漆と金属 / Urushi and Metals











We just started a project to produce furniture which has a Urushi lacquer finished-surface, looking as if the Metal at a first glance.
Among many and various methods of Urushi lacquering, there is a method where putting metal powder on the surface like “Makie", the gold/silver lacquer work processing. The “Shibu-ichi Nuri” is the one those methods - Put the “Shibu-ichi” powder, the mixed powder of Tin and Charcoal, on a Urushi lacquer finished surface.
The name “Shibu-ichi Nuri” is taken from the name of alloy “Shibu-ichi”( = 1/4 in Japanese), which is made from Silver and Copper with the ratio of Silver=1/4, because this Urushi finishing gives an expression like this alloy.
This method enable various and rich expressions by controlling the way of powdering and the mixture of Urushi/powder, then giving quite unique textures on the surface. When looking at samples at our craftsman's atelier, they look different in tone depending on compounds of the powders, ways of painting and groundwork processing.
The bigger the surface to apply this technique, the more it affects what comes out powdering and polishing way, drying time, etc. Therefore it is so important to control them precisely.
Urushi is “aging” i.e. changing material over the time, therefore it is rather difficult to SET the color at the completion..., but, on the other hand, this turns to be a pleasure of dealing with Urushi!
Manufacturing has just started. It is so easy that working at the atelier during the hot and humid Japanese summer would be rather tough than usual... but we are sure that our craftsman would do a great job!
Will report you when this is completed - So, stay tuned!!