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Urushi & Maki-e Workshop 2021

  • January 6th, 2022 at 21:01

In association with NPO De Kunstkliniek and Guild LacArt

Workshop ‘URUSHI ~An Introduction in practice~’

By Nathalie Posson and Kenta Takeshige
8 November-17 December 2021

We are proud to host Kenta Takeshige of the Guild LacArt-association, for a practical workshop on Urushi (Japanese for “Asian lacquer”). The Guild LacArt-association coordinates exchanges on lacquer-research and holds exhibitions in order to realize borderless dialogue, a wide range of interest and create a place to learn lacquer art at the grass roots. The aim of this workshop, is to gather people who are, in one way or another, interested in Asian lacquer work. And to let you experience work with Urushi, an outstanding way to get to know this exceptional material in depth, by executing yourself the Roiro-nuri and Maki-e technique from the preparation of the wooden base, several different layers, up to the decorative finishing technique of Maki-e (“sprinkled picture”, metal powder being sprinkled on the lacquer surface).

In order to get a somewhat truthful process and rewarding result, it is necessary to give different layers enough resting and hardening-time. This is why the 24-hour-workshop is divided into 9 sessions. The layers of lacquer are thin and applied on top of each other. In order to form the minimum amount of lacquer layers at our workshop, it will become difficult if even one session is skipped. All the sessions will start at 13h, except the final one (at 18h).

All the participants receive a state of the art Urushi-kit, containing all the needed materials, tools and necessities, all high quality, imported directly from “Fujii Lacquer Crafts”, a company located in Tokyo Japan who wholesales lacquer-materials, e.g. to the German tools company Dictum.

Some people may have an allergic reaction to Urushi. In our workshop, we will take the best measures against Urushi allergy, but the allergic reaction varies from person to person. In the unlikely event that you are allergic to Urushi, you should leave the workshop immediately. You may need to see a doctor if you experience severe symptoms. In this case, you will receive a full refund of your fee.

Kenta Takeshige was born in Osaka, Japan. He graduated from woodworking course, Nagano Agematsu Technical School, and studied under wood master Tatsuya Furuse and Urushi master Takuji Ogimura. He worked for the Japan International Cooperation Agency, dispatched to Botswana as a woodworker. After a passage at the Restoration & Conservation-faculty of our Royal Academy of Antwerp, 3 years in the furniture restoration atelier Jean Christiaens in Ghent, and the violin making course at Puurs Music Instrument Building Center, he established his own woodworking-, lacquer work- and restoration workshop in Evergem. He is a guest professor at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de La Cambre, Faculty of Conservation-Restoration of Art Works. And collaborator at the Royal Academy of Ghent.

Urushi Workshop Program:

8/11: session of 4 hours: introduction, wood preparation, Ki-gatame

  • Introduction: explanation urushi, lacquer art history in Japan, general techniques & tools
  • Preparing the wooden base
  • Applying raw urushi

15/11: session of 4 hours: Nuno-kise

  • Making rice glue
  • Making Nori-Urushi (mix of raw urushi with rice glue)
  • Applying textile with Nori-Urushi

22/11: session of 2 hours: Ji-tsuke

  • Nunome-zoroe (cutting out and sanding textile)
  • Making rice glue
  • Making Ji (mix of raw urushi with rice glue and Tonoko)
  • Applying Ji

26/11: session of 2 hours: Ji-tsuke

  • Sanding Ji surface
  • Making rice glue
  • Making Ji (mix of raw urushi with rice glue and Tonoko)
  • Applying Ji

29/11: session of 2 hours: Sabi-tsuke

  • Sanding Ji surface
  • Making Sabi (mix of raw urushi with Tonoko)
  • Applying Sabi

3/12: session of 2 hours: Shita-nuri

  • Sanding Sabi surface
  • Applying black urushi layer

6/12: session of 2 hours: Naka-nuri

  • Sanding black urushi
  • Applying black urushi layer

10/12: session of 2 hours: Uwa-nuri

  • Sanding black urushi
  • Applying black urushi layer

13/12: session of 4 hours: Keshi Maki-e

  • Introduction: explanation Maki-e techniques
  • Addition: demonstration Raden (mother-of –pearl) technique
    → Maki-e design will be done by free-hand. We cannot do Okime (Maki-e design with template) because it requires an extra procedure and drying day.
  • Do-zuri (sanding with Tonoko) and Sumi-togi (polishing with charcoal powder)
  • Polishing with compound
  • Drawing a design with red urushi
  • sprinkling metal powder with Kebo or/and bamboo sprinkler

17/12: closing session at 18h:

  • Checking and evaluation of final results, collecting work and toolkits Drinks, snacks and chats.
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