Many people have an image of lacquerware as being difficult to handle.
Certainly, its surface may appear weak compared to that of earthenware, porcelain, or glass.
However, many people who make it feel “it is more durable than I thought”.
If you use it correctly, it will last for multiple generations.
I shall explain things you must never do if you want to use good things for a long time.
Never use a knife and fork with lacquerware!
You will realise this if you think about it for a while, but if you scrape a fork or knife on the lacquer coating, you may scratch it.
Previously, I heard of a craftsmen lending the lacquerware they had created themselves for a planned collaboration with a restaurant, and it coming back heavily scratched.
I feel a tightness in my chest when imagining the feelings of that poor person.
I think that the most common pattern of lacquerware being used with a fork is in the case of Japanese confectionery.
Sweet bean jelly looks really enticing on a small lacquer plate, does it not? At this time, they often provide a stiff fork.
There is also an issue of ice cream in a lacquerware small bowl. Just thinking about it makes me lick my lips. Vanilla ice cream in a zhu bowl. How nice!
The tendency at this time is to use a hard metal spoon.
A wooden confectionery cutter and spoon needs to be prepared, and this is required in order to use it for a long time without damaging the lacquerware.
Never expose it to direct sunlight
Lacquer is an excellent coating. To explain just how excellent it is, once the lacquer is hardened, it will not melt however strong the acid is that you apply to it.
I do not believe there is any substance in the world that can melt lacquer once it is hardened.
However, as it is natural sap, it tries to return to its natural form. It is broken down by ultraviolet rays.
As this decomposition is over several years or several decades, the object itself will not disappear.
We often see old lacquerware where the gloss has been removed due to the impact of ultraviolet rays.
This tends to be whitish, so it is not good to keep it in areas where there is strong sunlight.
Have you ever seen outdoor temples and shrines where the vermilion and black lacquer has become whitish, and the gloss is disappearing.
At this time, the lacquer would need to be reapplied, and periodic reapplication is common.
I do not believe that crockery would normally be left outside, as long as you pay attention to the storage area, you’ll be able to enjoy lacquer with a rich gloss.
Refrigerators and microwave ovens
Previously, we often heard of wooden plates cracking when they were left in the refrigerator.
Whereas it is true that temperature inside a refrigerator is low, it also has low humidity.
In many cases, the bodies of the lacquerware are made of wood. This would will crack if stress is applied.
Inside a microwave oven as well, moisture contained in the lacquerware causes a reaction and it may crack. As this may also cause discoloration of the pigment, avoid using it in a microwave oven. If you write better here than
It is also said that the use of dishwashers may be harmful. As warmair is applied during the drying stage, this may not be suitable for lacquerware.
If you follow instructions regarding the three items above, you will be able to use the lacquerware for a long period of time.
Treat the beautiful lacquerware carefully, and you will be able to pass the true Japanese spirit of treating things well along with the dishes to future generations.