Short Film on Lacquer Artist Masaru Nishimura


After an assortment of topics being discussed here on the blog this week, it seemed nice to switch it up a little and watch an experienced lacquer artist at work. I thought it might give some context to the items that we already have in the shop, particularly the lacquerware by husband and wife duo Fujii Works. We’re always getting pleasant remarks on these works, both admirers and customers alike, usually the first thing that you hear is ‘these are made of wood?!’, they can’t believe the techniques and materials used to get such precise bowls and vessels. To be quite honest, when I first got my hands on them I couldn’t quite believe it either.

This video will give you an insight in to what processes the lacquer artist might go through as he creates an object, firstly turning the wood or using a piece that’s been cut out, and then adding the lacquer solution in various layers for protection and sometimes decoration. This would be a great film to watch coupled with our other articles that have documented the lacquer process in the past, it’s a very inspiring thing to watch. Plus, from near enough start to finish the process is quite natural in the sense of the materials, such as the coating and the container all coming from a tree. I also admire the quietness when the craftsman creates, you’ll see evidence of this in the video as maker Masaru Nishimura of Kanazawa, Japan calmly gets on with his own business.

Tramnesia have also featured here previously on the website, with us showcasing a piece on another Japanese creative named Chifuyu Enomoto who makes bamboo baskets by hand. So if you’ve got a little bit of time their website is a definite place to check out for inspiration, you’re sure to find something that’s your cup of tea. What I found interesting at the start of this is where Misaru is making various tools by hand that he can use to mix the lacquer, I also like idea of the split screen that they use to show the various things going on. Overall a nice piece that should make you take notice of quite a new craft for some, one that’s not seen very much in Europe for example. If you’re interested in the making process and would like to learn more about lacquerware and the other beautiful objects that can be coated with the substance, then I’d also recommend a youtube channel by Fushimi Maki’s Bamboo and Urushi Lacquer Works. Not only is it informative, it’s also awe-inspiring to see. Such dedication and a wonderful eye for simplicity.


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