as rare as the Tajika family’s should be shared with the world.
“An Exhibition of Handcrafted Scissors and Shears”
We have been planning this upcoming exhibition for quite some time and are very excited that it’s almost here. We are even more excited to tell you about the details!
On the evening of Friday, October 21st, we will be celebrating the official launch of a one-week exhibition at our gallery that will showcase the complete collection of scissors and shears by Tajika! Over 80 pairs of different handcrafted scissors and shears for specific purposes will be on display. Join us on this special evening as we welcome the atelier’s fourth generation owner, Daisuke Tajika, to New York City for his first international exhibition!
To coincide with the opening, we will also be introducing a collaboratively designed pair of scissors – the “Blackened Household Scissors” by Tajika x Nalata Nalata. The shape of this pair of scissors is based on the much-loved Copper and Household Scissors that we carry and use in store when we wrap gifts, but the finish is very different. We were inspired by the “Kuro-Mura” blackened brass pendants by Futagami because we really liked the way they aged over time, taking on a patina that is a very deep, saturated black. We were very interested in creating a similar richness in shade and decided to work with Daisuke to produce a pair of everyday scissors that has the same principles.
Details are as follows:
• Exhibition Dates: October 21st – 28th, 2016
• Opening Reception: October 21st, 7:00PM-9:00PM. Meet Daisuke Tajika. Pastries provided by Burrow
• Venue: Nalata Nalata, 2 Extra Place, New York, NY, 10003
Note: The scissors and shears on display can be purchased with the exception the Tajika family’s archive pieces. Pick-up dates of items sold will be organized at checkout and begin following the final exhibition day.
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.