Clayworks resurrects Arakabe plastering

Renewed interest in the ancient art of Japanese Arakabe plastering.

At Clayworks, we are powerfully influenced by Japanese style and culture and a lot of our inspiration comes from Japanese design – including their pottery – and their particular way of favouring simplicity in the creation of luxury.

We first wrote about Japanese Shikkui and Arakabe plasters in our 2008 book while researching and developing our own range of naturally pigmented and natural clay plasters that would re-create the looks of Shikkui and Arakabe plasters, and that have inspiring aesthetic versatility and that contain no caustic or toxic ingredients.

Natural pigments and straw

Traditional Japanese plasters often use fibres within the mix for both decorative and functional purposes. To ensure we achieve an authentic Japanese feel, we add both long and short straw fibres to some of our finishes so they are visible in the final finish.

Organic textures and tones

With a varied colour palette and a multitude of textures to choose from, Clayworks’ clay plasters provide a flexible medium in which bespoke finishes can be incorporated. Using Japanese hard-trowel or sponging techniques, a sleek finish polished effect can be achieved, or alternatively you can opt for a more traditional textured finish. Designs and artwork can also be carved, reliefed or handcrafted into the finish. 

Araki Restaurant. Designed by Takenaka. 

Main photograph: Lucilla Nitto © 2014


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