Metal and Lacquer
Japan Metal and Lacquer Investigations
In 2007 I was awarded the Australia Council Emerging New Work Grant to travel to Japan to undertake a residency documenting some traditional Japanese metal and lacquer techniques. The aim was to create various surfaces through the investigation of traditional Japanese lacquer and metal techniques applied to a series of contemporary jewellery and objects.
This project is an investigtion into developing traditional techiques of Japanese lacquer and metal crafts and applying it to contemporary jewellery and objects. The interest in researching the applications of lacquer is a result in an authored dissertation titled 'Traditional Processes of Vietnamese Lacquer and their Applications to Contemporary Jewellery and Small Scale Body Related Objects' coupled with an exhibition at Kudos Gallery in May 2006. Lacquer is a lustrous paint from a tree resin indigenous to the Asian continent. My interest in Japanese arts is the reason to examine lacquer from this region.
For this project I intend to research and record Japanese lacquering processes, techniques and traditional metal crafts, and the outcomes of the application of the methodology to a series of jewellery objects inspired by floral motifs of East Asia. I am interested in this medium to explore surface techniques in my practice. The project's realisation will involve travel to Japan to visit lacquer artist's studio, lacquer craft and design centres and galleries and possibly university institutions. This opportunity will allow for workshop and technical studio development. The visit will also provide opportunities to purchase lacquer and specialised tools which are not available in Australia. Extensive preliminary research on the project, and contacts inititated will be established to ensure a successful research trip prior to going to Japan. With the documentation of the techniques, this will be applied and developed to a series of jewellery and ojects projects back home in Australia. The resulting research and work will aim for publications and exhibitions.
Digital technology and contemporary methods has been articulated in my work for the last 3 years. The body of work for this project will be a synthesis of traditional Japanese techniques with methods of digital and laser processes. The project will explore the various surfaces and surface patterns on the objects created from these combined investigations of different techniques. This new work aims to provide a contemporary representation and cross cultural reading from the exploration of these techniques. Furthermore develop an awareness into this ancient medium, lacquer.