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Chitaka Hashimoto Lacquer Ware Artist I renovated a building from the Taisho era and made it my studio. The exterior is pure Japanese architecture, but from the entrance to the hall it is a somewhat rare building mixing half Japanese Taisho era style with Western styles, and I use the hall as a gallery. I use the room with a view overlooking the garden as my studio. The room I spend the most time in each day is my work room, so I selected the most comfortable room.

Chitaka Hashimoto Lacquer Ware ArtistI gaze at the garden often between works. I am usually carrying out detailed work continuing over many days, so I try to feel the nature as much as possible and relax. The garden trees and the birds that come by show me the changing of the seasons. Tending the garden is my sole hobby, and it always gives me a strong sense of the traditional Japanese value of "coexisting with nature". When creating lacquer ware, you must accept the "essence of the lacquer", or in other words its "nature". In this way, the two things are very similar. Also, when I notice the natural sense of comfort I feel at these times, it gives me a strong feeling of being Japanese.

In addition to the first coat of plastering, coating, lacquer decoration, mother of pearl inlays, and other things in the category of lacquer work, I conduct almost all other parts of the process by myself from the unglazed pottery to the creation of the metal fittings. There are a lot of materials and tools I use, so I use both the main wing of the house which also serves as a residence together with a separate barn. The main wing has the lacquer and metalwork room as well as the computer design and processing room, while the outhouse is used mainly for woodwork and the processing of mother of pearl materials.

Chitaka Hashimoto Lacquer Ware ArtistMost of the tools in my studio are either handmade or order made. The fields I handle are extensive, so I'm always researching regarding tools and materials. I developed a lacquer ware soil powder with an acquaintance who is a physician and a lacquer ware lover, and it is sold on the market as a product. Needless to say I use this soil powder in all of my own works.

I use one room of the main wing as a materials room for research, drafting, etc. I collect every book relating to lacquer which I feel necessary whenever possible. I also try to keep actual lacquer wares which I deem necessary as reference materials on hand whenever possible. I am especially interested in mother of pearl materials, and I have some quite rare works such as Toyama Somada. Since I work at home, in general I accomplish everything in my studio including investigation, work, and research.

Chitaka Hashimoto Lacquer Ware Artist Although almost all of my works will fit in the palm of one's hand, completing each work takes quite a large workspace and a lot of time. I try to do the utmost with all my creations, without compromising. Thinking back, it seems that I probably spent as much energy on creating my work environment.

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