I have recently embarked on a home improvement project – well, actually, I am moving to another unit in my building. I have never been good at interior design and my apartments have always looked like the typical single’s pad – cozy and lived-in, as I like to put it. This time, however, I have this urge to decorate even before I move in. As such, I have engaged the services of a carpenter and painter to work on the unit weeks before I move. I am also actively looking for art pieces that I can use for the house. That’s when I discovered the art of Japanese lacquer.
If you are at a loss, think about cabinets, boxes, and similar items which are covered in fine lacquer. Think intricate designs and the colors of black and red. These are the most common visuals that come to mind when lacquer is mentioned. The fact is that there are many kinds of Japanese lacquer. They differ in the manufacturing process as well as the visual result.
Some experts say that lacquer started in China although evidence shows that this art was used in ancient Japan, as early as 10,000 to 250 BC. The purpose of lacquer application back then was not only for aesthetics but also in order to protect wood and leather. And while the original color schemes used were red and black, the art evolved and the color use expanded to other hues such as gold and silver.
Today, we can still see a lot of lacquer pieces and they certainly add character to a room.