Sunday, 16 September 2012

Wind Chime Maker

My previous post about Penang last silversmith, reminded me another man that I want to write about. A wind chime maker.

His tiny little wooden shop sit quietly next to the main road leading to Kamakura-Daibutsu (鎌倉大仏殿高徳院), with only a wind chime hung right at the entrance, tinkling with each summer breeze, chiming welcome message to whoever passing by.

Wind chime is one of the most popular souvenir to get when you travel in the ancient part of Japan like Kyoto, Nara in Kansai area or Kamakura in Kanto area. But what you might get is an industrial product with a little sticker - "Made in China". I"ve nothing against products made in China and it's contribution as the wold's factory, but when you consider something as a piece of art or craft, the artisan & stories behind them is what you should seek into, and it worth way more than the souvenir itself.

Wind Chimes Maker

Mr. Kikuchi (菊地 眞さん), the wind chime maker, is an artist as well as a scientist. Besides the appearance, the colors, he demands a perfect sound. He recorded the wavelengths for each of the wind chimes showcased in his store. "Each chimes have its own unique note, its identity, depends on the pressure applied during the hardening and tempering process, " he said, "And to achieved the desired tone with certain wavelength, repeated tuning is needed."

The chimes is finished with a layer of silver coating and smoked with bamboo fire.

Bamboo smoked Wind Chimes

Try look for this shop on your next trip to Kamakura, Mr Kikuchi is kind and speak good English :).

Address: 〒248-0014鎌倉市由比ガ浜1-10-11

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