“Dripping Water” process
Masakichi Awashima (1914 – 1979) was a Japanese glassware designer. He was a major figure in Japanese design after World War II. His company made both useful household items and things that were well-designed. He was known for the “dripping water” (shizuku) process, that looks like the soft, round shapes of old Japanese ceramics. Awashima made this style by pouring molten glass into moulds made of clay, stone, or metal. This made the finished pieces look like they were made by hand.
After studying design at the Japan Art School in Tokyo, Awashima worked for artisan Kozo Kagami, who had studied Western glass methods in Germany from 1935 to 1946. In 1946, he became director of the Hoya glass factory’s industrial arts section, where he stayed until 1950 when he formed the Awashima Glass Design Research Institute. He invented mould-blown mass production methods and patented the Shizuku (“dripping water”) glass technology in 1954, which has been employed by the Awashima glass firm (established 1956) for its distinctively textured ware ever since. Although it is formed with sophisticated processes and metal moulds, it has the feel and irregular forms of glass made in traditional ceramic moulds. The Invention Society of Japan gave him the Inventor’s Prize in 1956.
Hiesinger, K. B., & Bill, M. (1983). Design since 1945: published in conjunction with the exhibition “Design Since 1945”, Philadelphia Museum of Art, October 16, 1983 to January 8, 1984.
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