約二年の開発期間を経て、誕生した ARAS の開発の裏側。 石川樹脂工業と secca が目指した「食器の新たなカタチ」とは。

after about two years of development period, the back side of the birth of aras. with ishikawa resin industry and secca aimed at a "new catachi".

Drawing out the beauty of resin, we create tableware that can be used for a long time and that people will want to use.

Why did you launch a new brand called ARAS? This was the result of the desire of Ishikawa Jushi Kogyo, the manufacturer, to "change the world with materials," and the desire of secca, the designer, to "update the dining experience with the power of materials. We will deliver a better dining experience by maximizing the power of materials and giving form to tableware that has never been seen before.

From left: Tomokazu Yanai, secca; Tsutomu Ishikawa, Senior Managing Director, Ishikawa Jushi Kogyo Co.

Through interviews with chefs at various restaurants, Mr. Uemachi and Mr. Yanai of secca noticed that they (the chefs) had a common problem. In a 100-seat restaurant, the average monthly breakage is 200,000 yen worth of dishes (about 50 items). As the restaurant grows in size, it is necessary to increase the number of staff to handle the business. The greater the expenses, the more difficult it becomes to pursue ideals in terms of tableware and cuisine. Owners and chefs are forced to choose dishes based on the assumption that they will break. This limits the amount of money they can spend on a single piece. As they listened to their customers, Mr. Uemachi and Ms. Yanai came to believe that they could solve the problem with high-quality, unbreakable tableware.

The development of new products was also motivated by the two's thinking from the standpoint of pottery production. Once ceramics are fired to transform the material, the broken and no longer needed pieces have no choice but to be disposed of as landfill waste. The two were keenly aware of the problem of "continuing to produce garbage that cannot be returned to the soil.

We can't say that breakable materials are always bad.

Mr. Uemachi says. There is an aspect of "good because it breaks. There is a flavor and drama that only glass and ceramics can bring out. They have a charm that cannot be substituted, and they broaden a chef's range of expression. The duo developed their image to present new options for chefs while respecting the advantages of existing materials.


Why Resin Vessels Have Not Been Chosen for Fine Restaurants

The most common unbreakable material is plastic. Despite the fact that resinous vessels have existed for a long time, they have not been used in high-end restaurants until now. There are several reasons for this.

It is based on consumers' memories of the past. Porcelain is a material used in restaurants, and it leaves an impression on us as a high-quality material, including the sound it makes when touched with hard cutlery. Resin, on the other hand, is often used in "disposable" products such as "toys" and outdoor products from a young age.

We call glass, ceramics, and lacquer ware made of wood the "real thing," while products that imitate the appearance of these materials and are created with only their "unbreakable" function as an advantage are called "fake products. The term is used to refer to a product that has been used for a long time. Both the creators and users of vessels have created a hierarchy based on differences in materials.

Humans have a habit of perceiving "natural things" as beautiful. Few people are offended when they see a sunset over the ocean, cherry blossoms in full bloom in spring, or autumn leaves changing colors in fall. In a similar vein, people find beauty in crafts that have "expressions and shimmering shapes that are naturally created by the natural phenomena of the materials. Even if there are several pieces of the same design lined up in a row, each piece will have a subtle difference in expression, and the tabletop will never become inorganic.

In contrast, resin products created through a mass production system are basically made using molds, and many of them are inorganic in shape. In a world where homogeneity of materials has been considered "right," most products have an even texture. As a result, the products tend to have a copied look without individual differences, and consumers tend to get bored with them.

In addition, there is the issue of "mass. Compared to glass and ceramics, resin often feels "cheap" because of its lightness. For example, when a porcelain bowl and a resin bowl of the same shape are placed side by side and compared in the hand, the latter is lighter and has a floppy sound, making many people feel that it is a bowl for infants.

These factors, which could have been advantages if viewed from a different perspective, led to the impression of them as "out of place" in high-end restaurants. From a certain aspect, mass-produced resin products have strengths that can only be realized with this material. Mr. Uemachi and Mr. Yanai thought that if they could take advantage of these strengths and realize natural "fluctuation" like craftwork, resin products could be viewed from a perspective never seen before.


