Today art enjoys such a wide scope that it encompasses a huge range. On one end of the spectrum, you have things like digital art and on the other end you have things that require a lot of talent, skill, creativity and not to mention a great deal of patience to be able to do. In this article we will be looking at something that would require a lot of thought, patience, skill and talent to do—Yosegi. If you are wondering what Yosegi is, then we are coming to that. It originated in the Hakone region of Japan around the years 1603-1868, which was a culturally rich EDO time. The Yosegi way of working with wood has been credited to the master craftsman Nihei Ishikawa. You may find references to this art when you read all about Japanese art and the contributions it has made to the world.
Coming back to Yosegi, it is a pattern that is not painted or printed but an intricate wood pattern that is created by scraping a thin layer of wood and making the most of the natural grain of the wood. Different pieces of wood with varying hues and shapes are used to create this Yosegi. You may be pleasantly surprised to find these in luxurious cruise ship interiors to enjoy the nautical journey because it is rare to come across such works of art in such places. The kind of finish that Yosegi artists bring to their work can sometimes leave you confused about them and comparing them with sharp and precise laser cut wood crafts.
The art of Yosegi can be traced back to the mountainous area of Hakone that has a huge choice in trees and thereby wood. Hakone Yosegi Zaiku or Hakone marquetry is a traditional handicraft of that area. When you look closely at Yosegi artworks, you will see that it is formed of intricate and detailed patterns of the geometric kind or mosaics formed of many kinds of woods. Yosegi boxes with intricate patterns are usually found on jewelry boxes or boxes of similar dimensions. Even the construction of the box with intricate parts that slide in and out are part of the art.
Sometimes these can take on the form of a puzzle that will have you occupied for hours. And then the patterns will also leave you bewildered about the kind of detailed work that has gone into it.
Often Yosegi patterns will have a three-dimensional effect that creates its own mystery. You have to check out the way the Yosegi artists pick out bits and pieces of wood and shape them, glue them and then consolidate into shapes and patterns to know how dedicated they are to their art. It is not easy nor is it without risks as one is required to handle machinery to cut really thin bits of wood. The artist almost have a meditative quality as they work on creating their patterns and you can truly see what they mean by wooden mosaics.
If you are looking for Yosegi pieces to own, then you have to be sure that you are purchasing the ones that are worked on by hand and that they are genuine. Learning this art will require you to be patient, sharp, imaginative and having a steady hand. But you can be sure that if you are thinking of acquiring this art or learning to do it, it can soon become an addiction. You will know what we mean when you look at the images we have given along with this article.