Wancher - From the land of the rising sun.

Maki-e Techniques


Taka Maki-e 高蒔絵 (Raised Maki-e)

Taka Maki-e is created by applying metallic powder or charcoal powder to the surface to form the main design. It is then finished by a protective layer of lacquer.

Hira Maki-e 平蒔絵 (Flat Maki-e)

Hira Maki-e is achieved by applying sprinkled gold or silver powder on the smooth lacquered surface. Then many layers of lacquer are coated and finally burnished to get the smoothest surface.

Togidashi Maki-e 肉合研出蒔絵 (Burnished Maki-e)

Togidashi Maki-e features low relief sprinkled design and ground harden, they are covered in transparent or black lacquer, then polished down with charcoal until the design is flush with the new ground

Raden Maki-e (Mother of Pearl)

Raden Maki-e is the method of using shells and ivory to decorate the surface. Normally raden is apply on wood and there are various ways to apply shell pieces: thick shell pieces can be inlaid into pre-carved surface and small pieces are applied by adhesive and secured by layers of Urushi lacquer.


4 steps

Every single Maki-e pen has been through a process of at least 4 steps: lacquering, drawing or painting, sprinkling and polishing or lacquering again.


Maki-e painting brushes

The thinner the brush is the better maki-e drawing can be made. Two popular brushes used to draw maki-e are:  funzutsu 粉筒 (a bamboo tube with a silk or gauze net for laying powder) and tsumeban 爪盤 (made of water-buffalo horn or tortoise shell for lacquer paint).


Where to apply Maki-e on?


Ebonite Wood


Wooden Surface