Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tuesday Terms: Japanning

With our thoughts and prayers with the people of Japan, this week's term will be the same: Japanning. Japanning describes the imitation of Asian lacquer-work by European craftspeople in 18th Century England. It is a lacquering process that uses layers of resin varnish, similar to shellac, upon a wooden surface to achieve a smooth glossy finish. It would typically have Asian inspired motifs painted on the finish.

An example would be something like this:

But I think a more modern example of this idea would be this elm Wood "Dynasty" chest from Horchow:

Or even this interesting "Joule" console, also from Horchow, which is handcrafted of wood with a silver-gilt finish:

And while she knows nothing of Japanning, a 3-month old baby Selby does seem to have mastered sunning on her recent excursion to Hawaii:

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