• Asao Sakamoto has experimented with a range of uses for lacquer, which adds zip to this collection of Zippo lighters. Sakamoto will be speaking on Tuesday, April 12, in Room E51-095.

    Photo courtesy / Keiko Fine Japanese Handcraft

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Take a new look at lacquer

Asao Sakamoto, president of Studio Eyes in Japan, will speak on "The Future of Lacquer in Art and Science" on Tuesday, April 12, at 5:30 p.m. in Room E51-095. Sakamoto has a special interest in urushi, the sap of a family of sumac trees found in various parts of Asia and has experimented with its use in diverse artistic, industrial and scientific applications.

In addition to extending the traditional palette of colored lacquer by the use of titanium and smoked silver leaf, Sakamoto has investigated urushi's many properties, including its resistance to heat, water, static, oxygen and hydrogen. Most recently, he has explored the use of urushi as a noncorrosive coating for motors of artificial hearts and oil gauges that contain rare earth magnets, both of which are subject to oxygen corrosion.

The talk is sponsored by the MIT-Japan Program in collaboration with the Japan Society of Boston and in conjunction with "The Sakamoto Project" exhibition at Keiko Fine Japanese Handcraft (121 Charles St., Boston). For more information, call 617-253-3142.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 6, 2005 (download PDF).

Topics: Materials science, Arts


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