Red lacquered tea caddy with ridged spiral design
Kuroda Tatsuaki 1904-1982

Kuroda Tatsuaki was born into a family of lacquerer in Kyoto,  was a woodworker  and  lacquer  artist ,  designated  as  a Living National Treasure  for  his  woodworking  in  1970 .  In  his  teens  he  already desired  to  undertake  the  entire  process  of  lacquerware-making instead   of   a   traditional   practice   of  divided  labour  in  lacquer craftsmanship .  His  decision  coincided  with an  early 20th century awareness  of  being a comprehensive artist. His encounter with the potter Kawai Kanjirō and the intellectual Yanagi Sōetsu introduced him  to  the  early Mingei (Folk Crafts)  movement active in Kyoto in late 1920’s.  He  studied the past artefacts from Japan and Korea to nurture  his  inspiration to develop the original shape and design of his own.  His technical invention includes yōgan raden, the Mexican abalone  mother-of-pearl inlay. He perfectionated the technique of fukiurushi, impregnating the wood with the lacquer to highlight the beauty of the grain of wood.

w6.7×h6.7 cm
Tea caddy, yôgai-pearl oyster raden
w7.1×h7.5 cm
Private Collection
A set of five covered bowls with tamenuri lacquer finish on zelkova wood
w14.2×h12.2 cm
Private Collection

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