ARTIST INTERVIEW: Ruka Kikuchi of Lue Brass
Lue Brass makes brass products such as cutlery, stationery and accessories. The small studio is located in the city of Setouchi, Okayama, in Japan. Brass is an attractive material whose color changes, becoming calmer and deeper with daily use. Lue strives to craft pieces that will be used with fun and loved for long time. We spoke to Lue about their inspirations and creative process.
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.