Mitsuhiro Konishi is a sculptor and blacksmith who creates handcrafted metal cutlery well known for its incorporation of textures. Konishi, originally from Okinawa, gained an appreciation of craftsmanship from his formal training as a sculptor. Sculptural characteristics are integrated into his flatware creations as a result. We will be having an exhibition of the artist’s works soon, entitled Table Elements, so we dug into our archives to find a few images from our visit to his workshop in Ena city, in hopes of further showcasing his unique process.
Konishi’s collection is special because its becoming harder and harder to find cutlery that is hand forged. Cutlery sets nowadays are usually stamped from sheets of metal, a process that is mainly machine made and finished. Forged cutlery on the other hand, is made from thick pieces of stainless steel. In the latter process, the steel is heated either in a furnace (or a blowtorch in Konishi’s case) in order to cut or shape them by repeatedly beating with a hammer and other tools.
The forging process causes the utensils to be very dense and in turn have unparalleled strength and weight. In reality, the two methods may be hard to decipher from an image or even in person just by looking at them but there are important differences that can be felt when one holds a forged utensil in the hand – Konishi highlights these characteristics in his works by integrating the marks of his hammering tools on the surfaces of each utensil. The pieces have crudeness and deliberate elemental features that we often associate with the Brutalist movement.
Konishi has invented all sorts of jigs and devices over the years to help him accomplish different shapes and series of cutlery. Since he shares his studio space with others he even built a wood hut that he enters in order to contain the loud sound of his hammering. The booth creates an intense echo but its directed backwards as he works to not disrupt others.
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Join us at the event and meet Konishi! You’ll get a chance to view new series of works alongside his ‘Mixed Metal’ series and his ‘Forged Steel’ series. Learn more about how each are made as Konishi will be bringing a display that will feature various steps from his production process.