Woodturning Lathe Techniques
The main feature of Yamanaka Lacquerware is the woodturning lathe techniques. A lacquerware is created by artisans with years of experience; and in order to be a professional it takes 7to 8 years of experience in each of the following four processes: Making wooden bases, Priming, Coating and Lacquer Painting.
There are many places that produce lacquerwares including Wajima of Ishikawa, but the highly praised and excellent carving process of the core with woodturning lathe has no rivals at all. The vertically cut Zelkova and Horse Chestnut tree logs are cut in ringed slices to prevent distortions in the timber. Usually it takes 1-3 years for the primary and secondary carving processes that also include drying the core under natural condition, and by using smoke or steam to rid of any moisture in the wood. Some of the pieces take 5-10 years to complete, which is sometimes beyond the common imagination.
The cost and the technique of cutting vertical logs in the ringed and quartersawn wood (tategi-tori) is remarkably high as compared to yokogi-tori method, which contributese to Yamanaka Lacquerware's uniqueness; the cores made with these logs are even shipped to various high-quality lacquerware producing areas, including Wajima. Making full use of the techniques on the woodturning lathe, artisans can create "Sensuji", where over ten small lines are carved within the 3mm area; "Usubiki", where the grain of the wood is carved to a thickness that makes it transparent; artisans can also create patterns of rice fields and use special tools to create circular patterns; there are also pieces that have inlays of wood, gold and silver. In order to express the beauty of the grain and the spectacular techniques, lacquer is applied to the core and the grain of wood is wiped off clean to remove any imperfections. This process is repeated from 5 times to over 10 times and is also a unique process of Yamanaka Lacquerware which is also an expression of the woodturning lathe techniques.
Cultivated with history and Ishikawa's climate, Yamanaka Lacquerware can be divided into traditional wooden lacquerware and modern lacquerware. After 1955, casting technology using synthetic resin was developed along with the adavances in petrochemistry and following this R & D was carried out to explore the possibilities of applying these technologies to lacquerware; the development of such lacquer coating technologies, introduction of chemical paints, and lacquer transcription technology resulted in creating a new category of modern lacquerware, based on the use of chemical materials.
Yamanaka was the first lacquerware producing area in Japan to undertake the challenge of creating modern lacquerwares and in order to do this, Yamanaka introduced a plan to establish an industrial complex for mass production and successfully established two such complexes in Uwabara District of Yamanaka and Bessho District of Kaga. The completion of intensive industrial complexes and mechanization of the producing processes helped to promote mass production of Yamanaka Lacquerware.
We create useful tableware items and other interior decorative pieces that fit into the modern life style. Being praised for our low price and practicality of our products, we have developed into the lacquerware producing area with the largest annual turnover in the nation.
The characteristics of our Lacquerware products is that they are created with unique ideas, have great designs and also have utility value. Targeting the wedding gift market, we produce our lacquerware with original design of shapes, colors and decorations. Aamong our R&D products, the DC Brand merchandise, and complex merchandises such as watches and music boxes are especially popular among our customers.