Collection: Patinated Copper Coffee Pot | Bean Canister

Japan | Copper Metal CraftArt Master

Master Coppr CraftArtisan M. Shimakura

Working from a family studio quietly nestled in the rice paddies of Japan's luscious countryside, Master CraftArtist, M. Shimakura draws encouragement from the deep historical roots of the area where metalworks began in the Edo Period (1603 and 1868) with the manufacture of  simple nails.>

Creating such objects of art – those that have value beyond the functional - takes years of apprenticeship and an almost single-minded dedication to the craft.  Many of these craft objects takes many weeks and sometimes months to mold, shape, fire and cool, sculpt and "shrink" into shape and finish with a blue patina and a protective coloring.  It takes a dedications to a traditional skill not many still practice - around the world!

Shimakura Masayuki Traditional Craft Award Plaque

Master Shimakura still uses those same traditional crafting techniques today and via years of apprenticeship, much with his father, and training and practice has earned the nationally acclaimed title of Master of Traditional Crafts awarded through the Craft Art Foundation of the Government of Japan and Industry. 

Rice-Fields-Niigata-JapanThe rice fields of Niigata, Japan. 

Hand-hammering a Coffee Pot | Bean Canister

Japanese Master Copper Artist M. Shimakura with handmade tools

The work of the copper artisan can’t even begin without the right tools. Since Tsuiki Copperwork is so specialized, most artisans, including Mr. Shimakura, own hundreds of specialized tools that they themselves have made. These typically include the mallets (iron and wooden) for hammering and specialized iron bars to hold the object as it is expertly shaped.

In addition to objects such as vases, Master Shimakura also explores more contemporary forms.  A coffee pot and canister may not be  "traditional" objects from Japan, but Master Shimakura has taken the traditional art of metal hand-hammering - Tsuiki Copperwork - in new and contemporary directions.To create a coffee pot/kettle base, Shimakura uses a single sheet of copper plate.

Japanese Master Shimkura Copper Hand-Hammerer at work

Blow after blow and strike after strike, up to several hundred thousand times, this one flat piece is carefully and meticulously hand-hammered as he “sculpts” and "shrinks" the copper into shape to form the kettle base and produce the signature dimpled pattern.

Throughout, the copper coffee pot (and its mate the coffee bean canister) is repeatedly heated in a furnace to make the copper more malleable for repeated rounds of hammering. For the coffee pot, the gooseneck spout is its uniquely special shining feature.  This ultra-slim spout is also amazingly hand hammered and so designed by the Master to deliver a smooth and steady stream of water over waiting grounds for the ultimate pour-over experience.

The pot and canister are then dipped in a special, boiling, coloring solution which produces bluish, sometimes purplish hues yet at the same time allows the relics of the copper color - and thus the intricate, detailed patterns of the Master’s hand-hammered work - shine through.   Finally, a lacquer sealant is applied to the finished product.