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Great Glass Working Skills of Tsukinoyo Glass Works

"Glass" is a familiar material that we come across in our daily lives.
Unlike mass production facilities which uses machines, we have come across a glassworks which continues to protect the highly skilled work of crafts people, to produce wares which can only be produced by hand.
We will be introducing several glass working skills from a glassworks which has a rich history of housing master craftsmen.

70 design
Nov 04,2019 Deadline
  • 募集開始 Sep 02,2019
  • 募集終了 Nov 04,2019
  • 結果発表 Feb 13,2020

Gunma Prefecture, Tone-gun, Minakami-cho, Tsukinoyono District. Here lies Joetsu Crystal Glass Co., Ltd. [Tsukinoyono Glassworks] which overlooks the Tanigawa mountain range and the clear waters of the Tonegawa river. This is where products which make the most of these talented craftsmen's skills are created on a daily basis.

This company founded in 1905 has been at the frontier of glass molding for over 100 years and continues to do so to this day. They produced Japan's first glass thermometer, delivered lighting glass to the Imperial Palace, Imperial Hotel and National Assembly Building, provided the glass used to restore Chusonji Golden Hall and other various National Treasures. They have been making highly complex glass works, accepting the most challenging of glass molding requests, turning out great numbers of master glass craftsmen.

The company continues to protect and progress a variety glassworking skills and techniques which are becoming rare these days. This has allowed them to embrace wide range of glass molding techniques, giving them a special place in glass manufacturing.

For these reasons, they frequently receieve requests for order made glasswares from long-established shops and from artists to create works of glass art.


This time, applications are open to the public, to come up with product plans which make the most of these glass forming skills!

① Free Blowing Method

A glassforming technique that involves inflating molten glass into a bubble using a blow pipe. The craftsman wraps a glob of molten glass around the end of the blow pipe and blows into the pipe to create a bubble which can be shaped.


  • As a mold is not used, there is great freedom in forming the glass
  • The shape formed is varies on the glassblower's preferences therefore, this technique is not suitable for mass production

<Examples of Usage>

  • Ornaments etc

② Mold Blowing Method 

Molten glass is wraped around the end of a blow pipe, which is then placed inside a mold. The glassblower blows into the pipe to make the glass conform to the shape of the mold, thus shaping it.


  • There is considerable desing freedom in designing the shape of the mold.
  • There is little room for individuality between craftsmen, leading to a highly consistent end product.
  • This technique is not suited for making flat shapes.

<Examples of Usage>

  • Glassware such as cups, lighting glass etc.

③ Spindle / Centrifugal Casting Method 

Molten glass is placed into a die which is spun at high speed, allowing centrifugal force to spread to form the glass into the shape of the die.


  • It is a low cost method of forming glass compared to other methods.
  • There is little room for individuality between craftsmen, leading to a highly consistent end product.
  • As an opening to pour in the molten glass is required, this method can only be used to make items with open tops.

<Examples of Usage>

  • Plates, bowls, glass cups etc

④ Stretching Method

Molten glass is placed on a flat mold and stretched to form its shape.


  • Suited to forming flat shapes.
  • It is possible to have embossed patterns and grooves on the surface of the mold.

<Examples of Usage>

  • Flat plates, shallow bowls etc

⑤ Die Casting Method

Molten glass is poured into a die to be cast, creating a solid glass end product.

<Special Features>

  • There is little room for individuality between craftsmen, leading to a highly consistent end product.

<Examples of Usage>

  • Chopstick rest, paper weights, glass blocks etc

■ Joetsu Crystal Glass Co., Ltd. Unique Glass Forming Methods

◎ Tanigawa Method

An advancement of the 'Stretching Method'. Molten glass is placed on a flat mold, and is shaped in three dimensions before it hardens.

<Special Features>

  • 3D shapes of uniform thickness can be formed.
  • High degree of design and shaping freeodm.

<Examples of Usage>

  • Items such as plates which take design inspiration from nature

■ Secondary Processing Technology

① Sand Blasting

Fine particles of sand are blasted onto the surface of the glass at high pressure, removing a layer surface glass.

Areas which have been sand blasted will have a frosted surface finish.

② Transfer Application

A transfer sheet is based onto the surface of the glass, allowing patterns to be transferred to the glass. Brightly coloured tranfers can be applied which are not only beautiful but highly durable too.

◎ Other Processing Technologies: Cutting, Drilling etc.

■ Products Created by Joetsu Crystal Glass Co., Ltd.

