Collection: Japan | Titanium Beer-Cocktail Tumbler Sets | Living Color Collection

Titanium As Art - The Rainbow Metal


Titanium might not seem like a very "romantic" material, but it has some very unique, amazing aesthetic qualities. 

These innovative Living Color Titanium Tumblers are colored not by paint, not by dye, but colored only by light itself!

Long used in the medical, aerospace and other industries, this material is not only strong and antibacterial but can also mysteriously reflect light in any color! With creative and innovative precision engineering technology, titanium can be "coaxed" to take on light - naturally - and color objects for contemporary life.

Meet the Metal Craftsman of Titanium

Titanium Metal Craftsmans T. Horie Japan

It may seem an unlikely combination, but craftsmanship, design and engineering skills all came into play to create these unique tumblers. From Japan, meet a veteran, metal man, and tumbler designer Takuji Horie, whose curiosity, determination, and specialized metal-work skills combined to create vivid colors from titanium. 

Mr. Horie's chance encounter with the “rainbow metal” began one day when a cheeky neighbor came by his shop with an odd sheet of titanium metal and a request for a garden planter.  But this was something new. “To be honest," Mr. Horie later admitted, “at the time I didn't know anything about titanium!"

But Mr. Horie's curiosity was piqued. He produced that planter and, in the process, discovered a very unique, untapped, underappreciated, and extraordinary aesthetic quality of titanium: The ability to take on amazing color only from light itself.

Mr. Horie continues to be the only metal-craft company in the world to have mastered this difficult, color-by-light technology. As Mr. Horie himself often says "the only one!"

Titanium:  Not just a pretty face

Titanium Sparkle Cocktail Beer Tumblers Purple-Pink and Blue

As a craftArt titanium is sometimes playfully called the Rainbow Metal.  And given its amazing light reflective qualities, it is easy to see why! But titanium is not just a pretty face as it has other qualities, and benefits, as well. It is an ideal, new material, in particular for these amazing Living Color Tumblers because:

  • It is unusually lightweight and easy to hold
  • It does not rust
  • It is odorless
  • It does not give any metallic taste
  • Has antibacterial properties
  • Additionally, the double-wall structure of the Living Color Tumbler Series ensures cold drinks stay cold longer, and hot drinks stay hot longer as well.

These tumbler sets are also well matched with cocktails, teas and juices as titanium keeps drinks cold for a long time.

How Does Titanium Color?

Titanium, one of the most common metals on earth, reacts with oxygen at high temperatures naturally producing a very thin oxidized film on its surface. It is that film, titanium dioxide, that is important for producing colors.

According to Mr. Horie, by carefully and precisely controlling the thickness of that film, colors can be created. The film thickness is controlled by applying a precise strength of electrical voltage for a precise amount of time. In the end, when light hits the film - COLORS! As Mr Horie explains, "the color from titanium materializes by controlling the thickness of the titanium oxide (TiO2) film. This is same principle by which rainbow colors appear on a soap bubble."  The technology is innovative. The execution is precise. The results are fun and amazing!

Titanium On Display: At the Olympics

London Stratford Shoal Titanium Leaf Sculpture 2012 Olympics

For Mr. Horie, titanium for manufacture and metal design holds tremendous, aesthetic opportunities in addition to the Living Color Tumblers. Eager to explore other designs for the rainbow metal, Horie was quite receptive when approached for a new and exciting project across the ocean: The 2012 London Summer Olympics.

The 2012 Summer Olympics in London presented a fantastic opportunity for Mr. Horie to showcase years of effort and work to perfect capabilities for design and coloring with titanium. Known as the “Stratford Shoal Sculpture”, this glittering forest of titanium "leaves" was a collaborative effort of designers and manufacturers including Mr. Horie, to create a captivating, visual greeting to the tens of thousands of visitors heading to the Olympic Park in the summer of 2012.

The 250-meter sculpture is a spread of steal branches topped with 73 giant “leaves” of titanium that change as the light passes, shines bright and fades in the passing day reflecting to warm reds, yellows, blues and greens. The changing effects of the colors in different light, in fact, were one of the reasons the designers chose titanium as this reflective and changing color quality gives the effect of movement - as if the large leaves were blowing in the wind. This large, colorful sculpture still greets visitors to the area today.

Metalwork Backstory

Mr. Horie’s own story, together with his company in Tsubame City in central Japan, is intimately entwined with the history of an area where metalworking dates to the Edo Period back some 400 years. Here metalwork began long ago in the area starting with the production of nails. This area is known as a center for metalware production in Japan. It is also world-renowned for metal craftsmanship such as hand-hammered copper work, hand-forged products and the manufacture of products using state-of the art-technology.