November 01, 2019


Sari's workshop in NZ - custom-made fragrance

Custom Fragrance 

16th & 17th Nov 
During the Japan Craft Now exhibition 

by Sari _Kahoritotomoni 
Make your own fragrance with one of the most influential modern Japanese perfumer!
- Semi-Custom room mist making workshop
- Ono-on-one Custom room mist or perfume sessions by appointment

Sari from Kahoritotomoni

Sari is the co-founder of "Kahoritotomoni”. She designs and creates very original, contemporary and innovative fragrances connecting both east and west. Sari is one of most influential Japanese perfumer in Japan. Sari frequently travels the Northern Hemisphere, sharing & collaborating her techniques with people all around the world, however, this November She will be coming to New Zealand for the first time to join Astute Assembly’s Japan Craft Now exhibition. Here, she will be doing number of workshops, making semi-custom room mists and showcasing her work equipment and products. 

Sari is highly educated and has a thorough understanding of traditional Japanese incense ceremony kodo* as well as traditional perfume from Western cultures. She works both nationwide and internationally to revive the world of fragrance and culture by her doing something very bold and different.

With a composing background, Sari uses musical notes alongside her fragrances, each scent is in inspired and guided by music. She finds the symphonic harmony between sound and smell, her fragrance giving a sense of tranquillity.

*Kodo ( incense ceremony) is the traditional Japanese art of appreciating the scents of aromatic wood mixed with other ingredients to make a fragrance.

During Sari's workshops you will be introduced to her original, very unique blending methods which she uses to distill her fragrances. From here, she will work alongside you to create your own room mist.

Sari will supply you with a number of base / middle / top notes to your mist. Most of her fragrances are derived from natural ingredients such as yuzu and hinoki, to create your own unique Japanese room mist that you will be able to be bottled and take home. She will also put some music notes on your fragrance for you too!

Lastly, she will teach “Origata” - a form of traditional wrapping technique. We will wrap your bottle with beautiful Washi paper that you can fold as a part of your presentation. 
Please come and join us this November to meet Sari and to create your very own, unique room mist that you can take home ! Each fragrance is always one-off and unique.

If you find yourself wanting to make a complete custom fragrance from scratch (not starting with a base), Sari is able to do a one on one session with you by appointment, creating a completely unique product. 

Booking is essential !! for more detail below 👇

- Sari’s Room-mist workshop 
16th ot 17th Nov
From 10:30 - 12:00 pm 

$105 per person 
4-5 people's small group session (min 2 people in a session) 

Beautiful and intimate experience, making your own custom made fragrance with very experienced Japanese perfumer using exotic, natural essences from Japan. 

*We will do afternoon session when it's filled the morning session.

Complimentary tea and snack will be supplied, gluten free option.  At the end of the session, you can take a bottle of your own room-mist home! 


- One on One session by appointment 

  Customised fragrance


Semi Order  - There are few more kinds of fragrance are available than the workshop.  Very intimate but casual session. 

Duration 20 - 30 mints 
Room Mist  $150 

Duration 30 - 40 mins 
Perfume 3ml $210 / 5ml $290


Full Order - This is the complete session that Sari will making the custom-made perfume just for you.  It'd be a wonderful experience making some perfume with Sari, while we have her in NZ.   

Duration about 2 hours. (This is only for Sunday afternoon) 
Perfume 5ml $660

Booking essential! 
Any enquiry, please ask - or you could purchase the ticket from here

This is a part of Japan Craft now Event, We can't wait to share our selection of Japanese artist's stunning works, which come directly form our Japanese culture. This is also a great opportunity to share these talented makers with our creative community here.  Look forward to seeing you at this event !!
October 24, 2019


Japan Craft Now exhibition

Opening - Thursday, 14th Nov 
Custom Fragrance workshop 15-16th Nov 

*Rare opportunity to meet the Japanese artists here in NZ. Please come and join the opening to celebrate this amazing event with us! 

Japan Craft Now:

We are delighted to share that Japanese gallery owner and curator, Misa Kuromoto from Gallery crossing , will be collaborating with Astute Assembly this November.  We have worked closely with Misa over the past couple of years and we have always dreamt of working together to bring our customers the work of Japanese designers. We are very excited to be working alongside lovely Misa this November!

We will be showcasing the work of six different artists, and are lucky enough to have three of these artists joining Misa in New Zealand where they will share their work with us. We will have an opening night to showcase their current work and for you to meet the artists and hear their story. 

