In November 2017, I have carried out a two week artist residency in Wajin, Japan, known as the manufacturing heart of Urushi, the centuries old japanese lacquer technique.
I have created two designs for boxes made in Katsura tree wood, which were covered with cotton fabric, upon which multiple layers of urushi lacquer (deriving from the sap of the lacquer tree) are applied. The beauty of its shiny surface is that it is not a plastic but a completely natural organic product, from the wooden base, to cotton fabric and to the sap of lacquer tree.
I have worked closely with Urushi Master Mr Nakakado, who has replaced the traditional red and black lacquer colours with new pastel shades, which are his signature colours. The process requires time and patience, as each box is constructed entirely by hand and has up to thirty layers of lacquer, all applied manually. The process took a very long time, nine months precisely to produce the boxes from start to finish, but the results are definitely worth it.