Ishikawa Plastic Industry Technology

The word "resin" is used to describe a wide variety of materials that are being created every day. Ishikawa Jushi Kogyo has been actively discovering these materials and refining its own unique refining technology.

If we can create products that are comparable to glass and ceramics and that can be selected according to use and expression, it will ultimately lead to a better dining experience for those who use them.

Mr. Ishikawa says so. At the same time, it may be possible to clear up the misunderstanding of resin (plastic) as the villain of environmental problems, which has been an issue for Mr. Uemachi and Mr. Yanai. With this in mind, Ishikawa and secca developed a design concept with an appearance that could be used by professional chefs in high-end restaurants to serve high-quality food.

Rational design of natural motifs

Based on the above "design that overcomes the shortcomings of resin and makes the most of its advantages," Ishikawa Resin and secca set about product development. The material used this time was a new recyclable material called glass-filled tritan resin. Tritan was also used in Plakira, which received high praise from many customers as "unbreakable tableware. On the other hand, because of its appealing glass-like transparency, it was easily scratched and its light specific gravity made it unsuitable for use in high-end restaurants.

In order to solve this problem, the specific gravity was increased by further interweaving glass fibers into the strong Tritan. The color irregularities were intentionally generated in the formed product to give it a craft-like appearance. The glass fiber content was fine-tuned, the resin injection conditions were reworked, and prototypes were made with the factory over and over again. Finally, they succeeded in determining the molding conditions that would produce the natural irregularity produced by the material.

In terms of modeling, the challenge was to take an approach that contrasted with the mathematical and inorganic modeling found in most resin products. The goal was to design a plate with an uneven surface to make meals tasty, and to design features that would allow wet and dry dishes with sauces to coexist (without sauces moving around and affecting other dishes), and to prevent steam from caging on the back of the plate when baked bread is placed on top of it.

When designing in the usual mold design sense, it is easy to adopt a series of regular stripes or dotted raised concavities and convexities through the mathematical modeling of digital design tools (3DCAD). In this case, however, a plaster block was made as a prototype, and the unevenness was created by hand using shapes found in nature as a motif, with an awareness of the ideal amount of unevenness, and the prototype was then scanned in 3D to create digital data.

The 3D CAD design was limited to flat surfaces on the backside, edges to prevent liquid spillage, and minute adjustments to the amount of unevenness shaped by hand, and the unevenness created by hand was basically the backbone of the design, intentionally eliminating any hint of digital. As a result, the form has an organic form that could never have been created by conventional methods, and when combined with the naturally occurring unevenness of the glass-filled tritan mentioned above, we succeeded in creating a natural appearance that cannot be seen in mass-produced resin products.

The important point is that the face is not an "imitation" of glass or ceramics, but rather a unique expression that can only be achieved with resin materials (i.e., a texture that perhaps no one has ever seen before). It was designed with a strong will toward the motif of "nature," rather than "leaving it to nature.

What lies ahead

I believe that the material called "resin" is the most common cause of marine debris, but what's worse is the act of discarding or being discarded. The answer to this problem is clear. It should be a resin product that people want to use for a long time. It is my hope that these products will become such products."

The three-way trilogy concluded with these hopeful words.

secca Profile

Craftsmen" possess a variety of skills, from traditional crafts to the latest technology. Artists" who create thoughtful beauty. Learning from the past, they create the future's

Designers" update their work to meet the needs of their customers. Based in Kanazawa, a city of food and crafts, this group of creators takes advantage of their respective strengths to create products from various perspectives. They are exploring the possibilities of craftsmanship with the goal of evolving a variety of experiences and moving the hearts of the people who hold them in their hands.


Profile of Ishikawa Plastics Industry

Ishikawa Jushi Kogyo Co., Ltd. began by making high-quality lacquerware wooden molds in the Yamanaka Onsen area of Kaga City, Ishikawa Prefecture, and selling them to the Wajima region. Since then, as a resin molding manufacturer

Always keeping abreast of changes and needs, the company has continued to stay ahead of the times by taking on the challenge of new technologies. Since its inception, the company has been involved in high value-added plastic products and has advocated manufacturing that is distinctly different from mass-produced, inexpensive plastic products. With its new brand, ARAS, which is a postponement of this trend, the company hopes to expand the fun of materials by using its own unique molding technology and environmentally friendly materials.

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