Collection: Japan | Satiny Urushi Earrings | CraftArt

So, What IS Urushi? 

Urushi Lacquer Earrings Japan

Urushi (lacquer) is both a rare and lustrous coating material and a traditional craftArt of Japan that is now contemporized.  As a material, and as a craftArt, Urushi lacquer can trace roots back as far as 10,000 years to prehistoric times. 

As a material, Urushi is the all-natural, milky, syrupy, and toxic sap from the Urushi tree - a tree indigenous to Asia.

As a craftArt, Urushi sap provides an incredibly durable surface coating yet is able to transform any object with its warm, lustrous glow -  the signature aesthetic qualitiy of this elegant craftArt - into an object of beauty. Unlike the harsh reflection of some jewelry metals, Urushi gifts a quiet, shimmering, pearl-like appearence to all it embraces, placing it in an aesthetic category of its own. 

Urushi CraftArt is designated by the Japanese government as a Traditional Craft of Japan.

Meet Designer-CraftArtist & Studio

Japan Urushi Lacquer Jewelry Designer Rie Sakamoto

Designer, Rie Sakamoto (pictured here), of Urushi Sakamoto Studio, is one of a few Urushi artists today who is taking Urushi CraftArt in new, contemporary directions.

By using a combination of both traditional and modern techniques, Rei Sakamoto designs unique Urushi accessories, such as bangles, earrings, brooches and pendants, in contemporary forms and designs. Since Urushi, by nature, is very “sticky” (in fact in ancient times it was used as a glue!), this makes it a very versatile and very ideal coating material as it will adhere to almost any form and material such as wood, cloth, metal and more.  As a craftArt, wood is often used as the substrate as it can be carved into many different shapes such as the earrings and bangles Rie creates.