Release | Fumiko Magota
Ryuho Glass Museum in Abashiri has glass pieces which express nature of Okhotsk
Searching for the ecological ingredients30 minutes drive from Memanbetsu Airport. Ryuhyo Glass Museum’s square shaped building faces the Sea of Okhotsk. The building is spacious with the high ceiling so customers can take a look at glasses in a relaxing atmosphere.
▲It has enough spaces even if customers come with large baggage.
There are about 500 items from small pieces such as accessories to big ones such as lightings. The number of items never make customers bored.
▲“The pieces of drift ice”. In winter, drift ice arrives in front of the building.
▲Flower base and plates look like water surface reflecting sunlights.
▲“Mio” expresses water route of the Sea of Okhotsk.
▲“Yukino” expresses powder snow.
“Comparing to Venetian style glasses sold in Otaru, our glass pieces have pale colors, right? We use motifs of nature in Okhotsk such as sea and ice, which is more transparent. “ The manager of the museum and also a glass artist Akira Gunji Told us. “Comparing to Venetian style glasses sold in Otaru, our glass pieces have pale colors, right? We use motifs of nature in Okhotsk such as sea and ice, which is more transparent. “ The manager of the museum and also a glass artist Akira Gunji Told us.
The unique point of their glasses is that they use recycled fluorescent light glass “Eco-Pirika”, which are produced in Rubeshibe Town in Kitami City next to Abashiri, for the ingredients.
“When I was looking for ecological ingredients, I happened to know that a big disposal facility for fluorescent lights collected from all over Japan, is located nearby. It was serendipity.”
Usually, the ingredients of glass work are wasted bottles or windows, and they are not recycled ingredients. Comparing to that, Eco-Pirika has “slightly green” color.
They also sell the ingredients, wishing the number of people who use Eco-Pirika increase.
They also have products using other recycled materials such as shells of scallops and used batteries. “Hokkaido has lots of hot springs, so one day, I would like to try using sulfur.” Mr. Gunji told us.
▲“Mirage of ice (Genhyo)” series sprayed shells of scallops. Mirage of ice is a mirage looks as if drift ice is floating on the horizontal line. This is the most popular dish product.
▲“Battery Brown” uses used batteries. The amber color comes from manganese of batteries.
You can also experience glass workshop!At the studio located in the back of the shop, customers can experience glass workshop and can create original glass products.
Scoop melted glass with blowing stick and turning the stick as blowing and creating the shape… it’s a common process seen on TVs, etc., but it feels different when you actually experience!
They teach slowly and kindly.
▲You can experience to create shapes after blowing the stick.
The glass on the tip of the stick looks beautiful, but the temperature is about 1300 degrees!
Be careful not to touch them and listen to what staffs say to enjoy the workshop.
▲Finished! Glasses can be taken home after two days cooling period. Of course, they can send the glass later, too.
If you are looking for some souvenirs to represent Abashiri, you should stop this museum!
Text / Hokkaido Likers writer Fumiko Magota
Photo / Yasuyoshi Otaki