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Tsuiki Copperware - Gyokusendo

Hand-crafted copperware brought into being by techniques forged through the ages

At Gyokusendo, the rhythmic striking of hammers that reverberates throughout its workshop is a rousing, life-giving refrain, for it symbolizes the first step in transforming plain sheets of copper into exquisite, handcrafted masterpieces.
Established in 1816 and now in its seventh generation, the family-run Gyokusendo is a master of the tsuiki technique of shaping copper by striking it with a hammer. Niigata Prefecture’s Tsubame City, where Gyokusendo is based, is the last bastion of this craft, which requires a tremendous amount of time, effort, and attention to detail.
For preserving and perfecting this ancient tradition, Gyokusendo has not gone unrecognized: its tsuiki techniques have been designated as an Intangible Cultural Property. To this day, Gyokusendo’s tea kettles, sake vessels — indeed all of its creations — are painstakingly made by hand. Each is a finely crafted work of art that shimmers iridescently and is intricately textured with patterns such as mosaics.
Visit Gyokusendo’s studio in Tsubame for an in-depth, up-close look at the intricacies of this magical craft. Browse their collection and take home an exquisite masterpiece. As you take it into your hands, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the generations of master artisans that brought it to life.
2-2-21 Chuo-Dori, Tsubame-shi, Niigata

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