An Exchange Student’s Research on Urushi

In 2011/12 I had the chance to spend 10 months as an exchange student at Toyama University’s Faculty of Art and Design, Takaoka campus in Japan. One of the things I spent most of my time with there, was to learn the basics of working with Japanese lacquer – urushi. Since I found there to be a lack of literature on the “how to” of urushi in English and the western world in general, I decided to put some of things I learned into a short research paper.

“An Exchange Students Research on Urushi” gives an overview of the basic materials and tools used when working with Japanese lacquer, as well as a step by step guide of how to create an urushi surface according to how I was taught to do it in my time as an exchange student. You can freely download the research paper from the link in the heading above, and while I am only a beginner and learner myself, I hope it gives some insight into the actual “how” of working with this wonderful material.


Later on I also decided to use urushi in my graduation work ‘remnants’. As a jewelry designer I was especially interested in how to use the lacquer on metal and therefore included quite a number of tests in that area in my paper. The whole thing is available online for anybody who might be interested, under the link in the heading above.