URUSHI

漆器イメージ1

約6000 年前の縄文時代のものとみられる櫛が出土しました。その櫛には朱色の 漆が施され、ほぼ原形をとどめていたそうです。これは、漆の強さと耐久性の高 さを物語っています。そして、木の器である漆器は、温かい食べ物は冷めにくく、 ぬくもりある手触りを持ち、漆の色合いは、ほの暗く陰翳のある古来の日本家屋 の中で、漆の黒や朱がしっとりと浮かび上がり、その様子は日本人が愛する奥ゆ かしい雅を放ちます。それが漆の魅力なのかもしれません。
丁寧に時間と手間をかけて作られた漆器は、時の経過とともに、黒は底光りし、 朱はより光沢に満ち、大切に使い込むほどに透けた漆は、深い味わいを醸し出し ます。永く使っている間にキズがついたり、割れてしまっても、自然素材で作ら れている漆器は修復できます。形を整え、表面を塗り直せば、さらに10 年、20 年と代々受け継いで使い続けられます。きらびやかで繊細な佇まいは、使うこと に構えてしまうかもしれませんが、改めて漆の特性を知ることで、日常からハレ の日まで、和にとどまらず洋にも、気軽に使える漆器に触れてみてください。

A comb was excavated which is said to be from the Jomon period of about 6000 years ago. That comb was coated with vermilion lacquer and had remained almost unchanged from its original form. This speaks to the high strength and durability of lacquer. Being wooden dishes, lacquerware keeps warm food warm better while feeling warm to the touch. And the hues of lacquer--the black and vermilion lacquer which calmly looms within traditional Japanese houses obscured by shadow―emit a modest elegance which is beloved by the Japanese. Perhaps this is the appeal of lacquer.
The lacquerware, made carefully, slowly, and laboriously, develop a more lustrous black and a more brilliant vermilion over time, with the lacquer becoming more transparent the longer it is lovingly used, bringing about a deeper f lavor. Even if scratched or broken after long periods of use, lacquerware can be repaired, so it is made from natural materials. Putting it back into shape and recoating the surface will allow passing it down over the generations for decades of further use. The gorgeous and delicate appearance may make you hesitate when using it, but please touch this lacquerware which, armed with the knowledge of the special characteristics of lacquer, can be used both every day and for formal occasions, and for Western styles in addition to Japanese.

漆器イメージ2

木地 - 「粗挽き」によって、大まかに削り出され た木地を、熟練の木地師が一つひとつ形に していきます。数種の鉋(かんな)を使い 分け、足元のペダルで轆轤(ろくろ)のス ピードやタイミングを調整しながら、職人 の勘と感性によって手際よく、美しく仕上 げ、塗師(ぬし)の元へと運ばれます

Wooden base - Wooden base is shaved down via rough grinding before being shaped one by one by a skilled woodturner. Using several kinds of planes for working with wood depending on the purpose, the artisan uses his intuition and sensitivity to work skillfully and beautifully, adjusting the speed and timing of the lathe with a foot pedal, after which the wood is taken to a coating specialist.

下地 - 漆器にとって下地はとても重要な工程と いえます。木を削る音が響く木地師の仕 事場とは対照的に、塗師の仕事場は静け さに包まれています。生漆に珪藻土を焼 成粉末した地の粉や砥石を粉末にした砥 の粉を混ぜ、木地に塗り、乾いたら研ぎ、 また塗るという作業を数回繰り返し、耐 久性を高めていきます。強さが求められる 椀には熱い料理が盛られる見付(底)の部 分に、麻布を貼り付ける「布着せ」を施し、 さらに強度を高めます。

Base coating - Base coating is a very important process in the creation of lacquerware. In contrast to the workspace of the woodturner, where the sound of wood carving reverberates, the coating specialist's workspace is enveloped in silence. He increases the durability by repeating several times the process of stirring powder burned diatomaceous soil into lacquer tree sap, coating the wood, grinding it after it dries and then coating again. The bowls require strength, and to further strengthen them he conducts the cloth-sticking process, wherein a hemp cloth is affixed to the bottom part of the inside, which is to be filled with hot food.

