Minova-Cera (a division of TYK Corporation) is one of Japan's leading manufacturers of ceramic knives, trading on their location in Japan's famed "City of Blades". While Mino ware cutlery has been warmly received in kitchens throughout Japan and beyond, the company thought something was missing.
As Minova-Cera designer Tatsuya Kawai put it, "White alone is no fun," and he's since carried this theme forward to the production of new Minova-Cera knives with exquisite multi-colored artwork decorating their formerly plain white ceramic blades.
The manufacturing process involves heating the knife blades to a temperature of 800°C (1,472°F) - hotter than the melting point of many metals. At such a high temperature, the decorative patterns can be transferred permanently onto the knife blades.
The patterns, which combine traditional and modern Japanese styles and subjects, are rendered in bright, glowing colors that remain colorfast throughout the life of each knife.
Much trial and error was involved in perfecting the transfer process, according to Tatsuya Kawai, who remarked that "it took a long time as there were a tremendous number of technical barriers to clear."
Minova-Cera decorative ceramic knives are now available, sold at a cost of 19,800 yen (around $240) each. The knives come in attractive and secure white packaging but a custom lacquered wood box is available at extra cost for those intent on presenting one of these heirloom quality knives as a gift. (via Walker Plus)