Makie ・ Dragon fly [no.11012]

Product name: Dragon fly [no.11012]
Price: US$6,000
Barrel material: Ebonite
Description: We use very thin skin of the shellfish "Shiro-cho-gai" for making the wings of a dragonfly. ("Shiro" means white, "cho" means a butterfly, and "gai" equals "kai" which means a shellfish). In order to put the wings on the curved surface of a pen, a craftsman carefully and finely cut it and paste those fine pieces on the pen. This technique is called "Wari-gai".("Wari" means to break or cut). As to the body of a dragonfly, Taka-maki-e technique (the raised lacquer-work) is used for several times so as to express the three dimensional appearance in fine detail. As the finishing, the gold powder is put on and the other fine details are drawn. As the background of the dragonfly, the image of the shinning clouds at sunset is expressed on the barrel. First, "Kin-hirame" (the rough gold powder) and then the gold powder are sprinkled. Wajima maki-e artists use several colors and kinds of red ("shu") urushi such as "Aka-kuchi-shu" (deep red), "Arai-shu" (orange-red), "Nashiji-urushi" and so on. They also paint, dry and polish with their respective materials. Finally, the fine details are drawn and "Tsuyu-tama" (platinum powder) is sprinkled. A dragonfly is traditionally the insect symbolizing the victory and has the image of a good omen in Japan. The red urushi has been used for a longtime because the people respect the color as the symbol of the sun, a flame or a life.
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