Danitrio Bamboo collection pens are created using Take-nuri technique, a traditional craft in which multiple layers of Urushi lacquer are applied to achieve a textured effect emulating natural bamboo. First they make Sabi Urushi by mixing Urushi with very fine mineral polishing powder to lose the fluid character of Urushi. Using the Sabi Urushi, they apply in layers to raise parts to look like bamboo joints. They then use a spatula to make the shapes. Once dried, they use colored Urushi to paint them and then designs can be done by adding some work of Maki-e or carving work on it.
About the artist
Masanori (Masanori Omote)
Title: Dento Kogei-shi. Born in 1938.
Mr. Masanori Omote was born in 1938 and learnt from a master Yusei Nakaya when he was 15. He became a free lancer six years later. He received the title of Dento Kogei-shi in 1994 and teaches at Yamanaka Urushi Technical Center since then. He has received many official awards from the government and exhibits with his Maki-e works almost every year at major exhibitions.
Craftsmen call Urushi is a living thing. Its qualities differ even from the same trees, but quality is different from the trunk or branches. Different qualities from different trees or different areas or countries. Then, crude Urushi must be refined to make more than 10 different qualities of Urushi for different usage. Now craftsmen have to pay more than $600.00 per pound for genuine Japanese Urushi, $250.00 for Urushi imported from China. They use it in different occasions and different places, while manmade Urushi or plastic paint only cost a few dollars a pound. Genuine Urushi is like pure gold only for fine jewelry and pure gold is too expensive for cheap works with cheap materials.
The base for Urushi paintings must be smooth and strong in order to have a good Urushi painting, which will last thousands of years. When the base is ready for painting, the first painting uses Sabi, Urushi mixed with polishing powders, as its base painting and call it Shita-nuri, the base painting. Then, Naka-nuri, the interim painting with Urushi is preparing for better Uwa-nuri, the finishing part of painting. The color of the interim painting has to be selected according to the color of the finishing part of painting. All these works are usually done by Nu-shi, craftsmen of Urushi paintings, painting 7 times in average and it takes 2-3 weeks before the Nu-shi can send back the pens to our Maki-e sh, who will do more Urushi painting works or Maki-e onto the pens.