Professor Shigeru Fujino of Kyushu University, in collaboration with associate professor Shinichiro Ito of Kyoto Sangyo University, Ikeda Picks, and Kohoku Kogyo Co., Ltd., developed the world's first silica glass guitar picks. Silica glass has excellent physical properties in terms of light transmission, mechanical strength, heat resistance, and chemical resistance. Humans have been using the material since ancient times. For example, the jewel of Tutankhamun's scarab brooch is made of silica glass. Professor Fujino's lab has invented a technology to easily and economically process silica glass into various shapes with fine contours that even conventional methods could not make. To demonstrate silica glass’s unique properties, such as high rigidity, lightweight, and small vibration damping, the group came up with the idea of making one-of-a-kind guitar picks.
Silica glass has higher mechanical strength and density than resin materials such as celluloid, which are often used for picks to play musical instruments. Silica glass’s unique properties produce gorgeous and glittering high-pitched sounds that cannot be obtained with conventional guitar picks. Furthermore, in collaboration with Ikeda Picks and Kohoku Kogyo Co., Ltd., the group developed products that would be commercially available for musicians.
2022 is the International Year of Glass, designated by the United Nations. Various events have been held around the world to reflect on the history of glass’s contribution to human progress and to reaffirm the usefulness and potential of this beautifully sparkling material. At the closing ceremony of the International Year of Glass, Professor Fujino introduced silica glass picks with micro-3D-engravings of ukiyo-e motifs. To celebrate the finale of the International Year of Glass 2022 closing ceremony,world-famous jazz guitarists, Joshua Breakstone and Satoshi Inoue were invited to perform music with the world's first silica glass guitar picks.
You can listen to a recording of the special music performance with the International Year of Glass 2022 Commemorative Picks online.
Shigeru Fujino, Professor
Global Innovation Center
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