Echizen lacquerware

Production area:

Sabae is a small city on the korean sea within the Fukui prefecture.
Amazing enough, the majority of the eyeglasses frames made in Japan is produced in this 60,000 people town.
Very roughly, if you look at a map of Japan you will see that Sabae is located north of the Biwako lake, almost in between Kyoto and Kanazawa (also known as small Kyoto.)

sabae

History:

I am not sure if this is the reason why Sabae is also one of the capitals of japanese Urushi Lacquerware, but the historic archives prove that in the 6th century emperor Keitai appointed skilled craftsmen from Sabae to repair broken crowns of the imperial family.
The craftsmen did a perfect job and presented a simple black lacquer bowl to the emperor.
The emperor was surprised at the sturdiness and beauty of the craft and adopted the Sabae craftsmen as the official supplier of the court. Since then the crafts produced in this area are known as Echizen Lacquer ware.
Sabae constantly developed the technique to bloom in the edo era with the Maki-e (Gold Lacquer) as the most famous Japanese laquerware production area.

urushi-tray

Shikki from Misako:

My friend Misako, originary from Sabae is a “lacquerware coordinator”. She selects shapes and the most suitable craftsman to produce the tableware and created a collection of all time classics for Bartok design.
Lacquerware is sturdy and lightweight. It is in-frangible and long lasting.
But there is one problem you should be aware of:
YES, items made of solid wood, carved on a spinning table are authentic and highly priced.
On the other hand, if brought to other countries which do not have the same high relative humidity peculiar of the japanese islands… the solid wood tableware is prone to crack, thus spoiling the invincible and immaculate lacquer coating. (sigh!)

Quality:

Do not make that face! Misako has a solution for us. The items she picked up are made with a base of wood paste (glue and wood chips) molded to obtain the required shape.

This bases are stable and cheaper than the solid items.
The bases are then hand painted with the best lacquer, without compromises.
To summarize: the SHIKKI (= lacquerware) items consist in two main handcrafts:
1) wood carving
2) lacquer layering

The items we are proposing have the following specifications:
1) molded base (no hand carving)
2) best quality lacquer layering

The Misako collection provides the best cost performance and an amazing flexibility.
Her items are smooth and gorgeous while being lightweight and durable.

Shapes, sizes and order made items:

She can make the items you are looking for in small series or single items: feel free to mail us at japan@bartokdesign.com

Lacquerware is great for a gift, is very practical (many items are dishwasher safe) and could be an amazing atmosphere maker for restaurants, parties and events. Of course it is perfect not just for japanese food: the top of the sophistication is to serve a shrimp salad or a swordfish carpaccio in a stunning japanese tableware.

Find our the standard items in the shop section and do not hesitate to contact us if you are looking for something different!

Best regards and … Bon apetit (itadakimasu!)

Find our the standard items in the shop section and do not hesitate to contact us if you are looking for something different!