Fantastic Universe in Space Glass Craft Work

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A Space Glass

A planet floating in the darkness, a galaxy emitting a pale light. These and many more space scenes are depicted by methods developed through trial and error by artist Satoshi Tomizu, the creator of glass craft pieces called Space Glass.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Satoshi Tomizu

“Outer space has a mysterious power that captures our imagination. I wanted to give form to that quality and landed upon Space Glass,” he said.

Born in 1980 in Kanagawa Prefecture, Tomizu has loved creating things since he was a child. He started making glass craft items at the age of 28 while working as a company employee.

In 2016, he established his own company, PlusAlpha, to sell his pieces. He has been dedicated to creating Space Glass ever since.

The pieces are all handmade using a burner that produces heat exceeding 1,800 C to melt heat-resistant glass. Green and blue rings that look like galaxies are depicted with molten gold and silver.

Although production details are a “trade secret,” the method of using the molten glass to depict spirals can produce beautiful curves, Tomizu says.

Planets are formed using opal, which is resistant to heat. Then, the entire piece is wrapped in heat-resistant glass and shaped appropriately.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A Space Glass with a Saturn-like planet

The inside of each glass ball looks like outer space due to the combined use of transparent glass and black glass.

Tomizu makes full use of various techniques, such as intentionally forming air bubbles to make them look like stars.

While a piece that is about 2.5 centimeters in diameter takes about 30 minutes, a 5-centimeter piece can take nearly three hours. It cannot be redone, so there are no second chances. Tomizu said, “I can never make the same piece.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A large piece sometimes takes three hours to make.

Space Glass pieces also look different depending on the angle from which the light hits them. When a strong light hits a piece, the air bubbles reflect and look clearer, standing out like galaxies. The opal planets look illuminated by fixed stars.

Aiming a penlight from various angles can make the Space Glass look vastly different.

Each piece is unique and irreplaceable. They can make good pieces for interior decoration.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A pendant, above, and a bracelet ornament

“I hope [customers] enjoy their own personal universe for a long time,” Tomizu said.

Twinkling stars on your chest

Although Space Glass products look delicate, they’re made of heat-resistant glass which is said to be more durable than ordinary glass, allowing them to be taken on trips.

Satoshi Tomizu also makes Space Glass pendants and bracelet charms. Each pendant has a protrusion with a hole through which a string can be threaded. Bracelet charms can be attached to special bracelets. “You can wear different Space Glass pieces depending on how you feel and what your outfit is,” Tomizu said. “How about taking your Space Glass with you when you go out?”

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A large piece sometimes takes three hours to make.