Why do you use urushi lacquer?
It comes from a tree that secretes a sap to defend itself, so it’s a poison, in fact. When it dries the liquid becomes very hard and has a brilliant colour. It’s completely waterproof, so it’s used to protect dishes and furniture in Japan’s humid climate. It’s been used for thousands of years in Asia.
What technique do you specialise in?
Kanshitsu, which is a technique that my master is specialised in and that’s why I wanted to work with him. It involves creating the object with the lacquer itself. You use hemp fabric to make a mould, and then use the mould to work the lacquer and develop the object.
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What was it like to learn from a Japanese master?
Onishi is a true artist and very open to training others. He doesn’t want lacquer to remain just a Japanese craft, he wants it to be exported elsewhere. So it was a very important step for me, to learn and later master these techniques, and then come back to France to use my skills.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
At Ecole Boulle I experienced a very French approach to learning French crafts. So I arrived in Japan with a French cultural outlook, but that didn’t restrict me too much. I started to experiment and absorb the outlook of the artisans around me. I like to discover new things, and I love to collaborate.