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Iwata Houraiya

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The story of Iwata Houraiya begins in 1924. It's a story of new chapters written in the present day, continuing with the third generation. The workshop specializes in the manufacture of Buddhist altars. The latter are miniature temples that store all household Buddhist fittings and statues.

They have harnessed their expertise to combine a breadth of know-how, from fine cabinetmaking and Urushi lacquer techniques, to wood gilding and sculpting.

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"Urushi is both a natural lacquer and protective coating.
Its purpose extends beyond mere aesthetics; it’s an extension of an object’s lifespan."
Iwata Horayia

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In its first-ever collaboration with designers, the Iwata Houraiya workshop was surprised to discover Garnier & Linker's focus on pure shapes using just two techniques. First, the development of fine wooden pieces. Second, experimentation on Urushi lacquer. The collaboration marked a departure from the craftsmanship applying multi-layered lacquer for a perfectly smooth and reflective surface.

The purpose: reveal the trace of the hand and its imperfections, unveiling the lacquer's transparency.