Lue makes brass products such as a cutlary, stationary and accessory.
The small studio is located in Setouchi city, Okayama. Brass is an attractive material which the color changes with daily use. Lue always works keeping their products to be used with fun and cherished for long time.
Ruka Kikuchi (also known by his nickname Lue) makes objects that match with the lives of ordinary people, hoping that every time one of his items is picked up and used it brings great pleasure and will last for many years.
Lue has two different product lines, handcrafts and industrial. Making each item by hands is the heart of Lue, where and how Lue comes from. There is the shape which only humans' hands can produce. Hands are more delicate and accurate tool than any machines. Although he makes all his works by hand, he has recently started to explore the production of industrial metalwork, cutlery that is made by workshop machinery. He hopes that he can push his craft to more people with this option, using top quality metal and interesting design solutions, for example one flat piece of brass punched with a single mold. All of the works stocked are handmade by Lue himself and feature unique markings, such as little scratches and hammer marks where the craftsman has been at work.
What is your background and how have your past experiences fed into your art?
I grew up in Kurashiki, which is well known as the city of Japanese folk craft arts in Okayama, Japan. There are many museums, galleries, small shops, and cafes, thus many artists have lived there. My parents are some of those artists, and they have mainly made brass jewelry which they have sold on the street. I helped them make jewelry since I was a kid and had opportunities to meet artists like my parents, thus becoming exposed to many art type such as ceramics, pictures and so on. Because of this environment, I thought would become a jewelry artist. However, I became interested in brass cutlery when I worked part time at a Kaiseki-Ryori restaurant, seeing the combination of foods and handmade dishes used there.
Do you feel that your environment feeds into work and if so, what makes your work distinctively Californian?
Now I live in Okayama, Japan but my works would be influenced by Californian traits such as chill, free and easy if I lived in California. I hope I can live there someday
What are your top 3 studio essentials?
People, tools, and materials.