Spotlight: The Feast

Dinner Date: Michiko Sakano 

Design Miami

A meet-up with the celebrated glass artist

This month we're celebrate the launch of The Feast, a fabulous new dinner party collection created specially for DM/BX by interior designer Kristen McGinnis and a talented set of NYC-based creative studios. In honor of the occasion, we made a date with collaborator and acclaimed Brooklyn-based glass artisan, Michiko Sakano.

The Feast, curated by Kristen McGinnis. Featuring one-of-a-kind works by artist-designers Jeremy Anderson, Yolande Milan Batteau, Farrell Hundley, Michiko Sakano, and Hiroko Takeda. Photo © DM/BX.

Originally from ​​Kanazawa, on the West Coast of Japan, Sakano comes from a family that has carried on the tradition of kimono making for generations. Sakano points to her creative upbringing and the influence of traditional Japanese aesthetics—including minimalism and craftsmanship—as ongoing inspirations in her celebrated glasswork. In addition to crafting her own pieces, Sakano is also a respected glass fabricator, collaborating with a variety of designers and artists, including the likes of Lindsey Ademan, David Weeks, and Jorge Pardo, on prototypes and custom commissions that combine the latest technologies with time-honored traditions.

We sat down with Sakano to learn more about her approach; her, new handmade wine and water glasses and carafe for The Feast; and her definition of the dream dinner party.

Glass artist Michiko Sakano. Photo courtesy of the artist

What was the inspiration behind the gorgeous glasses and carafe you’ve created for this special collection?

The inspiration came from the textures, minerality, and material quality found in aged Greek, Syrian, and Roman glass. I think the white milky color quality is so magical.

Please tell us a bit about the making process.

Glassblowing is one of the oldest forms of making of course; the tradition has not changed since the Egyptian era. In my studio, I work with molten “sand” at about 2100 degrees. I blow into a stainless steel pipe with molten glass on the other end.

Glassware by Michiko Sakano for The Feast. Photos © DM/BX

Beyond this particular collection, where do you generally find inspiration for your work?

I love the color and texture possibilities of glass. I take textures from different building materials, and my colors are often inspired by a book of Japanese kimono fabric sample colors. My family has been making kimonos for two generations in Kanazawa, so I have a strong connection to that tradition.

How would you describe the connective thread running throughout your work?

I focus on traditional glass making, embracing classical forms executed with superior craftsmanship.

Goose Egg Bowl by Michiko Sakano. Photo by Lauren Coleman; © Michiko Sakano

What do you most hope people take away from encounters with your work?

The comfort of using handmade glass. It’s a very special, very different experience than holding a machine-made piece. There is a lightness and an elegance to the feel of the handmade.

After the isolation of the past year, we’re all eager to reconnect. When you think of a dream dinner party these days, what comes to mind?

I would love to go to a desert in Mexico with my mates. We’ll build a fire pit; make soup or stew on the fire for days.  Different friends come and go. We play music and hang out. That is my dream dinner party! ◆


Shop The Feast, only at DM/BX.