Nocturne: Four Seasons is perhaps the most intricate in an incredibly special series of sculptural, hand fabricated boxes by master studio furniture and urushi artist Yoko Zeltersman-Miyaji. Twelve months in the making, Nocturne: Four Seasons was first hand fabricated from the finest Mahogany before Zeltserman-Miyaji began the process of applying the urushi, or Japanese lacquer. Each color of urushi is painstakingly mixed by hand for two to three hours before Zeltserman-Miyaji begins the application. Each layer may take weeks to dry and then can be polished by hand to reveal the exquisite patterns present in the work. The importance of keeping the tradition of urushi furniture alive inspires Zeltserman-Miyaji to use everyday materials such as beans, macaroni, rice or soles of slippers to create richly embellished and exquisitely lacquered surfaces.
Nocturne: Four Seasons is both a beautiful sculptural homage to the night sky in all seasons of the year as well as a functional box of drawers which can easily be used and enjoyed for lifetimes, destined to become a cherished heirloom. The exterior of the box bears bits of inlaid mother of pearl like the stars in the night sky. Four doors open to reveal several drawers with hand fabricated brass pulls. Each drawer is itself a work of art, with unique urushi finishes inside and out and bits of inlaid eggshell gleaming white.
The first female Japanese artist to make furniture reflecting the 1970s American studio furniture movement, Yoko Zeltserman-Miyagi is known as a pioneer of contemporary furniture in her native country of Japan. Midori Oka, former curator of the Peabody Essex Museum writes, “Miyaji’s furniture epitomizes the genius of Japanese furniture design, where form and function come together.”
Mahogany, oak, roiro (black) urushi, colored urushi, pigment, cotton linen, egg shell, mother of pearl, hand-fabricated, coated and turned brass knobs, kawari nuri polishing technique
20.5″ x 20.5″ x 10.75″