Located in Abashiri, overlooking the Okhotsk Sea, is the “Ryu-Hyo Glass Museum,” which opened in 2010. Located in the same building is the glass workshop 'Ecopirika', a glass producer which takes old fluorescent lights and recycles them into new glass works. Here the annual ice floes and natural beauty of the area are captured in unique, handmade glass works.
Ecopirika products are based on the idea of “making beautiful glass works while minimizing the negative impact on our environment.” Each year the Ecopirika uses around 9,000 tons of recycled glass, which has all been taken from used fluorescent lights and detoxified at a facility in the town of Rubeshibe in Kitami. They also make use of other recycled materials from around town in their glass production, including discarded scallop shells. Works are based on themes inspired by the natural beauty of the Okhotsk Sea. These includes series such as Ice Illusions, Snow, and Waterways. Let’s take a look at some of these works!
▲From the 'Ice Illusions' series. This sake drinking set features a pattern inspired by ice floating in the sea. Made with a ground scallop shell powder. (Sake-serving bottle and cup)
Written by / Hokkaido Likers writer Chiaki Uzurahashi