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The Beautiful Processes of Elite Urushi Craftsmen

Though it sounds necessarily foreign, you may have encountered urushi pieces at a fancy restaurant or museum. The Japanese term refers to the process of using lacquer to paint rich, sweeping gestures across wood or other materials. The process has been alive in Japan for well over 9,000 years, a sacred practice kept alive by a small cult of expert craftsmen. Here Yamada Heiando, special purveyor of such methods, offers an intimate look at the hypnotizing, beautiful process of producing urushi pieces. The story flows takes viewers from the fast-paced wood carving process to the meticulous hand-painting techniques. Enjoy the episode above.

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