Inspired by the lightweight construction of early hot-air balloons and aeroplanes, these large light pieces are designed to create a feature or accent in any environment, whether freestanding or hanging. They are fabricated by hand from mulberry-wood Washi paper using traditional and laborious techniques that are native to the mountainous Gifu region, with its clear streams of pure water needed for the paper making process. The aircraft-like framework is constructed from a local softwood similar to Cedar called Nagara Sugi.
About the Maker
Since its formation in 1891 as a Gifu specialty lantern maker, Ozeki has expanded its market both in Japan and internationally. Based on both business performance and distinctive techniques, their products have been highly acclaimed, demonstrated by over one hundred awards won at various domestic and international exhibitions. Ozeki was granted the Blue Ribbon Medal (Ranju hosho) in 1958 and the Fifth Class Order of the Sacred Treasure in 1971 for their achievements to the Gifu Lantern industry.
Ozeki’s devotion to developing new products has led to several dozens of patents, utility models and design registrations. They supply their Gifu lanterns (traditional Bon festival lanterns) to department stores nationwide as well as exporting the Isamu Noguchi “AKARI” products to the US and Europe. Always seeking new opportunities is Ozeki’s aim that has been handed down throughout generations.