Buried treasure

Nendo's "Oke" collection of drinking vessels are made using 2 000-year-old wood.

Using traditional and contemporary wooden bucket-making techniques, Nendo’s Oke collection of drinking vessels and wine bottle holders are miniature versions of traditional Japanese wine barrels.

Japanese design studio Nendo collaborated with barrel maker Nakagawa Mokkougei to create the collection that comprises a tumbler, drinking cup, sake cup and sake pitcher.

Unconventionally, the studio decided to bind the individual wooden slates with only one metal hoop, rather than the usual two seen on traditional wine barrels. The adjoined pieces are made from a thicker wood to give strength and durability to each drinking item.

Using only one hoop makes for a clean look, and the thicker wood has a strong, comforting feel against the lips when lifted to the mouth, says Nendo founder Oki Sato.

To soften the hoop’s metallic gleam, the studio developed a new technique of first sandblasting to create a matte texture and then colouring the material with a powdered paint.

The larger Uneven-Oke Bucket has two hoops to make it distinctly reminiscent of a wine barrel.

The lighter pieces are made from Japanese cypress, the traditional material for buckets, while darker vessels are made from Jindai Cedar, a rare darker wood that has been uncovered after being buried in the earth for more than 2 000 years.

Both woods are treated with urethane in order to keep warping due to ultraviolet rays, dirt and moisture to a minimum.

The Oke collection will be unveiled at Tokyo Designers Week from 26 October until 4 November 2013.

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