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Craftspeople who work in the home of urushi lacquer

The three techniques that create「Lr」
Sabae, the home of lacquerware, has accumulated many skills and traditions over the centuries.「Lr」was born from three of the craft techniques rooted in this region: kijishi woodworking, urushi lacquring, and synthetic lacquer spray-coating; which they combine with a new modern perspective for product design.


The kijishi woodworking techniques needed to make the forms for lacquer coating require immense precision; even though, once the lacquer layers are applied, the details of this workmanship are only perceptible to a skilled craftsperson.

「Lr」 uses very fine coatings and simple materials to enhance natural color and grain; allowing the user to feel the texture of the wood and the craftspeople's superior skills.



Fuki-urushi is a technique where urushi lacquer is applied and wiped off to create a finish that makes the most of the wood grain pattern.
Repeated application, wiping and drying, accentuates the natural wood grain and gives the surface a unique sheen.

Lacquer dries according to humidity, with the color of the lacquer varying depending on the season and the day. Skilled artisans are required to apply the lacquer while keeping an eye on subtle environmental changes.



Polyurethane lacquer coating is often used as an alternative to urushi.
「Lr」craftspeople are always exploring new ways to improve spray-coating techniques and have developed a method of applying three separate coats, polishing between each application, to achieve a completely smooth and polished surface.

The result is an easy to clean and low-maintenance surface, combining beauty and practicality.

Lacquerware making process
01. Wood cutting
Seasoned wood including Japanese cypress (hiba) and Japanese lime (shina) are sorted for cutting according to the size of the parts required.
02. Timber processing
The heights and thickness of all the component parts are calculated and the timber is processed using various woodworking machinery. The size and thickness of the components must be accurate to the nearest 0.1 mm, so as not to affect the form of the finished product.
03. Assembly
The prepared sections are then assembled. Inoue Tokumokkou specialize in the Japanese joinery techniques of tome-tsugi (angled corner joints at 45˚ or more), which are a feature in the「Lr」 product line.
04. Finishing
The assembled item is then shaped using woodworking machinery before refining by hand. Twists and surface imperfections are fine-tuned using planes, chisels and sandpaper.
05. Coatings
Fuki-urushi ‘wiped’ lacquer
Fuki-urushi ‘wiped’ lacquer
The unique finish of fuki-urushi is created by repeating the process of applying, wiping and drying the lacquer three times. Using a thinner coating of lighter-colored urushi than more traditional fuki-urushi methods allows the natural wood grain to shine through.
Spray-painted lacquer
Spray-painted lacquer
Polyurethane synthetic resin lacquer is spray-painted onto the prepared wooden ware. The item is covered evenly and thoroughly to create a beautiful surface finish.
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