Densho is our latest collection, featuring an ebonite ED pen with Maki-e designs. This time, we started with simple, standard Maki-e designs, followed by these Maki-e techniques: Hira Maki-e, slightly more complicated Togidashi Maki-e, Taka Maki-e to add dimension, and finally Shishiai Togidashi Maki-e.
We asked Kogaku-san, Koho-san, and Oohata-san to create the designs for the first round of the Densho Collection. We hope that you will feel more acquainted with Maki-e after you see these designs. Then, in addition to the standard designs, many additional design techniques have been implemented, such as Raden, Hyomon, and various Kawari-nuri to make the designs more colorful.
The base was raised with #10 and #12 gold powders and Togidashi was applied after black Urushi was painted on the pen.
Kirigane (rectangular gold foil) was also used and set by hand.
The rocks in this design were raised with silver powder and Urushi and later burnished using the Shishiai Togidashi Maki‑e technique. Tsukegaki (very thin lines drawn with sticky Urushi, onto which fine gold powder is sprinkled) is used on the crane, trees and house.
Symbols of treasures: #10 and #12 gold powders are used to raise the design; Kirigane is used on the the symbols. The symbols use the Tsukegaki technique and are finished with Togidashi.
A theme from "Cards of One Hundred Poems". #12 gold powder is used with Nashiji to raise the design, and is then set with Kirigane. The deer uses the Tsukegaki technique, and the poem was written with #5 gold powder.
A Japanese Crested Ibis” incorporates gradation and Tsukegaki techniques for the ground, water and grass. The bird uses Tsukegaki with #7 gold powder; the body is beautifully painted with beige and red Urushi.
"Rabbit Running on the Waves". Gradation technique on the base is used with #10 and #12 gold powders, and the rabbit and the waves were done with the Tsukegaki technique and completed with Roiro-migaki.
This design uses both gold powders and Aokin (Gold powder mixed with silver powder), sprinkled on the Urushi‑drawn design of the plant. The piece is completed with Togidashi.
This is a very good example of Hira Maki‑e, using round gold powders sprinkled on the shellfish.
This design was drawn with a fine brush; gold powder is sprinkled on it and gold foils are sprinkled on the waves, and the piece is given a final coat and is burnished.
Nerigaki means to draw with Urushi kneaded with gold powders on the design; this piece was done with Nerigaki and completed with the Tagidashi technique.
A good example of Ukiage (clearly raised area to appear as if floating) Togidashi Maki‑e. The flowers are painted with red Urushi powder and the leaves are raised with gold powder. Finally, the whole piece is carefully burnished multiple times, to render the raised part very visible.
Nashiji covers the surface. The crane is made with raised gold power, and the tree is Taka Maki-e raised with gold. The bark was painted with Sabi (Urushi mixed with polishing powder). This is a good example of Taka Maki‑e.
Another example of Taka Maki‑e. Raised technique is used on all of the treasure symbols and the piece is completed with Roiro‑migaki.
This beautiful piece has Togidashi and Nashiji on the maple leaves on the cap. The face is Urushi‑e (Urushi painting design without powder sprinkling); there is Taka Maki‑e on the Kimono, the letter and the box.
Date Masamune was the most famous follower of Ieyasu. The Kotsugaki technique (drawing contour lines to outline a design and applying Urushi between the lines) and Kirigane (thin powders sprinkled on the surface) are used on the castle; after the Urushi has dried, the object is polished. The pine trees use the Hira Togidashi technique and the armor uses the Taka Maki-e technique.
The base is made with heavily sprinkled gold powder, and the design beautifully uses the Tsukegaki technique and is finished with Togidashi. The gold powder and gold mixed with silver powder from size #1 to #8 were used on the bird and flowers.