Homo Faber

PRESS EN Languages Account Follow us Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter
Presented by logo Homo Faber by Michelangelo Foundation
Explore Artisans Museums & Galleries Experience Itineraries About
© Philippe Plantrose
© Carl Labrosse
© Carl Labrosse
© All rights reserved

Nicolas Pinon

  • Lacquerer
  • Paris, France
  • Master Artisan
Nicolas Pinon Lacquerer
French, English
Monday to Friday 09:00 - 18:00
+33 664133954
© Charlotte Fouillet

A Japanese craft in French hands

  • • Nicolas uses a natural lacquer extracted from the sap of a tree
  • • Only 100-200ml of this sap can be harvested per tree, every ten months
  • • He won the Prix Liliane Bettencourt pour l'intelligence de la main in 2020

After obtaining a diploma in cabinetmaking from Ecole Boulle in Paris in 2001, Nicolas Pinon continued to work on traditional and contemporary finishing techniques. During his studies he attended a conference on Japanese lacquering and knew immediately that this was what he wanted to do. He took a few courses in Paris and in Barcelona, Spain. However, he knew that if he wanted to immerse himself fully in this technique he would need to go to Japan. So in 2007 he packed his bags and travelled to Japan where he would meet his future master, Nagatoshi Onishi, with whom he later trained for three months.

Read the full interview


  • © Philippe Plantrose
  • © All rights reserved
  • © All rights reserved
  • © All rights reserved
  • © Philippe Plantrose
Photo: © Philippe Plantrose
Cosmos boxes

Nicolas crafted these detailed boxes, intended to hold caviar, in collaboration with silversmiths from the Richard Orfèvre workshop in Paris. The base of each box was worked in silver and the lids covered in shagreen, which Nicolas lacquered in tones of blue and black.

Height 50 mm
Diameter 140 mm

Photo: © All rights reserved
Chawan bowl and Chashaku spoon

The bowl and spoon were designed for use in the Japanese tea ceremony. Nicolas used the kanshitsu lacquer technique, using multiple layers of hemp cloth soaked in lacquer, to craft this matt blue bowl. The red lacquered spoon is made from bamboo.

Height 100 mm
Diameter 115 mm

Photo: © All rights reserved
Tegata bowls

To craft these bowls, Nicolas used the kanshitsu lacquer technique, which he learned from his master in Japan. The technique, in which Nicolas specialises, involves building up a surface from multiple layers of hemp cloth soaked in lacquer.

Photo: © All rights reserved
Lacquer dogs

These two replicas of the lacquer dogs in Marie Antoinette’s collection were commissioned by Versailles to be placed in the former French queen’s apartments in the Château de Versailles.

Height 150 mm
Diameter 110 mm

Photo: © Philippe Plantrose

Nicolas crafted a series of lacquered cufflinks in collaboration with silversmiths from the Richard Orfèvre workshop in Paris. With sterling silver studs and posts, the cufflinks were lacquered using the maki-e technique, where decorative designs are built up with gold and silver powder.

You may also like

Download the app

Find all the Homo Faber Guide content at hand, save, like and much more!