• Essays and Articles
  • Japanese lacquerware - an introduction

    Lacquer refers to the refined sap of the Toxicodendron vernicifluum tree, which when dried through a complex curing process, results in an extremely durable resin that can be polished to a mirror sheen. Lacquer working techniques have a history stretching back thousands of years, with highly refined examples being found across Asia. High quality lacquer objects may require up to 30 or more coats making production of these fine objects time consuming and costly. 

    Japanese lacquerware in particular is characterized by a myriad of decorative surface techniques that have evolved over the centuries, from the use of lacquer in contrasting colours through to the application of gold and silver leaf (maki-e), mother of pearl (raden) and eggshell, sometimes incorporated into elaborate raised designs. Wakasa, Negoro, Maki-e

    Kazari + Ziguzagu stock a carefully selected range of both antique and contemporary Japanese lacquer items to suit every taste and budget, from streamlined contemporary pieces through to ornate gold and silver decorated antique examples and everything in between.

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