Koshu Crystal Carving
This craft started some one thousand years ago, after quartz was found near Mount Kinpu beyond Mitakeshosenkyo, which is famous for its beautiful views. When it was first discovered, it was used as an ornament but by the middle of the Edo period (1600-1868), Shinto priests were taking the raw material to Kyoto to have them made into gems.
Koshu Suisho Kiseki Zaiku started in the latter days of the Edo period, when master craftsmen were welcomed to the area and began polishing quartz on an iron sheet using a emery powder called kongousha made from a very hard stone, rather in the way that diamonds are polished.
Ornaments and items of jewelry are being produced today. Many of these pieces have been created to make the most of the distinctive features of the natural gem stone, meaning that no two items are alike.
Koshu suisho kiseki zaiku features a variety of products that each bring out the unique beauty of the natural crystals used, and no two works are alike.
How to make
The process of Koshu suisho kiseki zaiku is divided into two key stages of shaping the crystal and then polishing. An iron drill is used to carve the crystal using five key techniques: lattice carving, carving to raise a section in relief, carving to lower a section, line engraving and flattening.