Ushio Konishi first trained as a historian at the Chuo University in Tokyo. After completing his course, Ushio studied glass making and graduated from the Toyama City Institute of Glass Art in 1993. He then moved to the US and worked at the Chatham Glass Company until 1996. Ushio then returned to Japan and established the Ushio Studio with Fujiko Enami in 1998 in the Kanagawa prefecture.
As well as working on his own pieces, Konishi gives lectures and demonstrations to glass educational bodies such as art universities and institutes nationally and internationally. His work is widely exhibited, often along with Enami’s work, throughout Japan, NY and Venice.
Konishi combines his two skills as a historian and an artist. He was once asked to make a replica of an old Venetian vase that was brought to Japan 400 years ago as a present for a samurai. The vase had been kept as a treasure in a castle, but was destroyed not long after it came to Japan when the castle was destroyed. Recently the fragments of the vase were dug up and Konishi was asked to make a replica. In another example of how Konishi combines his skills, he recreated the same colour as once used in Venetian glass a century ago, originally intended to resemble Japanese lacquerware when it was introduced to Italy. The sparkling green colour has become part of the palette which Konishi applies to his own pieces.
Konishi uses Venetian glass making techniques for his pieces, and is particularly interested in the Venetian lace glass technique. Although rather large pieces are preferred in the West, Konishi applies the techniques to traditional Japanese small pieces such as sake cups and jugs, and items used for tea ceremonies. Konishi’s work often consists of uneven shapes and slightly crooked lines, which reflect the organic aesthetics of Japanese work.