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Urushiol is an organic oily liquid extracted from trees which stands as the main constituent of urushi lacquer, an craft technique that has a strong cultural significance in Wajima, in the Ishikawa prefecture of Japan. One of the most naturally durable finishes known, it is often used for decorative applications onto furniture pieces or small tableware items such as bowls. British designer Max Lamb has formed a bench and stool from cleft chestnut found in London’s Springfield Park and varnished the two pieces with urushi lacquer.

The bulky objects which lamb has chiseled down to his desired size and shape, maintaining the roughness of his handiwork – opposing the clean minimalistic designs of typical urushi lacquerware – the textured surfaces of the seating furniture offering a contrast to the sleek, glossy finish of the lacquer.

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