Every time I discover a new skill or craft I’m always intrigued to learn more. When I came across the work of Japanese artisan Mie Yokouchi I was instantly mesmerised by her beautiful forms and subtle colour combinations, I knew I had to reach out to her.
Although at first sight these may seem like lacquer objects made from wood, Mie actually creates these by layering a mixture of paper and lacquer at different stages in the making process. This method was used in Japan to produce Buddhist images brought from China in the late 7th century, the technique involves a figure or vessel being fashioned using hemp cloth soaked with lacquer. All the surface details are then added using a mixture of lacquer, sawdust, powdered clay, stone, and other natural materials.
The little spoons are fantastic one-off items, but the small miniature bud vases are particularly special and have some unique surface patterns that are one of a kind. Very appealing on the eye as they’re muted but still have a lot of character, plus the method that this craftsman has used to achieve such a piece is also full of history and wonder. Hopefully you think so too and will go on over to the shop to see more from her, we hope to cover the full making process later in the year.