上塗 - 黒、朱、藍、黄の色漆の桶が並ぶ上塗りの 工房は、小さな塵やほこりを嫌い、日々の 仕事がしやすく整えられています。漆は、 時間の経過と共に艶が増します。わずか数 日でも艶の度合は変化し、また寒い時には 色が黒くなり、暑い時には発色し明るくな ります。漆の仕事は、気温や湿度といった 日々の気候を細やかに感じ取りながら行わ れます。150 以上にも及ぶ緻密な工程を経 て、強く丈夫で、美しい漆器が完成します。

final coating - The final coating workspace, where barrels of black, vermilion, indigo and yellow lacquer are lined up and small specks of dirt and dust are the enemy, is equipped to be easy to work in every day. The gloss of lacquer increases with the passage of time. The gloss will change in as little as a few days, and the color will also darken during cold times while emitting brighter coloring during hot times. Lacquering work is under taken with a sensit ivity for feeling the temperature and humidity of the daily climate. Beautiful lacquerware is made to durable and beautiful perfection through more than 150 delicate processes.

漆器イメージ3

漆とは、東アジアのみに自生する「漆の木」から採取される樹液 です。固まると非常に堅牢で艶やかな質感を持つ塗料になるた め、日本では数千年前から木や竹、紙や布などに塗布し、食器な どの器物、建築、仏像などの製作に用いてきました。
茶褐色の樹液は精製、着色の加工を経て、塗料として活用され ます。その漆の色には原始の時代から今も変わらず、朱と黒が 使われています。これらは日本の風土の中から生まれ出た最も 土壌的な色と言えるでしょう。静かで潤いのある、内に秘めた 日本独特の原点の色です。

漆塗りの木製食器は陶磁器に比較して軽量であり、熱い料理を 盛りつけても熱が手に伝わりにくく、手触りや口あたりの良い 滑らかな肌合いをしています。器を手に取り直接口を付けて汁 をいただく日本の食習慣においては、非常に適した特性を備え ているのです。

日本は、木と共生し、あらゆるものを木で作り出してきた木の 文化の国です。木に漆をかけて耐久性を高め美観を与える漆工 芸は、全国で発展し、現在も各地の職人達が本質的な作りを守 りながら製作を続けています。
漆器の製作は分業制です。まず木地師が轆轤を使って器形の木 地を削り出します。次に下地職人が形状に合わせて漆の塗りと 研ぎを繰り返し、時には布や紙を貼り付け堅牢な下地を作り上 げます。その後、塗師が塵や埃が入らないように細心の注意を 払いながら艶やかな仕上げの漆を塗り重ね、最後に装飾を施す 場合には、蒔絵師が金銀粉や螺鈿などを使って美しい文様を描 いて完成です。150 以上もの緻密な工程を重ねて、美しく丈夫 な漆器ができあがります。

Urushi (Japanese lacquer) is sap collected from the urushi trees that grow wild only in East Asia. When it hardens, this coating material becomes very solid and has a shiny texture. In Japan, it has been applied to wood, bamboo, paper, and fabric for several thousand years and has been used to create utensils, such as dishes, architecture, and Buddhist statues. The yellowish-brown sap is refined and colored before it is used as a coating. The colors of lacquer, vermillion and black, have remained unchanged from ancient times. You can say that these colors are the most natural to Japan because they were born from the country’s climate. They are colors that are unique to Japan and have a quiet shine and presence hidden within.

Wood dishes with a lacquer coating are lighter than ceramics or porcelain; your hands do not get hot when the dishes are filled with hot food, and they have a smooth texture that feels nice to the touch and to put your lips on. This characteristic is suitable for Japanese food customs, where people hold the dishes and put their lips on them directly to drink soup.

In Japan, the people coexist with trees, and we are a country with a wood culture where everything is made of wood. The lacquerware work heightens the durability of wood through the application of lacquer and makes the wood beautiful. The craft has developed throughout the country, and to this day, the artisans of each region continue to make their products while preserving their essential methods.
Lacquerware is created through a division of labor. First, the wood turners use a turning lathe to carve the shapes of the dishes out of wood. Then, the base-coating artisans repeatedly apply the lacquer and polish them to fit the original shape, sometimes applying cloth or paper to create a solid base. After this, the lacquer-painting artisans carefully apply the finishing lacquer to prevent contamination by dust in order to create the shine. If decorations are to be added at the end, the lacquer decorator will sprinkle gold and silver powder and mother-of-pearl to create beautiful patterns and complete the product. It takes a total of more than 150 detailed steps to create beautiful and durable lacquerware.