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Iku Nishikawa

Originally from Japan, Iku worked in Tokyo and Milan before moving to Oxford. Whilst assisting at a series of kintsugi workshops and lectures at the Ashmolean Museum and Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, she was drawn to the work and innovative craftsmanship of Muneaki Shimode and Takahiko Sato from Kyoto. The workshops were co-ordinated by her husband, who with Japanese government funding, had been asked to introduce the disappearing craft of kintsugi in the UK. Although kintsugi has long been considered a profession exclusive to Japan, under the guidance of Shimode and Sato, she quickly discovered that she had a natural aptitude for the craft and established Kintsugi Oxford in 2014 to spread the word.

Alongside her own practice of kintsugi, Iku has offered workshops in Japan, Italy, Spain and the UK using traditional materials in conjunction with modern synthetic glues, which considerably speed up the process. Privately her kintsugi repairs are always carried out with urushi, before finishing with gold or silver. She uses both traditional and modern adhesives, depending on client budget and the value of the pieces she is working on. 

Artists and ceramicists she has worked with include: Lisa Hammond, Bouke de Vries, Kat Wheeler, Claudia Clare, Marcello Putti, Jose Carvalho and writer and curator Dr Bonnie Kemske. She has run workshops with UCL, Kettle’s Yard Cambridge university, Loewe Madrid, Milamore London and New York, Japan House London, Wagamama UK and Japan House London. She is a regular contributor to London Craft Week through the Wagumi gallery in London, amongst others, whilst continuing her repair work.