The United Nations declared 2022 as the International Year of Glass. Various events were held around the world to reflect on the history of glass and its contribution to human progress, and to reaffirm the usefulness and potential of this beautiful and brilliant material. Professor Shigeru Fujino of the Global Innovation Center, Kyushu University, in collaboration with Associate Professor Shinichiro Ito of the Faculty of Information Science and Engineering, Kyoto Sangyo University, Ikeda Picks, and Kohoku Kogyo Co., Ltd., have developed the world's first silica glass pick for musical instruments. The silica glass picks with a 3D illustration of a micro-finished Ukiyo-e design were presented at the closing ceremony of the International Year of Glass. To mark 2022 as the International Year of Glass, world-renowned jazz guitarists, Joshua Breakstone and Satoshi Inoue, were invited to perform at the closing ceremony using the world's first silica glass guitar pick.
Silica glass was used as jewelry for Tutankhamun's breastplate ornaments because of its excellent physical properties such as light transmission, mechanical strength, resistance to heat and resistance to chemicals. Professor Fujino's research group developed a simple and inexpensive technology for fabricating fine shapes and contours that are difficult to create with conventional processing methods. The material's high rigidity, light weight and low vibration damping properties inspired the idea of picks for musical instruments.
Because silica glass has greater mechanical strength and density than celluloid and other resin materials typically used as picks for musical instruments, the researchers succeeded in obtaining acoustic characteristics with glittering high notes that are different from those of conventional picks. They also worked with Ikeda Picks, a pick manufacturer, and Kohoku Kogyo Co., Ltd., a glass manufacturer, to develop the pick into a final product for music artists.
"Besides picks, this method makes it possible to realize shapes and designs that were previously impossible, as long as the 3D model data is available," commented Fujino.
This article has been translated by JST with permission from The Science News Ltd. (https://sci-news.co.jp/). Unauthorized reproduction of the article and photographs is prohibited.