Lacquerware by Toshio Fukuda

Here are some beautiful objects made by Toshio Fukuda, a lacquerware artist out of Japan. It looks like he’s got an amazing eye for simplistic form in general, as with most Japanese creatives, and has been able to create some astonishing shapes that are both functional and very natural looking. This isn’t an easy feat when creating lacquered objects since they often appear quite fake and uninteresting, these though have wonderful character and up close you can see some interesting graining and texture. One thing I have to say that’s positive about lacquerware is the fact that it’s very versatile and they’re perfect as everyday objects, you have to respect them but at the same time they’re meant to be used.

Actually I don’t know too much about Toshio Fukuda, the artist that made these, since there’s not too much information on him online, but I picked up this selection of imagery at the Hotaru web shop which is based in Kashiba, Nara Prefecture. They’ve been open for quite a while now and it’s basically a gallery type setting which introduces people to quirky ceramics, glassware, and other handmade objects, like the lacquerware that we have here. I’m a big admirer of what they’re creating as a company.

Lacquer itself is an interesting subject and craft, a lot of people might mistake them with resin or plastic bowls. You can tell the difference easily since plastic is of a uniform thickness all around, also they’re very flexible, where as a real lacquer bowl needs some tender loving care to prevent the lacquer from chipping or flaking off. The lacquer bowls love humidity and hate dry conditions, in fact a lot of people who own them keep their lacquered bowls wrapped in soft cloth in a closed cabinet or cool area. Since they’re hand carved of wood the bowls themselves are always developing over time and ever growing, for example with these objects you see here over time the shine of the lacquer will really develop and work around the user, sort of like leather I guess.

Overall I think it’s great to own pieces like these, on a practical level the bowls hold in heat a lot better than the plastic-resin type ones, they’re also very substantial in weight and feel like they’re alive. Thus giving them an aura of quality that a resin or plastic bowl could never emulate. I hope you enjoy these shots above and below, for many more head towards the Hotaru website.


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