How a Charcoal Brazier Was Reborn as a New Wine Cooler

2023.11.06  Custom Order

Within the industrial arts and crafts which have merged into daily life since a long time ago, there are some things that have disappeared from our surroundings due to transitions in the times and way of living. A representative of this is the “Hibachi”(charcoal brazier).

If the purpose is just “to warm oneself,” there are electric, gas, or oil stoves, and nowadays there are even more new heating equipments such as floor heating systems or oil heaters; the hibachi’s function is no longer needed. However, not only did this hibachi have a function, it was an excellently designed piece of artwork made with high skill.

Unfortunately, there is little chance for it to play an active part in our current lifestyle. It is almost dangerous to use it in modern buildings which tend to be more airtight. Therefore hibachi is not only rarely made anymore, but is sold extremely cheaply at antique or secondhand stores. Even at an antique shop near our studio, a bronze hibachi with gold and silver inlay and detailed engravings that probably cost as much as one car to make it, was being sold for a price that almost did not even amount to the material cost.

The existence of the “hibachi” has been forgotten to the point where it only serves as an ornament in the house.
I will give life to this object again. Just like fixing something that is broken, I will make this useless object useful to our current lifestyle.


After working on it for one month, it was reborn as a Wine Cooler.

The hibachi’s construction is such that it naturally has excellent insulation and heat-retention. If we put ice water inside it will keep cool for a long period of time, and there is no worry about the condensation water staining the surroundings. It is difficult to find a wine cooler in a design that works with a Japanese room, but I believe that this would harmonize with its surroundings perfectly.

We created a new pewter “tank” that would exactly fit into the hibachi’s copper interior. In addition to this technique, depending on the condition of the original inner container, it may be possible to waterproof it with lacquer and apply gold or silver leafing on top.


Pewter inner container