Japanese Lacquer Boxes
“Maki-e” translates from Japanese to mean “sprinkled pictures,” a definition that perfectly captures the art form that has inspired this cover. Purchased from a private collector in Kyoto, the original maki-e lacquer box carrying this design dates back to either the Edo or Meiji period.
About This Design
- Original Art: Maki-e tradition lacquerware box
- Era: Edo or Meiji Period
- Region: Japan
Most countries make a dedicated effort to preserve their cultural legacies, but Japan is a leader in ensuring that traditional forms of art and craft remain not just honoured but widely practiced.
Our Japanese Lacquer Boxes designs feature art that was created centuries ago, as do many Paperblanks journals. What makes this series stand out is that while many techniques celebrated by our journals have been largely relegated to history, the “maki-e” lacquerware tradition adorning these covers still has its adepts.
Maki-e is just one of many Japanese decorative techniques involving the use of lacquer. The name of this method literally means “sprinkled” and refers to the process of applying metallic powders to wood coated with the sap of the lacquer tree. This sap is a highly toxic material requiring extremely careful handling and an inordinate amount of skill – nothing less than you would expect of these devoted Japanese artisans.
It is a marvel how the gloss of the polished lacquered surface and the brilliance of details in metallic colours together create an uncanny sense of depth characterizing each image.
The design that decorates our Ougi cover comes from the paintwork on a Japanese lacquer box dating from the early 19th century and currently held in a private collection. The half-moon shapes covering the width of the journal represent the folding fan, a cultural artifact that most of us will easily associate with traditional Japan. Meaning “fan” in Japanese, the word Ougi seemed the perfect choice for this cover design.
Today, even after more than a thousand years of being in use, the sublime maki-e tradition continues to inspire Japanese artisans to create exceptionally beautiful and desirable objects.
|SIZE||Width: 220mm (8¾”) Height: 30mm (1¼”) Depth: 68mm (2¾”)|
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