Craftswoman behind Black Barc and 340: An Interview with Mizuki Tsurutaka


What is Black Barc and 340?  How did they both come about?

Black Barc is a jewelry brand started in 2010 in Los Angeles.  340 is a brass home goods and accessory brand started in 2014 in Los Angeles.


How did you become a craftsman?  What is it like to be a Japanese craftsman in LA?

I learned jewelry making by working with a fine jeweler in Los Angeles. To be a Japanese craftsman in LA is very inspiring and fun. I used to take Japanese crafts and traditional techniques for granted when I lived there, since they were all around me, and now that I am seeing things from outside of Japan I feel that they are very unique.

What is your studio life like?  How do you balance the two brands? 

My studio life is very simple. I wake up in the morning and get a cup of coffee and go to my studio and start making things.  I usually go home by 8pm.   I balance the two brands by dividing the day.


What is your design philosophy and what inspires your craft?

My design philosophy is composed and inspired by long loved universal techniques and designs – as well as finding new ways of developing and passing on techniques to future generations. I hope that the products I make by pursuing this philosophy will produce products that can be used by all people, regardless of nationality, race, gender, and age — making their everyday lives more satisfying.