Studio Look – Inside Japanese Lacquer Craftsman Mie Yokouchi’s Workshop

1A look inside Mie Yokouchi’s studio in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan.

Although I’ve been filling in the blanks, so to speak, on the different makers that we stock in the shop, some have yet to have been featured on the site so I wanted to highlight a few exclusive photos in this post today.

Japanese artisan Mie Yokouchi creates her urushi works by applying mugi-urushi (a mixture of flour and lacquer) on linen cloth and Japanese paper to create a strong base. After applying multiple layers using wood powder and soil powder mixed with lacquer, Yokouchi then strips off the core mould, usually made with wood or clay, that is used to create the piece. Yokouchi’s goal is to be conscious about lacquer culture and hopes to continue the skills from past generations, but at the same time making works of art that can be cherished by others in modern scenarios.

These photos here present a little glimpse at a few of her processes and give you an idea of how these one a kind items are constructed. Objects that might seem “everyday” at first sight are actually very rare and are beautifully crafted by hand. I always feel a close connection with the maker when holding these spoons and her small bud vases. Works by Mie Yokouchi can be found in our shop.

View these lacquer works by Mie Yokouchi in the shop →

9Japanese cloth that is used to construct Mie Yokouchi’s lacquer objects.
8Some of the materials in her environment, this is a clay body and a selection of hemp cloth.
7She layers on top of these wooden moulds to act as a starting point for her spoon collection.
6Here Mie has created the spoon shape, she will now refine this and add lacquer.
4A finished large ‘dry lacquer’ spoon, can be found in our shop.
5Small Curved ‘dry lacquer’ spoon, can be found in our shop.