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Iwachu cast iron "waves" nabeshiki (trivet)

In Asian > Japanese Metalwork > Show & Tell and Kitchen > Trivets > Show & Tell.
Japanese Metalwork65 of 82Iwachu Arare cast iron nabeshiki (trivet)Iwachu cast iron kuroneko (black cat) okimono for Kotobuki Trading Company
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    Posted 6 months ago

    (800 items)

    This Iwachu trivet is 6" in diameter and sits about .5" high. It weighs in at 13.1 ounces. It is pretty large for an Iwachu trivet, the largest I have seen, so far. The coloring is also a bit unusual. I think the design is supposed to represent ocean waves? Not sure about that, though. I also thought maybe clouds, but the design is oriented toward the bottom based on the maker's mark on the back.

    I have been on an Iwachu trivet buying spree and this is another from my December purchases that has been in the mail for weeks. These can be found pretty inexpensively, if buying them used. Not sure how many different designs Iwachu made, but a couple more examples are still in the mail. I guess one could make a hobby of collecting the various styles. They don't take up much space, which is a plus. They make me think of coins. Not sure if the hole in the center is functional or decorative.

    This one has what I call the "new" mark, maybe Heisei? Still no idea how Iwachu denotes their marks but guessing maybe it changes with each Emperor? If anyone knows, please inform me!

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    1. kwqd kwqd, 6 months ago
      Thanks for loving another one of my Iwachu trivets fortapache, dav2no1, Watchsearcher, Jenni, jscott0363, Kevin and ho2cultcha!
    2. Ms.CrystalShip Ms.CrystalShip, 6 months ago
      Another trivet!
      Very cool, Kevin!
      You are getting quite a collection going! I love how the Japanese put “so much” into something so small. Shows quality in craftsmanship!
    3. kwqd kwqd, 6 months ago
      Thanks for your comment Eileen! I like cast iron trivets as they don't take up much space but they do get heavy when you have a pile of them. They get pretty spendy if you buy them new, so I have not done that, but used ones are pretty plentiful. The craftsmanship is really good on the Japanese ones, too. I prefer the round ones, but there are also many versions with handles and ceramic tiles which is another whole category which I don't plan to get into. Some of those Japanese examples are very well done, with hand painted tiles so they marry cast iron and pottery into one item...
    4. kwqd kwqd, 6 months ago
      Thank you blunderbuss2, SEAN68, Eileen, RichmondLori, Thomas and Hoot60!
    5. rhineisfine rhineisfine, 6 months ago
      The design is indeed one of stylized waves, it's called 'seigaiha' in Japanese.

      Re: the hole in the middle, all my Japanese cast-iron trivets are the same. I've never heard why. Perhaps it's to allow a little of the heat to dissipate safely, to prevent the bottom of the kettle from being scraped, or to permit it to be hung up for cooling afterwards...? I doubt the intention is to imitate circular-pierced coins, since my trivets don't look remotely like coins, yet they all have that hole. It may simply be a design choice.
    6. kwqd kwqd, 6 months ago
      Thanks for your comment rhineisfine! Yeah, I didn't really think they were made to look like coins, just an observation. I think that you are probably right, that it is for heat dissipation and perhaps also to prevent any moisture build up which might accelerate rusting.

      I have been shaking the tree a lot to find information about cleaning up and correcting the finish on rusted Japanese teapots and trivets, but not finding much. There is some information about restoring kettles but nothing that would be good for the urushi kyusu interiors. I have a couple of kyusu that need some exterior rejuvenation.
    7. Ms.CrystalShip Ms.CrystalShip, 5 months ago
      Kevin, ever hear of “Brasso”. I have used it to clean up verdigris off jewelry, and it doesn’t scratch. Of course, test it first to be sure, but IMO, the stuff works great....
    8. kwqd kwqd, 5 months ago
      Thanks for your comment, Eileen! I was in the Army, so I am intimately familiar with Brasso and spent hours breathing it in and rubbing it on my brass insignia and belt buckle when I had to wear a dress uniform. I probably still have an old can of it somewhere! Guessing it would take the finish off of something like this, but not sure of that. It is magic on military brass. Not sure if it is still in common use by the military or if something different is used, now. I had a set of tailored dress "tropical wear" when I was in SE Asia, but did not wear it much. It may still be hanging in my closet with my dress greens. The brass on those could probably use some Brasso....

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