Ishikawa prefecture in Hokuriku has been known as the traditional production area for lacquerware since old days. There are three regions — "Yamanaka of woodwork", "Wajima of lacquerware", and "Kanazawa of gold lacquer".
Yamanaka lacquerware is famous for its second-to-none techniques and perfection in the world of turned woodwork; the advanced technique of "rokuro biki" (wood turning), what distinguishes Yamanaka lacquerware, is supported by wood masters who have superior craftsmanship.
Lacquerware is made through various processes such as "kiji biki", "kiji gatame" and "nuri" by skillful wood masters.
The artisans use "rokuro (potter's wheel)" and several kinds of "kanna (Japanese-style planes)" made by themselves to turn the "arabiki" roughly shaved wood.
It is then carried to "nushi (painter)" who paints wood with raw lacquer mixed with diatomaceous earth and whetstone powder so the wood grain is filled and the content does not leak when used. By repeating the process called "mesuri" to dry lacquerware a few times, it is made more durable. "Nushi" then evenly polishes the surface. This process greatly influences how good the lacquerware will be.
HIBI lacquerware is made with the technique called "fuki urushi". By lacquering, wiping it off and drying for 5 times, lacquerware will be glossier and the wood grain is beautifully enhanced. By putting even and thin layers of lacquer, the simple yet elegant texture is created.
The urushi bowl has a beautiful and smooth line connecting the body to the base, created to be comfortable to use daily, and to fit in natually at the table. Pursuing the easiness to hold and the smooth texture on the mouth, the artisans show their craftsmanship to make it as thin and light as possible.
One of the features of lacquered woodwork is the fact that it does not conduct heat when putting hot food in it, and keeps warm soup warm for a long time. Created with care, it is durable. As you use it day by day, it will age beautifully and could become one of your most cherished items.
The natural feel of wood and lacquer, the design to lead it to the user's life; it is the gem created by superior craftsmanship to connect materials and form.