Region: Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture

Born in 1977, Katsuji Kamata first worked with urushi (lacquer) during his university years and continued his studies in Wajima under the guidance of Mr. Akito Akagi. Kamata specializes in the creation of his unique pieces using the kanshitsu (dry lacquer) technique.

His process involves the use of wood, clay, and plaster to form a mold, onto which he pastes linen cloth soaked in lacquer. This procedure is repeated at least twice depending on the thickness. Subsequently, Kamata removes the mold and trim off the excess part, resulting a lightweight hollow structure. The final touch involves applying natural lacquer in multiple layers, allowing it to set in an enclosed environment until the lacquerware is complete.

As there aren’t many people crafting large amounts of tableware using the Kanshitsu technique, Kamata often navigate challenges independently—a part of his joy. Living in an environment where he can gaze at the sea, listen to the sounds of birds and insects, feel the wind, savor local cuisine, and enjoy sake, Kamata has found the ideal setting to pursue his passion.