Tajika – Scissors and Shears Exhibition Recap
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.