Iwayado Tansu – The Masterpieces of Traditional Woodwork
►Where to Buy & More Information
■local production associations
Iwayado Tansu production cooperative association
68-1, Ebijima, Esashikuodaki, Oshu-shi, Iwate
Tansu means a chest of drawers and Iwayado Tansu are masterpieces of traditional woodwork made in the Esashi Ward of Oshu City, and in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture.
Antique Japanese tansu from the Iwayado area. Made with Sugi (cypress) wood frame and dramatic Keyaki (elm) burl front panels, in original red/orange lacquer finish.
In addition to chests of drawers for storing clothing and the like, the present-day furniture range includes tea cabinets, book shelves, and low tables; however, in earlier times, a variety of very interesting chests were made some with other functions such as a chest that can be used as a staircase, ship’s chests used as a safe box for keeping valuables, or even wheeled chests that could be pushed to safety in the event of a fire.
Iwayado Tansu are distinguished by their elaborate designs and beautiful metal ornamentation in the form of corners, handles, and the like.
They come in two types: hand-chased metal work and Nambu ironware fittings. A single chest of drawers may include 60 to 100 metal fittings with beautifully embossed pictorial designs;
They are truly magnificent pieces of furniture. In addition, Iwayado Tansu is lacquered, in one of two different ways: fuki-urushi-nuri (repeated lacquering and polishing) and kijiro-nuri (clear lacquering); both techniques enhance the beautiful wood grain finish and give substance to the furniture and with time and use and polishing the wood develops a rich deep coloring.
►General Production Process
1. Preparing the Timber
2. Joinery and Assembly
4. Urushi (Lacquer) Coating
5. Making Metal Fittings (1): Drawing the Design
6. Making Metal Fittings (2): Chasing
7. Making Metal Fittings (3): Embossing
8. Attaching Metal Fittings
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Iwayado Tansu | The Masterpieces of Traditional Woodwork