I first came across the works of Futagami several years ago through pictures showcasing sets of bottle openers and trivets. I instantly connected with them. The minimal, circular and cutout shapes pertained to astronomy and I’ve always had a certain affinity to anything of that nature. While the forms were appealing, so was the material. The gleaming brass was a perfect match for these celestial objects with names like Eclipse, Crescent Moon, Galaxy, and Sun. Recalling ornate relics and Persian vessels, I had never before seen brass casted in such minimal shapes, especially ones that were both aesthetically gorgeous and served a function.
In industrial design, there is always a challenge to find the right manufacturer for any particular idea. That right combination of designer and manufacturer is a very rare occurrence when you think of all the different kinds of motivations, goals and working styles that have to mesh. I believe Oji Masanori and Futagami, is that perfect union – A great example of the right designer and manufacturer working together to innovate and create something contemporary using traditional techniques.
Over lots of sake and nodoguro with president and fourth generation owner, Toshihiro Futagami, we’ve delved into the history of the company and its continual working relationship with Oji and Design. Our encounters with Mr. Futagami have always been informative and we are honored to be able to share our discoveries. In this Backstory, we highlight photos of their infamous casting process and give you a behind the scenes look at the Futagami foundry.
The interview was conducted in English and Japanese. Both languages are published so as to not lose any meaning in translation for native readers.