Poetic craft: a debut show of Kyoto-based brand Sfera at Clerkenwell London

design emporium
Japanse brand Sfera are showing in London for the first time at design emporium Clerkenwell London.
(Image credit: Dan Weill)

Design showroom Clerkenwell London, located in the heart of the cultural district, presents Kyoto-based brand Sfera’s debut in town, with new pieces presented alongside their previous collections. 

Handmade in Japan by artisans from the Kyoto area, the pieces designed by founder Shigeo Mashiro and his creative team explore a variety of Japanese traditional crafts through a modern design gesture. 

The company expanded on the bamboo and porcelain combination they debuted earlier this year, with a collection of vases that combine the two materials (as well as glass) in a functional yet poetic expression. The collection is the result of a collaboration between the brand and Kohchosai Kosuga, a company founded in 1898 who specialise in bamboo weave. The asymmetric combination of the woven baskets with the glazed glass and raw edged ceramics in pastel shades creates an innovative group of objects that exquisitely exemplify Sfera’s craftsmanship efforts. 

Another new collection on show is a series of chairs crafted from three types of wood – cherry, maple and quince – combined with a wide range of upholstery options, from traditional fabrics to butter-soft leather. Other furniture pieces include the textured wooden stools and a copper-topped side table, finished with a turned and textured chestnut base.

The exhibition also celebrates the earlier collaborations between Sfera and the Kyoto prefecture; seen together, the collections are a testament to the company’s ability to pay tribute to Japanese craft in a contemporary way, and to the local talent for skilfully manipulating materials to create an enchanting range of desirable objects.

Wood candle holders

Included in the installation is this series of candle holders created in collaboration with metal artist Chikako Ueda and woodworker Takatsugu Matsumoto. Using the natural grains of local woods (cherry, ash, oak, maple, zelkova and castor aralia) and mixing these with effects of different metals and metal-hammering techniques to create geometric pieces

(Image credit: Dan Weill)

Bamboo traditional crafts

The Kyoto based brand explores traditional crafts through a modern design gesture. Pictured: the bamboo and porcelain combination which they debuted earlier this year

(Image credit: Dan Weill)

bamboo craft

The collection is the result of a collaboration between the brand and Kohchosai Kosuga who specialise in bamboo weave

(Image credit: Dan Weill)

woven baskets

The woven baskets are combined with pastel-coloured glazed glass vessels...

(Image credit: Dan Weill)

porcelain vessels

...and with asymmetrically shaped porcelain in similar hues

(Image credit: Dan Weill)

Bamboo vessel

The asymmetric combination of the woven bamboo with the raw edged ceramics in pastel shades creates an innovative group of objects that exquisitely exemplify Sfera’s craftsmanship efforts

(Image credit: Dan Weill)

porcelain vases

All of Sfera's ranges are designed by founder Shigeo Mashiro and his creative team. Pictured: a collection standalone porcelain vases

(Image credit: Dan Weill)

wooden stools and copper-topped side table

New furniture pieces include the textured wooden stools and copper-topped side table, finished with a turned and textured chestnut base.

(Image credit: Dan Weill)

new collection of chairs

The installlation pays tribute to Japanese craft in a contemporary way, and to the local talent for skilfully manipulating materials. Pictured: another new collection of chairs on show

(Image credit: Dan Weill)

new collection of chairs

The chairs were rafted from three types of wood – cherry, maple and quince...

(Image credit: Dan Weill)

new collection of chairs

...and combined with a wide range of upholstery options, from traditional fabrics to butter-soft leather

(Image credit: Dan Weill)

Wood dog bed

Also on display are Sfera's humorous collection of dog beds, crafted from cherry and beech woods with an optional upholstered cushion for 'canine comfort'

(Image credit: Dan Weill)

Sfera exhibition view

The Sfera exhibition is on show till 21 November.

(Image credit: Dan Weill)

INFORMATION

The Sfera exhibition is on show until 21 November. For more information, visit the Sfera website (opens in new tab)

ADDRESS

155 Farringdon Road
London
EC1R 3AD

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Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.