We hope that by coming along, you will be able to learn some of the traditions behind their contemporary and individual work. 
One of the artists, Sari from Kahoritotomoni, will be holding workshops and custom perfume making where you can learn and create your own  room mist, using unique Japanese fragrance such yuzu and hinoki.

We will also be serving complimentary Matcha tea over the weekend to celebrate this very own Japanese art & crafts event.
Artist line-up
Minami Samejima - She'll be in NZ                                           Shiho Hayashi - She'll be in NZ
Kahoritotomoni - She'll be in NZ                                               a.ka.ri porcelain jewellery 
Shuhei Narita                                                                                 Kanehen
Sari - Kahoritotomoni

                                                                   Semi-Custom room mist making workshop on 16-17th 
                                                  Ono-on-one Custom room mist or perfume sessions

Make your own fragrance with one of the most influential modern Japanese perfumer!

More informations will follow within next newsletter but until then you can take a look our online store - here to see more details & you can also buy the ticket from the link now too, if you are keen ! 

Booking essential! 
Any enquiry, please ask -

We can't wait to share our selection of their stunning works, which come directly form our Japanese culture. This is also a great opportunity to share these talented makers with our creative community here.  Look forward to seeing you at this event !
September 25, 2019


Kurinuki & Ikebana workshop - New!


Kurinuki means to hollow out or carve from a solid block of clay, during this process the potter may take a tool or object to slowly remove clay in search of its form. Kurinuki has been described as discovery by digging as the form emerges from the clay rather than the potter creating it.

This workshop is suitable for all levels including beginners. Clay will be provided and tools will available for use. Participants are more than welcome to bring their own carving tools if they wish.

The workshop will be run by Kurinuki expert, Kristen from Bravery Inc. During the workshop, you will explore Kurinuki using soft and hard clays with lots of tips and techniques shared along the way. 

Saturday 19th October
1:00pm - 5:00pm
Astute Assembly, 76 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
$85 / per person

*All materials will be supplied

Booking is essential, please email or click the link here to secure your place.
Ikebana Workshop
Japanese Flower Arrangement 

Discover Ikebana, the Japanese art form of floral arrangements, with Keiko Murakami.

Ikebana has a long rich history, yet the actual origins behind the art are not clear. One of the theories is yorishiro which is an object representative of a divine spirit or object to which a spirit is drawn or summoned. The other is kuge which is an offering of flowers in Buddhism. As there is little information to support such theories, the origin continues to be uncertain. By the twelfth century, Ikebana was not only confined to temples but began to spread into common households.

The Muromachi period (1336-1573) is an era considered an important period in the history of Japanese art. It was during this period that Noh (traditional theatre play) and tea ceremonies emerged, and when painting, architecture and Japanese gardens flourished. Ikebana was no exception and was freed from being confined to cultural connection and begun to be accepted as a form of appreciation.

Today, there are hundreds of Ikebana schools, the three main schools being Ikenobo (marked 550 years of history back in 2012), Ohara (founded at the end of 19th century) and Sogetsu (founded in 1927, just over 90 years ago).

Sogetsu is considered young but is also known as creative Ikebana. Anyone can enjoy Sogetsu Ikebana anytime, anywhere, using any material. Today, Sogetsu is headed by Akane Teshigahara, granddaughter of founder Sofu who continues to develop Sogetsu Ikebana to fit into today’s era.

Throughout the workshop, you will be led by amazing Ikebana master, Keiko Murakami. Keiko began learning Sogetsu Ikebana in her mid-twenties and obtained her Sogetsu Teacher’s Certificate over twenty years ago in Japan. Keiko is lucky enough to teach a wide range of students including children as young as five years old. Through attending workshops and lessons throughout the year, Keiko continues to develop her Sogetsu Ikebana skills and expression.

Keiko will begin the session with an introduction and will then demonstrate different styles of Ikebana from beginner to advanced styles. From here, she will assist you in experiencing Ikebana for yourself where you will be able to create your own beautiful floral arrangement to take home.

Sunday 20th October
1:30pm - 3:00pm
Astute Assembly, 76 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
$65 / per person 

*All materials will be supplied

Booking is essential, please email or click the link here to secure your place.

September 19, 2019


Last Kintsugi workshop for this year !

This Sunday, 22nd Sep - Last one for this year! 
Picture by Manja Wachsmuth Photography
We are running our next (and last for the year) kintsugi workshop this coming Sunday, 22ndof Sep. at the back of our store on Ponsonby road.

