American Guide #68 Jonas Kaku


waveRiding shotgun on the left hand side of the vehicle, I step out of the car and promptly just miss being hit by a bicyclist. As I step up on the curb I notice an Ozone sticker on the 6’ish fish and beat up skateboard in the foyer or in Japanese, genkan (玄関 ). Bro Anton makes with the very small talk as unlike America, in Japan one’s home is still ones private domain and protocal must be observed. Everything is cool and with warm smile and hearty Agetekudasai (上る 2: to enter (esp. from outdoors); to come in; to go in;) and we reply equally hearty ojamashimasu, (御邪魔します1: excuse me for disturbing (interrupting) you;
2: greeting used on going to someone’s home) we are welcomed into the home and workshop of Mr Jonas. After the quick but just as necessary greeting formalities, we are shown the digs.

Brotha Jonas’ workshop and home is cozy as well as busy. Did I mention it is also hot? Well your crib would be hot too if you had several kilns cooking glass full tilt too! You see pilgrim, Jonas is a master blaster or for the squares and the not in the know, an artisan (saikashi-細工師). Jonas’ work reflects his life and passions and I have lucked out as he is just going to beginin a piece and I am in for a treat. As once a piece is under way, there is no stopping with glass, the material is furnace hot and must be crafted when malleable. As I look on and ask J-Loc insufferable questions the brother answers all my curiosities as he works the gig. Dig the operation, craftsmanship and beauty.

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