Sixteen-sided polygon cherry bark chest

This is an exquisitely crafted hexadecagon cherry bark chest made up o 16 facets, or a sixteen-sided polygon chest.

Beautifully handcrafted by master craftsmen of Fujiki Denshiro in Kakunodate/Akita Prefecture.

Size Φ 31 H 12 cm.

About Cherry Bark Craft - Kabaizuku

Cherry bark is an eco-friendly material as it will regrow after being harvested. Cherry bark ware mainly have two different kinds of finishes: the one is Marble, that retains the appearance of the raw bark ; the other is Natural, whose surface is thinly scraped to a polish. The surfaces of cherry bark items will grow more lustrous the more you handle them.

Harvest

The cherry bark is harvested between August and September in the mountains of the northern area of Japan because the trees contain a generous quantity of water. Thus the professional experts can cleanly peeled away from the trunk. And it has been dried naturally for about two years. Even after the cherry bark has been harvested from a tree, if the total amount of harvesting is under one third of the entire tree, the bark regrows.

Marble finish is the raw bark with gray-brown color. Only fine raw bark can be used for it, thus it is precious. The raw bark becomes reddish brown color by whittling, and then polishing it to a high shine, called Natural. To transform wild cherry bark into the craft material “Marble” and “Natural”, which we use in our collections, the craftsman whittles and polishes each.

Techniques:

Kijimono - This is the technique used to make boxes or rectangular shaped items like trays and tea chests. It is performed by using a highly heated trowel to press the layers of cherry bark and wood onto a wooden base. The  Aiita and Subako series items are created using this technique.

Katamono- This technique is used to make cylinders for tea caddies. The craftsman glues together layers of cherry bark and wood. He then wraps them around a cylindrical wooden mold and irons them with a highly heated trowel to attach them.

As all the parts of a tea caddy are made from one cylinder, thus it has a high airtightness, and will protect tea leaves from moisture.