there has been a lot of talk about how contemporary craft practitioners
could work with particular craft method, the first thing they
have to do is to understand precisely how it has been established.
Two elements are needed in order for an object to be termed as
URUSHI. In other words, it is impossible for something to exist
as an URUSHI work in its own right. It must first be coated in
URUSHI, itself, merely a liquid material. Thus objects to be painted
in URUSHI are as important as URUSHI itself. It is therefore very
important what form an object takes and the material from which
it is born. Contemporary practitioners of Japanese laquerware
have begun to reexamine the elements make up their pieces in order
to create works unique to this discipline.
I have been pursuing "Natural Form" by using a tensioned-cotton
cloth and rubber sheeting with vacuum pressure to form a smooth
and pure surface on which to apply URUSHI fluidly. By this method,
I have attempted to emphasize the organic nature of URESHI and
its sense of pureness and fluidity when it appears on curvilinear
surfaces. I have also been looking at site-specific placement
of my work in order to place URUSHI in the context of fine art.
Besides using and refining a process that I have developed, I
want to research other possibilities in creation of form by using
other materials and techniques which are enabled by the use of
With the aid of CAD it is possible to create "Natural Form"
largely inconceivable by human mind and hand. Today we have many
options in the methods of production and the making of making
three-dimensional objects. A mechanical molding system enhanced
by computer is one useful way of making organic objects with a
sense of fluidity in shape.
While exploring the form and fluidity of the object, it is further
possible to examine the organic nature of URUSHI through the fluid
surface characteristic in lacquer ware. In addition to natural
or liquid form, application of URUSHI gives a strong sense of
the organic. The combination of an object formed by the aid of
computer and machine with skills of the hand and mind will lead
to new futures in URUSHI work.
June 2003/Kenji Toki
Toki] [Current project] [Rapid