Collection Wajima by Bouroullec Brothers



Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have created a series of contemporary objects for Japan Brand, using traditional Japanese craft techniques.


After visiting several workshops in one of Japan's famed lacquer-ware producing areas, Wajima, the brothers decided to focus on producing a collection of products that could illustrate the wide range of possibilities of lacquer applications.


The collection comprises a lamp, a desk lamp, a double lunch tray and a pocket mirror.


Photographs are copyright of Paul Tahon and R & E Bouroullec unless otherwise stated.

Here's more information from the Bouroullecs:


Following their mission of developing Japan's craftsmanship and industry, Japan Brand invited us to conceive a contemporary object using traditional know-hows, trying to open the way for new uses and applications.


As we were first oriented towards traditional lacquer ware and cutlery, Ronan had the opportunity to visit several workshops from one of Japan's great lacquer ware producing areas: Wajima.


After ten days in fascinating immersion with craftsmen, trying to understand all techniques, fabrication atmospheres and decisive criteria for realization, we decided to concentrate onto lacquer ware only and to choose the workshop we felt most appropriate for a deep and smooth collaboration.


Whereas the demand concerned one sole object, we insisted on proposing a collection that could illustrate the wide range of possibilities of lacquer applications.


We thus worked onto four objects that had deliberately different destinations such as culinary, domestic and nomadic applications.


Our main desire was to show the beauty of perfectly reflecting lacquer and its possible uses in everyday life, through simple yet precious objects of sorts.


The lamp is a luminous box that highlights the magnificence of lacquer while presenting large shiny surfaces reflecting light.


Thanks to the red glow diffused by the light when switched on, a very subtle mood emanates from the lacquer and creates a smooth and captivating atmosphere.


The desk lamp is an assemblage of three elements that remind distinctly of very traditional lacquer ware shapes. Above photograph copyright of Tetsuya Ito.


The final piece that derives from this simple combination suggests the infinite possibilities offered by the material and its classical elements. It shows that familiar forms can give birth to different and mysterious contemporary objects. Above photograph copyright of Tetsuya Ito.


The use of Leds in both lights enhances the impact of the marriage between ancient and recent techniques. Above photograph copyright of Tetsuya Ito.


The double lunch tray set is a precious box, initially thought as a culinary object but with several possible applications. Above photograph copyright of Tetsuya Ito.


Closed by two magnets the shape seems to present an infinite curve, with no asperity. Open, it proposes a symmetrical double-tray that can welcome any kind of food or object. Above photograph copyright of Tetsuya Ito.


The pocket mirror is a nomadic and delicate object that expresses the wonderful texture of the lacquer. Above photograph copyright of Tetsuya Ito.


At the end, this unisex of kind raises a feeling of preciousness and banality at the same time. Above photograph copyright of Tetsuya Ito.


Above: photograph copyright Tetsuya Ito.

Posted on Wednesday July 1st 2009 at 1:21 pm by Brad Turner. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Xit

    Lucky guys to work with such a noble technique.

    The actual objects look very similar to their Kreo pieces which makes this slightly copy and paste between clients.

  • eduardo alvares

    Great work!
    Elegant and whole, things we are needing these days.

  • modular

    “Lip my stockings”.

    I like this! :)

  • tanya telford – T

    I can’t seem to get away from this collection (in my in box) today – to be honest i love the desk lamp – but i wish it was cordless – that would be really good, I could imagine carrying it around, and amazing craftsmanship im sure, what a luxury, to work with such people, ive seen how focused & specialised the Japanese can be, amazing people and culture and I love the fact that these products are using a very traditional techniques, so I guess even with a cord, I love the desk lamp, (i just wish it was without), oh and id use the tray box too, potentially very romantic.

  • M

    looks like great workmanship, boring design

  • @ eduardo alvares
    “Elegant and whole, things we are needing these days.”…
    Are you sure with elegance , chic we will save the world? Could designer save the world? or only change the world? ( as Karim Rashid said)
    We are all brothers
    I love all the brothers in design : the campana brothers ( in vitra museum germany , in potcast Arte french greman TV chic and in french Lacoste )… and the Bouroullec Brothers in Vitra , in Japan …
    Future is co-design …

    PS : I like too, Starck + Quilet brothers too… There is no irony here because
    a star designers did always a co-design with a chef studio or a senior designer or with the studio as suggested by Peter Zec , red dot award founder…

  • Cíntia Mourato

    Perfect!, special idea!

  • n

    i am jizzing in my pants right now over this stuff. love it.

  • jc

    love the photos of thw workshop, nice to see the crafting process

  • dsgngurunyc

    beautiful things we actually want! bravo, design is back!

  • hedin

    more of the same…… but beautifully made I’m sure. Isn’t that logo a bit big too?

  • larp

    cliche…. a 5yo japanese child could come up with the same design… a overly simplistic application of japanese craft.

  • yo

    I wonder how much these pieces will end up in the price? Another luxury craft without reality?