Takeshi Sano

Takeshi Sano was born in Funabashi City in Chiba Prefecture east of Tokyo. After graduating from the Tokyo Glass Art Institute in 1986, Takeshi Sano spent seven years working at Notojima Glass Studio in Ishikawa Prefecture. While there, Sano headed to Australia to study at the Canberra School of Art, where he studied conceptual glass making. In 1998, he and his wife, Youko Sano, established the Glass Studio SANOSANO in Toyama, a coastal city 200 miles north west of Tokyo. Sano's work has been exhibited at national and international exhibitions and won numerous awards, including the best Japan Craft award at the Japan Craft Exhibition 2017.

His signature technique combines burning different glasses together in a kiln, a technique known as fusing, with glass blowing. Sano's art is a good example of Western glass making techniques applied to creating pieces that reflect the Japanese sense of beauty. Even when Japanese glass artists apply Western techniques, particularly the Czech technique of cutting glass, they create patterns which differ from Western glass art. These patterns are often less geometrical and more fluid. It is also common to leave some of the glass untouched. The space, intentionally left blank, provides expression similar to Japanese traditional painting.

‘I picture in my head what I am making before I start working on it’, Sano says, ‘But as the item is shaping it usually turns into something new. I like the unpredictable life of an object and that every single item is unique’.


Takeshi Sano with his wife, Youko Sano

 Inside the Sano studio


Takeshi Sano has developed a particular technique to make his signature pieces which combines fusing blocks of different coloured glass in a kiln, with glass blowing. Sano first creates cylinders of coloured glass. Pieces of coloured glass are put together and heated to fuse the pieces of melted glass together. The molten glass can then be shaped. Sano can apply some carbonate soda before adding another layer of molten glass to the top of the cylinder. The sealed carbonated soda turns into bubbles which remain imbedded in the glass.




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