“Sola” in conjunction with the Chinese kanji 宙, means “universe”, or “blue sky”
A Brief History of Usagi no Nedoko & the Sola Cube
Usagi no Nedoko was founded by Koichi Yoshimura in 2006. During the early years Koichi concentrated on refining his art and prototyping Sola Cubes with various seeds and flowers. In 2007 Koichi started selling his Sola Cubes to customers across Japan and abroad. In 2012, the first Usagi no Nedoko store opened in Kyoto, Japan. 2013 and 2016 saw Koichi’s Sola Cubes being exhibited in the Kissa Gallery and New York, respectively.
The Beauty of Plants
Usagi no Nedoko preserves beautiful plants, flowers and sees in 1.6 x 1.6in acrylic cubes. By preserving these beautiful plants in clear acrylic cubes Koichi hopes to offer a glimpse a more perfect world, untouched, and unchangeable.
Every Sola cube is carefully handmade by an experienced Japanese craftsman, and each one takes considerable time and effort to complete. Outstanding craftsmanship is required to ensure that this small transparent cube, which measures only 4cm, holds a plant at its very centre and no air bubbles get inside.
The Manufacturing process
1. Foundation creation
In the first step of manufacturing, liquid acrylic is poured into a mould which is 5-6cm square, slightly larger than the Sola cube. The dried plant is carefully inserted when the liquid hardens to a gel.
Additional liquid acrylic is then poured into the mould.
The mould is placed into a vacuum kiln, then pressurized to force out any air bubbles.
3. Heat treatment
The product then undergoes a heat treatment. The cube is showered with hot air, at temperatures of 80 degrees for 3-4 hours. This stabilizes the binding of the acrylic, and ensures the cube is durable and long lasting.
The cube is cut to precisely 4cm on each side, then planed. The corners are rounded and smoothed at the end of this step.
The surface of the cube is polished until it is shiny, and a clean, glossy finish is achieved.
* The manufacturing process and resin used in polishing is adjusted, depending on the variety of plant to be set inside the cube.
Shop our range of Sola Cubes here.