The rich black color produced by lacquer is called Shikkoku (“lacquerblack”). My work pursues the beauty that can be expressed with gold Maki-e and inlaid mother of pearl placed in the Shikkoku background.
Maki-e and the lacquer used in lacquerware are polished with charcoal. Polishing the lacquer with charcoal creates an infinite number of small scratches, but the powder from the charcoal is repeatedly used to polish the surface and rub in lacquer to create the gloss associated with Japanese lacquer.
It is said that the Maki-e process was established during the Nara Period (710 to 794 AD). It is also said that the reason that Maki-e developed in Japan was because Japan has the perfect humidity for the process. Initially, Maki-e was mainly made for the court and people of high rank, so gold was lavishly used to create many luxurious items.
I insist that my work be original and even make the base forms to which I apply lacquer. I use gold and silver power for Maki-e and abalone, green turban (turbo marmoratus), and other shells for inlaying. I also use other natural materials, such as the wing cases of jewel beetles to create modern pieces with a strong sense of design based on themes of air, wind, light, and sky.