What a luxury: turning out bowls from a grand old chestnut tree that has grown slowly for hundreds of years. When Ikkei NINJŌ starts to cut the large wooden plank into smaller pieces, all his senses are stretched – he does not want to spoil a single piece of wood. The wood he uses comes from old trees and has been dried naturally for at least ten years. Only from hard and tenacious wood like this can you make bowls that feel smooth and yet will not crack or distort over the years. There is no need to speak loudly about the extravagance of this work, about the amount of time and effort put into it. The hand and the mouth that use it will know, even if it is a baby who cannot yet speak.
Without any kind of foundation, Ikkei applies the urushi-lacquer directly on the wood. Its pulsating grain appears, and the layers of lacquer strengthen the wood in a lustrous manner.
The workshop, which Ikkei shares with his father, is stocked up and surrounded by wood in all sizes and shapes. When the belt of the lathe spins, the air hums and resonates all over the house, coursing through the earth, the pillars, the floor. Ikkei was raised on this vibration. He is a wood turner with every fiber of his being. And it is the wood that lies at the heart of his work and interest.
Apart from the classic lacquer technique, Ikkei uses other finishing techniques as well. Sometimes he leaves the wood untreated in its natural pureness; sometimes he burns and carbonises the surface. We will present you an ample selection of wooden works Ikkei has made from tochi-, kuri-, and keyaki-wood especially for this exhibition. It is Ikkei’s first exhibition at gallery nichinichi, and we hope that the resonance of his works and talks with clients will encourage him to pursue his way.
was born in Kurashiki City in 1986. After graduating from high school, he decided to focus his lifework on making wooden vessels while helping his father, Yoshikatsu NINJO.