The Story of the Kaidan Vessel


Kaidan is the sum of our unique design ethos, our fascination with materials and our deep appreciation of the past. In other words, to tell the story of Kaidan is to tell the story of Mainland Studio.

The name, Kaidan, comes from Edo Period Japan and broadly refers to a ghost story or supernatural tale. Once fixed to a wall, the piece fades in and out of view and seemingly decides to make itself known (or not) given opportunity and context. This gave it a spectral, ethereal quality we quite liked and it moved us towards a name that would capture this ghostly intangibility.


Each Kaidan vessel is hand blown by master glass artist Michiko Sakano in her Brooklyn glass studio. Attracted to the 2000 degree heat of molten glass and disinterested in following in her mother’s footsteps as a traditional kimono maker, Sakano moved from her hometown of Kanazawa, Japan to the United States to establish her own glass fabrication studio. Her unique eye for detail and absolute mastery of her craft blew life into Kaidan, and the effects of our combined effort become clear once the piece is installed. 

Crisp cold worked lines, a high polish and, of course, a patinaed brass element embody much of what we might define as the Mainland Studio aesthetic. It’s overall form, derived  from subtleties pulled from the natural world, doesn’t by itself dominate a space. Yet at 12” tall from mouth to tip, we wanted to make sure that Kaidan had a distinct presence. Additionally, here at Mainland Studio, we love a product that can multitask. Much like our flagship product, Epiphyte, Kaidan can be used as a simple, elegant wall vase or as a means of plant propagation.

InsideMartha Main