■ Craftsmen's Comments

Our company can make pretty much anything out of glass so long as the strong enough. We have received many reqests over the years from people who have had their requests declined from other factories but, we have been able to make their dreams come true on countless occasions, making the glass products they thought once impossible. We believe that our company's dedication to "meeting the customer's needs" and our superior "glassworking skills" are paramount to making customer's dreams come true.

In this day and age where there is an abundant choice of materials which are light, durable and functional, it more important than ever before that we show the world the beauty of glass. This is why we need the help of creative individuals out there, in order to maximise the potential our glass holds.

■ Thoughts on Submitting Product Plans

I am eagerly awaiting your product planning submissions (product concepts + designs) which make the most of our [Glass Forming Techniques]!

We are also happy to accept either product designs or concepts alone.

<Product Concepts> 

  • For whom?
  • To meet what needs?
  • What kind of value does it hold?

<Product Design>

  • Product size and features
    * Approximate size: something that can be held in your hands
  • Naming, packaging
  • Give details on what differentiates your concept from existing products etc


Evaluation Criteria from Executive Board 

  • The concept must clearly be a novel, fresh product
  • It must make the most of the craftsmen's unique skills and techniques
  • It ought to enrich the lives of the people who use it
  • It should be appropriate for dispatching to the world
  • It must follow the brand statement issued by Tokyu Hands
    * Brand statement can be viewed here

Tokyu Hands Product Categories

We would like to ask for product plans to fit into one of the following categories.

  • Interior: furniture, lighting, storage etc
  • Housewear: kitchen, dishes, bathroom and toiletries, cleaning supplies etc.
  • Hobbycraft: handicrafts, crafts, models, gardening supplies etc
  • Outdoors: camping equipment, sports equipment, weather equipment, vehicles etc
  • Bags & Travel: bags, suitcases, travel goods etc
  • Health & Beauty: health products, costmetic goods etc
  • Variety: gaming, party goods, mobile goods etc
  • Stationery: stationery, albums, office supplies, design equpment etc
  • Tools & Materials: tools, disaster prevention goods etc

◼︎ The Process of Commercialisation

The product concept / design submission deadline is [November 4th 2019].

Evaluation results are expected to be announced between mid December and mid January.

After prototype production, we will sell the product at Tokyu Hands shops and online shopping website, targeting all customers including inbound visitors.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section. We are very much looking forward to your participation!

Tokyu Hands and TRINUS have collaborated in product development and sales to deliver this open product development competition. The following prizes will be presented to creators who's product plans are chosen for adoption.


  • Prize money of up to ¥200,000 upon adoption of your product proposal
  • The opportunity to participate in prototype development (optional)
  • Sales royalty of 3% if your product succesfully makes it to market


  • There is a possibility that several products may be adopted.
  • If the product concepts and designs are adopted in their entirety, a maximum of ¥200,000 prize money and a maximum sales royalty value of 3% will be awarded. However, if a part of your concept is adopted, the prize money and royalty will be proportional to the contribution of the idea in the final product.
  • The sales royalty can be awarded for a period of up to five years
  • The sales royalty is calculated based on the wholesale price of the product. As the amount of royalty money awarded is dependent on the sales of the product, we cannot promise any specific value.
  • We cannot promise that the product will be commercialised and make it to market, even if it is adopted in this competition.


How to apply 

  • You must submit more than one image. Please provide a title and description for your product plan.
  • Please submit the images in JPG, PNG, or GIF file fomat.
  • You have freedom on how you wish to present your submission. Examples include product plan reports, idea plans, idea sketches, CG renders, drawings, photos of prototypes etc.
  • Each image submitted must be no more than 16MB in size.
  • Images will be resized to [720x480px] when published.
  • A maximum of 6 files may be submitted


Marking Criteria 

  • The product concept must demonstrate high demand on the [Want it!] page, receiving support from many users.
  • The product concept must receive high levels of praise from the executive office (including buyers at Tokyu Hands)
  • The product concept must follow the application guidelines and be feasible to manufacture
  • The product concept must not be too complicated such that it can be manufactured and sold at a reasonable price.

※Please read the terms and conditions for further detail


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  • hiroaki.928watchman
    スパムとして報告する hiroaki.928watchman 訂正

  • hiroaki.928watchman
    スパムとして報告する hiroaki.928watchman 現在東急ハンズで扱われていた商品を使った作品でも応募は可能ですか?
    スパムとして報告する TRINUS ご質問ありがとうございます。

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