“Kaba-zaiku” is a type of traditional Japanese woodwork using native cherry tree bark to make cylindrical items such as storage containers for tea.
Dark red cherry bark is used as it’s a natural insulator keeping moisture levels constant, essential in the storage of such things as tea leaves whee humidity levels are key. Other items made in this way include tobacco storage containers, clocks, calligraphy brushes and sword sheathes.
First, the bark is cleaned and treated to make it smooth and uniform. Then, paper thin sheets of cherry tree wood itself is cut into desired shapes with the bark being reapplied using the sap as an adhesive. A labour intensive process, the finished effect is stunning.