We have held many workshops over the past few years, and this Kintsugi workshop has always proven most popular and well received. 
It’s been wonderful to meet so many amazing people, and visiting great places sharing this age-old Japanese technique - Kintsugi is the art of mending broken objects with feature lines made with golden powder, often leaving the object better than original piece. With its roots in the philosophy of Wabi-Sabi, embracing the flawed or imperfect and repurposing for further use… so come join us and be inspired !
This workshop is filling up so quickly (Thank you so much!) but there are a few more seats available, so please don't miss out this opportunity. Enrol yourself or with your friend to learn the technique of fixing and creating a new work of art - Kintsugi !! 

If you want to join us, booking is essential, please emaius and we will guide you for the enrolment. 

Date & Venue :
Sunday, 22nd Sep,
At Astute Assembly

76 Ponsonby Rd, Auckland 

Time & Price
$70/per person

Booking is essential :
More info and buy ticket from here or email us!

Thank you so much ! 
Wonderful day at Tantalus,
Waiheke Island with Thea Ceramics.


Photo from our most recent workshop at Tantalus Estate
Photographed by Manja Wachsmuth Photography
Ponsonby Market Day !                              
This Saturday!   21/ Sep, 10-4 pm
Our very first Market day //
Don't miss out this opportunity!

Astute Assembly 

76 Ponsonby Rd,                          
Auckland, NZ

Webstore -
We ship internationally!

Open 7 days !
Mon - Tue   11-2:30 
Wed - Sun   11-4

September 16, 2019


Optical Park Exhibition - invitation

New Works from:
Frances Rood
Tuhirangi Blair (Lucky Dip)

Opening night:
26 Sep 2019


Astute Assembly warmly invite you to the very first opening at our new Ponsonby store.

We’re super proud to bring new works by NZ painter Frances Rood and designer Tuhirangi Blair from Lucky Dip.

Frances Rood 
NZ Painter

It was Frances’ background in Theatre Set Design that inspired her most recent exhibition Sight LinesSight Lines explores abstraction through colour, line, surface, and geometry, creating a contrast of architectural dimensionality and geometric flatness. 
Experimenting with perspective and shifting the conventional rules of geometry, the elements of Frances’ work combine to create an illusory space. Sight Lines activates the spectator’s view, creating an ambiguous optical play of surface and depth on a two dimensional plane.
Exhibiting her previous work throughout various events in New Zealand, her most recent work Sight Lines can be experienced this coming September at Astute Assembly.


Tuhirangi Blair 
Lucky Dip  


Auckland local, Tuhirangi Blair’s brand Lucky Dip encompasses sustainability and functionality through vintage shirting. With a background in the fashion industry, Tuhirangi ventured out on his own to establish Lucky Dip. Tuhirangi shares the ethos of Lucky Dip;  “committed to non-traditional design and the collective responsibility we all share now and into the future, we breathe new life into some of the most enduring designs using recycled, re-purposed, re-loved and often deadstock fabric”.

Staying true to his roots, Tuhirangi’s materials are all sourced from our very own New Zealand and are carefully crafted and constructed in his Auckland Atelier. Each style has been thoughtfully designed with a focus on both obvious and not so obvious detailing. “Our garments are crafted for those among us who defy the stimulation and challenge orthodoxy” Tuhirangi explains. The freedom thinkers, musicians, artists, creatives, designers, who appreciate the process and do it for the love of creation and ideas.
Join us in September to share Tuhirangi’s passion for repurposing the old and giving garments a new lease on life.

Upcoming Event at Eden Garden, Auckland
Ikebana Exhibition
by Sogetsu


Astute Assembly's ikebana tutor, Keiko Murakami will be doing a demonstration at an upcoming Ikebana exhibition held by Sogetsu group. This event will be happening at Eden Garden, 24 Omana Ave, Off Mountain Rd, Epsom next weekend.

At the exhibition there will be a number of great Ikebana work will be displayed by members of Sogetsu. This will be a great opportunity to experience the world of Japanese flower arrangement, Ikebana. Please visit to see many of the great work done by the masters. 

Saturday  21st Sep : 10-4
Sunday    22nd Sep : 10-3

Free admission.

Stay tuned!!
September 03, 2019


Rachel Long - new Artist to AAA

Rachel Long 


NZ Artist,
Textile designer


Rachel long experiments with the future potentials of a contemporary weaver who merges her jewellery making practice into works that explore the elements of form, rhythm and materiality...

