+  Lue Brass

photo credit: Lou Mora for Kinfolk Magazine

Born in 1983 in Soja, a city located in the Okayama Prefecture of Japan, Ruka Kikuchi (also known by his nickname Lue) was trained under his father, Masaaki Kikuchi, to be a metalworker. After a six year apprenticeship he began, in 2006, making his own cutlery and tableware under the studio name of Lue Brass. In 2010 the award-winning designer relocated his studio from Soja to Setouchi, where he now creates and pursues his craft.

Simplified down to the bare essentials, for Lue and his craftspeople, the work they do is designed to bring functionality and pleasure into the everyday lives of ordinary people, gracing their homes for many years to come with its natural beauty. Meticulous attention is paid to every detail, from the judicious selection of raw materials to the practicalities of ergonomic form and balance, which give these utensils their distinct and pleasing aesthetic style. Each piece being unique, they are a happy marriage of old world Japanese craftsmanship and modern design, of whimsy and functionality, of everyday object and otherworldly objet.

Although he makes most of his works by hand, Lue has recently started to explore the more industrial production of metalwork that is made using workshop machinery. He hopes that he can push his craft to more people with this option, while still incorporating his signatures of using top quality metal and a keen eye for detail and interesting design solutions. Lue and his craftspeople make all of the original models by hand first and then bring them to the skilled workers of the factory to execute.