Urushisan is a lacquerware and kintsugi artisan duo comprised of Emi Sakamoto and Yukari Murata. They discovered kintsugi (golden joinery), a technique combining lacquering with gold dusting or leafing, used to repair broken vessels. Wanting people to enjoy this lacquering craft in a more casual way, Emi and Yukari hold workshops, mainly in Tokyo, where they share their knowledge with people who are interested in learning to repair ceramics that are precious to them. With kintsugi, Emi and Yukari not only teach to heal broken objects, but also how restoring something meaningful can be a therapeutic process in itself, giving more value to the item that was restored with love.Read the full interview
The vessel’s shape and texture, as well as the owner's attachment to it. Nowadays, kintsugi is viewed artistically, but we believe that it’s important to work with a vessel without interfering with the feelings that reside in it.How do you express tradition and innovation in your work?
Vessels repaired with lacquer have been excavated from archaeological sites in Japan. The fact that an ancient technique familiar to the Japanese continues to be practiced today by ordinary people like us is in itself innovative.
Lacquer is a mysterious material used since ancient times. Because it is a natural sap, finishes can vary slightly with temperature and humidity. This nature of the material is fascinating and means there is no end to the learning process.Do you think that your craft is facing a crisis?
While the aesthetics and spirituality of kintsugi have been adopted in a worldwide uptake of this ancient technique, simplified versions of this craft do not use natural lacquer. We want to share how fascinating natural lacquer is as a material.