TOKYO Teshigoto
2020.05.27

Join SUZUKOU pewter’s [Trial Class for Making Flower-shaped Pewter Saucer]!

Workshop Experience

  • Content: trial class for making pewter tableware
  • Entry fee: 5,000 yen (tax exclusive) * including the cost for the materials
  • Time required: approximately 60 minutes or longer (depends on how fast you make)
  • How to sign up: Please sign up by calling or sending a facsimile in advance with the (i) date, (ii) number of participants, and (iii) contact information.  TEL: 048-296-4028  FAX: 048-296-4097
  • Note:* Please be dressed in clothes that you do not mind getting dirty.
    * Beside the trial class at the workshop, we are also available for an on-site experience.  Please feel free to contact us for details.

 


Ms. Yin (to the right), who experienced the [Trial Class for Making Pewter Tableware], and Mr. Nakamura (to the left), who coached her.

Try making tin tableware in the town of casting!!

Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture, also goes by the name of “the town of casting”.  “SUZUKOU pewter”, the manufacturing workshop of pewter tableware, is located at the portion of a residential area in Kawaguchi City.  Pewter tableware is made by following 3 major processes: casting, where the heated and liquefied pewter is poured into a mold, grinding down with a wheel to smooth the surface, and finishing by hammering the patterns.  This [Trial Class for Making Pewter Tableware] starts off with the “casting”.  It is a prime opportunity, as you do not encounter many chances where you get to see the melted pewter.  It was Mr. Yin this day, who has lived in Japan for 4 years as a student.  It was her first time to experience making a traditional Japanese craft, and she looked joyful throughout the class.

Feel the unexpected weight of the liquefied tin when you scoop it!!

Before starting to make the saucers, Mr. Nakamura of SUZUKOU pewter will give you a lecture on the major manufacturing process of pewter tableware.  Inside the pot installed in the back of the workshop, the heated pewter is casting silver light that looked like a mirror.  “Try scooping it with a dipper”, suggests Mr. Nakamura.  You will be surprised by the unexpected weight as you scoop.  Beside the pot, there is a space for grinding down.  There are many tools used for the grinding hanging from the wall.  Once you have had the tour of the workshop and learned through the manufacturing process of pewter tableware, now you will start manufacturing.


You will receive an explanation on the manufacturing process of pewter tableware.


Pewter melting in the pot.  This is called the “hot pewter”.

Choose from among the “balloon flower”, “plum”, and “cherry blossom”!

At the [Trial Class for Making Pewter Tableware], you will make a small flower-shaped pewter saucer.  There are 3 kinds of flowers; “balloon flower”, “plum”, and “cherry blossom”, and you will choose one shape of your favourite.  At the beginning of the class, you will cast the melted tin into the saucer-shaped mold, which is where you will get the shape of the “balloon flower”.  If you want the shapes to be the “plum” or the “cherry blossom”, you will need to cut the flower petals with scissors or file them.  Ms. Yin chose the shape of a “plum”, for which a round finish will be necessary for the flower petals.



The basis will be the “balloon flower”.  By adding changes to the flower petals, you can make a “plum” or a “cherry blossom”.

Cast the pewter in carefully from the gap of the mold!!

The mold of the small saucer was made by Mr. Nakamura by cutting out the illustration board as thick as 1.5mm.  It is a piece of duralumin plate, onto which Japanese paper is pasted, and the mold of the illustration board is in between.  According to Mr. Nakamura, although the liquefied pewter is about 230℃ hot, the paper board properly serves as a mold.  For the safety purpose, you will wear a pair of cotton work gloves.  After practicing in your head several times, you will scoop an appropriate amount of pewter with a dipper and carefully cast it into the mold.  In about 20 seconds, it will set and the temperature will decrease, so you can take it out from the mold.




Cast the pewter in carefully from the gap at the top of the mold.



When it is set, you will take it out from the mold.

File and arrange the shape of the flower petals!!

Once you have taken the saucer out of the mold, you will place a pattern on it and mark the points where you will cut to make the shape of a “plum”.  All you have to do now is to file it using tools.  It is an arduous work.  Once the shape has been completed, you will polish the surface lightly with a “golden brush”.


Cutting and polishing to make the shape of the flower petals of a “plum”.


Polishing the surface with a “golden brush”.

Make the flower petals upright with a wooden hammer to finish!!

At the end of the process, you will use a wooden hammer to strike the flower petals to make them upright for the finish.  Using a roundly dug wooden “hollow platform” and a wooden hammer, you will shape the saucer into a form.  Although Mr. Nakamura will show you how to do it at the beginning, it seems to require some skills to make the flower petals evenly upright.  Ms. Yin received meticulous instructions to “strike here a bit more”, and finally made a lovely “small plum saucer” exactly as she had imagined.


Receiving instructions to “strike here a bit more” and making the flower petals upright.  Polishing the edge at the end to finish.


The completed “small plum saucer”.  Ms. Yin would like to use this for a tray to put her key on.


“I enjoyed it so much”, smiles Ms. Yin, and Mr. Nakamura of SUZUKOU pewter who served as a coach.

Beside the trial class at the workshop, an on-site experience is also available!!

The manufacturing experience of at the workshop of SUZUKOU pewter is a precious one, as you can not only see the workshop and the tools but also try the casting.  Beside the trial class at the workshop, an on-site experience is also available.  Although casting is not available for an on-site experience, please feel free to contact them if you are planning to take advantage of the experience for some events.

  • Name of the company: SUZUKOU pewter
  • Address: 300-31 Genzaemonshinden, Kawaguchi-shi, Saitama Prefecture
  • Business hours: (10:00-17:00)
  • Regular holidays: Sunday, National Holidays
  • Website: https://www.takumi-suzukou.com/
  • Access: take a taxi from the “Higashiurawa” Station, JR Musashino Line (app. 2 km), or take a bus from the “Higashikawaguchi” Station, JR Musashino Line, destination Kawaguchi Station East Exit, and get off at “Genzaemonshinden” (5-minute walk from the bus stop)