Urushi / Kintsugi course

“It is since 1979, after an apprenticeship with a master lacquerer in Kyoto, that I have been working with this noble material that is Urushi. One of the applications is kintsugi, an ancestral practice in Japan which consists of repairing wounds with the most precious thing, gold, and bringing back to life what has been broken. »

Martine Rey, lacquer artist

Urushi is a Japanese term used to designate vegetable lacquer used in the manufacture of traditional objects. This lacquer comes from the sap of a tree, Rhus verniciflua. Its cultural heritage as well as developments in its technique have given it its credentials. Today it holds an exceptional place in artistic crafts in Asia and is beginning to be used in the West. Naturally amber, urushi is exceptional in more than one way: waterproof, it has strong adhesion power, is distinguished by its exceptional hardening as well as its good heat tolerance, up to 400°C. Let us add to this that this lacquer has very good resistance to acids and solvents, and that its anti-germ qualities make it an ideal coating for parts intended for food contact.
In essence, an urushi project takes time. This is a process that takes place in several stages and under very specific conditions; the addition and alterations of material as well as the curing time are sequenced and repeated until the project is deemed complete. Time is an essential factor, both in terms of the intrinsic properties of the lacquer and the finish of the pieces themselves.

Martine Rey

After studying at the School of Applied Arts in Paris, Martine Rey went to Japan to learn different traditional techniques for using vegetable lacquer (Urushi) in Kyoto. Having become a master in the art of working surfaces, she creates elegant and discreet works, in balance between the Tradition she embodies and the originality of a sincere artistic approach. As an artist, she sublimates ordinary objects and reveals beauty, also where we least expect it. She is particularly interested in gaps, the effect of touch and also in repairs such as Kintsugi. She has been teaching these surface treatment techniques for over 40 years and it is fortunate to be able to discover her approach and her pieces for the first time in Montreal.

martinerey-laque.com Audio interview with Martine Rey on The Hug of Arts Film by Gaspard Mathevet on Martine Rey Martine Rey : Retours de Résidence