Since completion of a Bachelor of Design with Honours majoring in textile design at Massey University and a Diploma of Jewelley Design in Melbourne, Rachel has been developing her creative practice at the Livelihood textile studio in Wellington. Through the mediums of textile design and metal smithing, artefacts are created that demonstrate an intimate understanding of the relationship between maker, materials, and object.

~ Rachel currently produces her textile collections as well as her jewellery, and collaborates with local artists here in New Zealand.

Find out more about Rachel Long :
web site -   
Instagram -


Available from our store in Auckland.
This Wednesday... 
Free Matcha tasting at our store! 
Matcha Tasting & Ceremony
Wednesday mid-week treats...  

We're excited to let you know that we’re having Matcha Sensei Yoshiko Hida to our store to demonstrate the art of the Japanese Tea ceremony. Yoshiko will be serving matcha to any visitors who come to our store on Wednesday the 4th and 11th between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. 
Please pop in, so we can share this beautiful therapeutic experience with you on your lunch break!  Hope to see you tomorrow!


Date : Wednesday, 4th & 11th 
Time:  12:30-2:30 pm
Place: Astute Assembly store - 76 Ponsonby Rd, Auckland 
August 27, 2019


Matcha tasting & Service

Matcha Tasting & Ceremony
Wednesday mid-week treats...  

We're excited to let you know that we’re having Matcha Sensei Yoshiko Hida to our store to demonstrate the art of the Japanese Tea ceremony. Yoshiko will be serving matcha to any visitors who come to our store on Wednesday the 4th and 11th between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
Please pop in on then so we can share this beautiful therapeutic experience with you.


Date : Wednesday, 4th & 11th 
Time:  12:30-2:30 pm
Place: Astute Assembly store - 76 Ponsonby Rd, Auckland 


Fathers Day

We have lot's of gift ideas in our store for the Father's day this weekend. We will do modest, yet beautiful wrapping for this special occasion so you can treat your dad! 


If you don't want to miss any upcoming events or news, please follow us from Instagram: @an_astute_assembly

Minami Samejima's gorgeous vases from Japan. 
August 14, 2019


Kintsugi at Tantalus, Waiheke Island

We have a special workshop coming up in two weeks, tied in with the lovely local potter Thea-ceramicsfrom Waiheke Island. They will host the event which will be held at one of our favourite winery on the Island, beautiful Tantalus Estate.

Esther from Thea-ceramics and tantalus team got the most loveliest plan...! They will be serving their divine crafted winter wine and cheese board at the workshop ! This is looking to be a wonderful event and we are excited for a day of fixing, learning, wine and cheese in a stunning location. 

It will have two sessions on the day, They are filling up so quickly (Thank you so much!) but few more seats are available for each session. Please see more details and informations on their website and hurry to get these limited ticket from their web store.  We can't wait to meet you there !!

Date & Venue :
Sunday, 25th August, At Tantalus Estate

Two sessions
12-2 pm
4-6 pm

Booking is essential :
More info and buy ticket from here .

**If anyone who can't make this date, there is an another Kintsugi workshop for this year (Last one for 2019 !) happening on 22nd of September. (Sunday) at our new Astute Assembly store, using the creative space at the back room. You can find the details and book from our online store.
If there is any questions, please get in touch via email -

Thank you so much ! 
Photo from our most recent workshop
at Ponsonby Central.
Photographed by Soyoka Aranami 
Enjoy incorporating nature with our traditional beautiful objects. These workshops will allow for an experience of wabi-sabi and will give you inspiration for modern living. Please come and join with craft lovers. 
Thank you !
Astute Assembly store 
76 Ponsonby Rd,                          
Auckland, NZ

Open hours 
Tue   11-2:30 
Wed - Sun   11-4

Enquires - 
Instagram @an_astute_assemblly 

Photographed by Liz Clarkson 
August 05, 2019


Cohn Artisanat - Textile designer from Korea

Jungeun Lee from Cohn.Artisanat aims to go deeper into ways to make beautiful fabric...
Jungeun Lee
Video & Photo by Jiho Yun

Introducing the talented Korean artist cohn. who's work is currently being exhibited at the Astute Assembly store in Ponsonby. 

cohn. [kohɯn], established in Korea 2014 by Jungeun Lee, is a label that emphasises the craftsmanship of textile design. It’s a fashion and lifestyle brand that uses traditional craft techniques to make fabrics, clothing and accessories necessary for living. Jungeun painstakingly combines weaving, print, dying, knitting and knot tying for her beautiful one-off, hand-crafted creations.

