Greetings from Ikeda Kana
I was born in Imari and raised in Arita, the two neighboring towns at the heart of one of Japan’s most famous and longstanding ceramics traditions. It is known by a few names: Imari-yaki, Imari-Arita-yaki, Imari porcelain.
Showkado is my family business, although I only joined it in 2009. Just a few years ago, I was working in Tokyo in the food service industry. I knew almost nothing about the making of Imari porcelain.
I undertook a period of intense study, visiting museums and reading books that would give me insight into my family business. One day, I found myself in the cosmetics section of a department store. I had always applied makeup with a sponge, but there I noticed a cosmetic brush with a particularly nice design. I bought it, tried it, and realized I would never go back to sponges. I used that brush until the design on its handle had been worn off completely!
In the Arita-Imari area, archaeological digs often unearth the ceramics that were produced here centuries ago. And if you wash the dirt off this old Imari porcelain you'll see the original design, still there and as beautiful as ever.
Try one of our Imari porcelain cosmetic brushes. They are elegant, unique, and timeless, both in style and durability. This is design that won’t wear off.
When we decided to begin making Imari porcelain cosmetic brushes, our first question was: “What about the brushes themselves?” It wasn’t long before we focused our attention on Kumano, a town in the Hiroshima area renowned across the world for its brushmaking. We decided we wanted our brushes to come from a Kumano brushmaker.
After some consideration, we felt that one brushmaking company would be the perfect fit: Chikuhodo. After introducing ourselves over the phone, and renting a car in Hiroshima, we set off for Chikuhodo’s studio in Kumano. As soon as we arrived, the president of Chikuhodo came out to greet us. We hit it off right away.
Actually, Imari porcelain has a longstanding connection with the brushmakers of Kumano. The most important tool when painting our ceramics is, you guessed it, a brush! And makers of Imari porcelain use mostly Kumano brushes.
Kumano has over 170 years of brushmaking history. And over the past two decades, Kumano has established itself as the world’s premier cosmetic brushmaking center. Top makeup artists from around the globe swear by Kumano brushes.
Kumano brushes and Imari porcelain are two indispensable parts of Japan’s craft tradition. We are thrilled to bring you both, together, in one superior product.
The perfect brush
Each of our cosmetic brushes is really two amazing products: an Imari porcelain handle and a Kumano brush. But the two products are made in different parts of Japan. How do we bring them together?
This was one of the first things we discussed with Chikuhodo. Here’s what we decided: At Showkado, here in Arita, we produce and inspect the brush handles. Then we ship them to Chikuhodo in Kumano, where they make each brush, and attach it to the handle. This process requires a tremendous amount of care. Most cosmetic brushes have mass-produced plastic handles, all of them exactly the same. Even a millimeter change in size or diameter makes a big difference. We must achieve this level of precision with our handcrafted porcelain handles.
Our artisans pay incredible attention to every detail of the production process: where exactly the ceramics are put in the kiln, how wet they are when they go in, even the weather outside. They also account for the fact that ceramics tend to contract in size when they are heated.
Chikuhodo, for its part, measures each handle one by one, and makes its brushes accordingly, for the perfect fit.
This is no ordinary brushmaking. And the result is no ordinary brush.
【Detailed Product Description】
Width, height: 36x65 mm
Brush height: 45 mm
Ceramic: Amakusa porcelain (Kumamoto Prefecture)
Colours: Blue, red, yellow and green on a white ground
Brush: goat hair, squirrel hair (select raw materials imported from Canada, China, and other locations)
Colour: Brown mixed with black
Options: standard wrapping or gift wrapping.
Normal time required for delivery: approx. one week inside Japan.
If the item is temporarily out of stock,
shipping may take up to a maximum of two months.
【Options for use】
For the application of a foundation or powder, and for the removal of
excess powder from the face.
Applied powder should take well and look natural.
Use with a light touch to stroke the whole face and finish make-up gently.
The effect will be soft and natural.
Take good care of this brush and it will last a long time.
* Remove powder from brush by gently stroking it on tissue.
* For more thorough occasional cleaning:
Fill a washbasin with warm water.
Mix in soap or shampoo.
Gently squeeze out dirt from brush.
Immediately rinse with water.
Dry with a towel, taking care to remove all water.
Re-set the shape of the brush hairs.
Always dry away from sunlight.
* Please keep out of the reach of small children.
* Rough use may result in the loss of brush hairs or damage to the
ceramic base. Please use with care.
* For safety's sake, avoid use if cracked, dented or broken.
* If the brush appears to be a poor match for your skin, please stop using it.