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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.