11 hours ago
Saturday, 17 January 2015
Hakone yosegi parquetry
We awoke to see one of the 'pirate ships' on the lake, not far from the hotel. This is the view from our window.
The view from the dining room was even better - Mount Fuji, with just a little cloud.
Our first project for the day was a visit to Izumiya - a Hakone Yosegi Zaikan parquetry shop almost opposite the Hakone Hotel.
The reason for our visit was to collect the panels for Glyn's vintage Marantz CD player, which we'd had covered in yosegi by shop owner and yosegi craftsman Kenji Nakazato. He has made a beautiful job of the yosegi and Glyn is delighted with them.
The CD player will be transformed!
There were many stunning examples of yosegi parquetry in the shop. My favourite piece was the trick chest on the left of the photo. I would love to have one of these, but it would have to wait for a future trip, so I could plan taking it back home.
There are many different patterns in yosegi.
It is probably best known for the himitsu bako ('secret' boxes or puzzle boxes), where you have to slide panels in a certain sequence to open the box. I would be completely defeated by the more complicated boxes with more than a dozen moves, but luckily some only have four.
Yosegi is made by gluing together strips of wood to make the patterns.
Pieces are turned or, more commonly, veneered. The turned pieces must waste a lot of the parquetry, while making the thin veneer sheets is more economical. Originally, local woods were used, but some of them are now quite exotic and colourful. The wood isn't stained, just natural.
Of course, I love it because it resembles patchwork.
I used some of the patterns in 'Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match' and for my Hakone Yosegi Sampler quilt.
Even the pavement outside the shop looks like yosegi.
This has been the start of a wonderful day...