A Delicate Bloom: The Intricate Beauty of Shinya Yamamura’s Lacquerware

Shinya Yamamura, a modern lacquer artist, uses traditional materials and techniques in his work.

The ornate intricacy of his pieces, from Chaire – traditional tea containers to incense containers, show Yamamura’s craftsmanship, planning, and careful consideration. A single lacquer box takes up to 8 months to complete.

Yamamura starts by planning the shape and decoration of the work and once complete, he creates a maquette out of clay or styrene.


Afterwards, he creates the piece based off this maquette.

​The body is usually made of a Japanese cypress and the decorative qualities made by using Urushi lacquer – a natural varnish unique to East Asia.

Once the form is completed, Yamamura carefully starts the decorative process. The surface of the object is first prepared with multiple coats of thickened Urushi lacquer.

​This is polished to create a deliciously smooth, yet strong, surface


The Urushi lacquer is then used to adhere a variety of materials such as other colored lacquers, metals such as gold and silver, handmade paper, shells, mother of pearl, ivory, etc.. ​

Rich combinations varying from piece to piece, produces artwork that tell a story of their beautiful creation. Like jewels, these pieces undoubtedly omit a precious energy.










Shinya Yamamura likes to say, “I would like my work to have a place in people’s lives, like a flower growing from the side of the road that is picked and taken home.”

Yamamura’s artworks are most certainly like that of a delicate and innocent flower.