The Tetsubin Project
Project Leader: Professor Hans
Project Partner: Michael Rowe
This research project, generously funded by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, focuses on tetsubin, the traditional Japanese cast iron technology used for the creation of domestic scale objects. The centres of Japanese tetsubin production are Morioka in the north and Kyoto in the south of Honshu.
Professor Hans Stofer and Michael Rowe undertook a visit to Japan, in order to observe traditional and industrial methods of tetsubin production. This included a visit to the tetsubin studio of Mr Nobuho Miya, Director and designer of Kamasada Tetsubin Studio. At the studio they were able to see the pouring of molten iron and the tetsubin teapots being cast. They also discussed: mould design, mould materials, mould-making, furnace operation, temperature controls, pouring procedures, post production techniques such as annealing/carburising, truing up, cleaning up, handle making and surface finishes.
The knowledge gained during their visit will inform future teaching at the RCA, including the cultural importance as well as technical achievements of tetsubin as a process. This project was also an opportunity to reconfirm contacts with Japanese academic institutions as well as develop new industrial partnerships.
Page authors: Dr Peter Oakley & Tara Stebnicky