After studing textile design in Korea, Jungeun went on to study graphic art and philosophy of art in Paris before setting up her own beautiful store in Seoul, with every detail designed by her. The space was used as her store, atelier, launching her yearly collections as well as running regular exhibitions. 

We are incredibly lucky to now have Jungeun and her incredible label cohn. based here in New Zealand, as she has settled in West Auckland with her lovely family.



~ Textile design at Konkuk University in Korea

~ Art Graphic at Paris - Ecole Professionnelle Supérieure d'Arts Graphiques de la Ville de Paris,

~ Philosophy at Paris IV in France.

~ Set up her own her store in Seoul, Korea. 

~ Currently produces her textile collections and collaborations  with local artists here in New Zealand.

Find out more about Lee Jungeun:
web site -    
Instagram -
Her collectons -

Images from her beloved store/atelier in seoul 

Jungeun's store nestled in Hyehwa-dong, Korea which she shared with her husband, renowned NZ artist Seung Yul Oh was used to accommodate her atelier.

Furniture made of rope, wood and brass are mostly assembled in units, so that they can be used even if they are moved. Designed by her, made by Kwang Ho Lee, the installation was completed with the help of her husband, Seung-Yul Oh. 

Astute Assembly

'fluent scenery n˚1 / n˚2'
weaving suspension

Sold separately or as a pair

Photo by Jiho Yun

handwoven tote n˚13 (cotton / wool)
handwoven throw n˚4 (linen)
cohn’s new “handwoven tote” series is made of different weft compositions on the same warp and the number of bags is 4-6 on one warp. Given the entire process is completely handcrafted, it takes between two weeks to three weeks to produce a series. Currently, the series has been produced up to n° 15, the series introduced at Astute Assembly is n° 4 & 13. ‘We concentrate on getting new results by always maximizing the characteristic of weaving, which is modified by combining materials and colour,  improvised without sketching first. 

cohn's atelier in Auckland, 

Jungeun Lee participated as a guest before the opening of the ASEAN culture house as well as installing hand woven works. She participated in workshops to discuss the theory and textiles at the Forum on Succession of Hansan Mosi with young textile crafts people, sponsored by Uran Cultural Foundation. In the future Junguen is looking for opportunities to work in various fields such as fashion, product, furniture and space design here in New Zealand.

photo by Jiho Yun

Astute Assembly

Shop location

76 Ponsonby Rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland ,NewZealand 1010

       Open Hours
Tuesday                                11:00am -  2:30pm
Wednesday to Sunday         11:00am  - 4:00pm

Come and see her beautiful work in person!

Here is the cutest Ohhu, Jungeun's daughter together at her atelier in NZ.
July 25, 2019


Kim Hono

Kim Hono                                      

Ceramic Artist 


His work is energised and bold in his own way. Hono is inspired by Oribe-Yaki, a movement of art expression in pottery created for tea ceremonies lead by Sen Rikyu in the 15th Century...

Born in Aichi prefecture, Japan, Hono studied and worked in Seton Province which is known for its dedication to pottery. His works have received a number of awards and have been exhibited in many established galleries and expos around the world.

He knew he wanted to become a Potter when he encountered Oribe-Yaki from Momoyama (Mino area) created by Oribe Furuta, once an apprentice of Sen no Rikyu. 

In contrast to more widely known modest Japanese ceramic movements, Oribe is very bold and unique, with avant-garde forms and patterns, as can be seen in Kim's work. It’s as much a piece of art as it is a functional object.

He creates a full body of new work for each exhibition, producing hundreds of pieces every time in his atelier in Mie prefecture. His workshop is a Kura style building (a traditional Japanese storage house) where he keeps all his archives on shelves from the floor to ceiling - it’s a phenomenal sight.



1958 Born in Aichi, Japan
1977 Graduated Ceramic Technical High School
         Started working at a local pottery
1982 Built his own kiln in Seto Japan


Kim Hono<プロフィール>

1 9 5 8 年 愛知県瀬戸市生まれ




Kim Honoの世界観をニュージーランドの皆様が

Kim Hono's workshop
Profile photo by Mr. Kimura (木村一成)
Please come to our new store in Ponsonby!

Astute Assembly
+Shop location +

76 Ponsonby Rd, Auckland ,NewZealand 

       Open Hours
Tuesday                                11:00am -  2:30pm
Wednesday to Sunday         11:00am  - 4:00pm

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