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A Single Sheet of Duralumin The journey begins with a plate of duralumin a mere 2mm in thickness. Just how do our craftsmen work this into the finished product? As you’ll see, an astonishing degree of passion and meticulous craftsmanship goes into even the simplest design.



Here, silently facing his machine tool, is the father of Morpha Works., Gazing intently through his magnifying glass as he perfects his creation, he’s the very picture of the strong, silent artisan. And yet, the moment he rests his hands and turns around, he breaks into an easy smile. His friendly manner brings a bright mood to the workshop.



We have ten more artisans at Morpha Works, each creating order-made products for a wide variety of commercial clients from around the globe. We receive orders for parts and processing from places such as NASA and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. We’ve even had clients come to us after being unable to find someone to do the job in Germany.The one constant at Morpha Works is that no matter who the client, and no matter how difficult the job might be, we approach the work the same way: with silent, single-minded precision.




Slicing 1/100th of a Millimeter. Using a tool called an end mill, we take the duralumin sheet and cut in it an interior groove, button clearance, and a joint. Unlike a typical drill, an end mill can metal along a horizontal plane, allowing for grooves and holes to be created with complete freedom. On the other side, this requires complex, high-precision programming.Multiple blades of 0.5 mm, 1mm, 2mm, and 3mm are employed in the carving process. Duralumin is an extremely hard substance, so extreme care must be taken to ensure the drill bit does not break. Trusting their own intuition, our artisans experimented through trial and error before finally arriving at the ultimate cutting technique, which is able to fit an iPhone with 0.01mm precision.



At the Heart of Our Works The object on the left shaped like an iPhone is a fixture known as a jig. The heart of the metalworking process, this is what allows our artisans to achieve perfect clearance, to cleanly bend metal plates with internal grooves, and to polish and achieve a mirror finish that reflects light evenly and beautifully. After repeated trial and error, we were able to create the ideal jig.



Bending Our Way Through Adversity To achieve the same sort of elegant contours as the iPhone, we borrowed the talents of Oshima Metal Industries, which has been bending metal for one hundred years. Bending thin, hard duralumin with internal grooves is a tricky process, as even the slightest step will cause the metal to warp or crack. Learning from countless failures, we gradually adjusted the jig shape and pressure until we were able to realize the perfect bend. Now, we set the raw material on the press and push a single button, and twenty tons of pressure and an elaborate jig turn a single sheet of duralumin into an elegant frame.





Polishing: A Three-Part Process Once the bending stage is complete, it’s finally time to polish. Here, we turned to Satsuma Soken, Inc., a buffing specialist for thirty years.The surface of a thin metal that’s been cut or bent may appear smooth at a glance, but it’s actually covered with tiny scars and smears that can only be seen through a microscope. If these imperfections—called “burrs”—remain, it can result in the joints not fitting together properly, which can even cause damage to the iPhone body itself. The smoothness of the polish will also affect the elegance of the paint that will be applied later on. No effort can be spared.The frame is set on the jig, and the buffing begins. One by one, the tiny scratches and smudges are removed by hand. The process called buffing is actually made up of three steps: rough finishing, polishing, and mirror finishing. In each stage, the abrasion of the buff polisher and buff cloth are adjusted slightly, gradually polishing it into a smooth surface as beautiful as a mirror. Even in this modern age of mechanization, this delicate, precise process cannot be accomplished without the intuition and skill of human artisans.





Pattern Philosophy We believe there are two things all patterns that catch the eye and win the heart have in common: subtlety and audacity. The vast majority of our designs are drawn by hand, the subtle touches of the artist’s soul poured into each line, coming together to surge and transform into a small universe brimming with energy.It is the patterns that truly define Usugane. These patterns are rooted in years of history, culture, and religion, combined with the chaos that wells from our designers’ own aesthetic senses. From those motifs, they begin drawing, sensitively and audaciously.The rear panels are carved with a corrosion process called etching, and contain three elements: the penetration hole, the mezzo-relievo, and the mask. Just as new patterns evolved throughout the history of weaving, the limitations of technology often give birth to new design possibilities. The rear panels of our Usugane frames also represent a new evolution in design.