On the special edition of Arianna and Ikula, a small metal turquoise charm can be found engraved with the signature text, “FUMIKODA”. The Orii Blue charm is a visually a unique element to the design of the Arianna and Ikula, but what makes this charm so special is more than just its brilliant blue turquoise color, …it’s the process to make it and man who crafted it.
Meet Koji Orii, the man behind the innovative Momentum Factory Orii and creator of the Orii coloring process. Koji Orii is a 3rd generation Japanese Takaoka metal craftsman. Takaoka is a city that lays in the northernmost part of the Japanese Archipelago. It is an area renowned for their traditional methods of copper casting alloys.
As a child, Koji learned the techniques that had been passed down from his father and his father’s father. He always assumed one day he would inherit the family business, but after graduating he left for Tokyo to work and learn more about the modern business world and technology. It wasn’t until his uncle convinced him to continue the family trade that Koji decided to return to Takaoka.
However, the return was ill-timed with burst of the 1980s economic bubble and the demand of specialized items such as, traditional tea ceremony pieces, flower vases, incense burners, and customized buddha statues, all in decline. Koji realized he needed to do something to set himself apart from the competitors and create a new demand for his product.
Perhaps the artisans of the past would look upon Koji with disdain and disapproval, but what he did next set him in a new direction. He started experimenting with the 400 year old processes, using different temperatures and mixing different ingredients, such as fermented vegetables, vinegar and other organic compounds. For two years through trial and error, Koji discovered and developed a new way of creating brilliant colors each of them with their own unique pattern and brilliance.
His efforts were soon rewarded with acclaim from all parts of the world. Koji received awards for his ingenuity and creativity, and his products were in demand from industries all over the interior design and architectural world.
It is this devotion to his art that makes FUMIKODA proud to display Koji Orii’s work. By fusing the traditions of Japan with the technology of the new world, FUMIKODA bags strongly state the desire for a sustainable future with respect for the knowledge of the past.
For more of Koji Orii’s work:
Momentum Factory Orii