What is the Raden Technique
One of the oldest and most respected decorative techniques for wooden-ware and lacquer-ware objects is known as “raden.” It is a traditional, decorative approach, dating back thousands of years in East Asia, which has now spread throughout the world.
We so happen to use a variety of raden applications when creating and designing our hairbrushes. And the most important concept for a true raden craftsman is balance. A professional raden craftsman understands how to cultivate the harmonious relationship between inspiration and earthen materials. In particular with real woods that are carefully selected for their natural health benefits durability. The raden application consists of adorning these wooden surfaces with shiny patterns; filling the visual grooves with ivory or fine materials such as shell, gold or silver.
Originally, the Chinese styles of raden craftsmanship developed over centuries—especially as it became a highly artistic craft. This led to unique gifts, which traveled across borders and countries, ultimately pushing the artform beyond its origin of expertise. The art of precious inlaid metals, such as gold, silver, as well as ivory, shells, and mother-of-pearl also became common too. Today, the Tan Mujiang artists continue to use the new and advanced techniques but do so while still adhering to the balanced relationship that help bring about the craft.
How We Apply True Raden Craftsmanship
The term, “raden,” may be used interchangeably amongst different countries around South and East Asia, but the decorative technique remains the same: A highly sophisticated art form that requires expert-level craftsmanship.
Raden is essentially the practice for delectate and simple design applications that enhanced polished surfaces, namely wood finishes. When you look at our hairbrushes, you notice they are infused with unique symbols that hint to the powers within nature.
The beautiful Thriving Lotus is a perfect example of this; a hand carved and decorated piece influenced by the raden technique. It is inlaid with gold coloring and mother-of-pearl for the lotus flower design. The delicate flower can thrive out of the mud and remain pure amongst its elements. It is a symbol of purity and respect, as is the true raden craftsmanship. Only through the delicate raden application process could this be accomplished.
The same is true of all our products, which are made with real natural wood and carefully selected before polished art is applied by our raden design experts. This is how we empower every Tan Mujiang piece to become a masterpiece; shining bright and easy to notice.
How the Raden Technique Blends Cultures
As decorated art pieces with delicate inlaid patterns and designs became more prevalent across Asia, the techniques varied and evolved as artist garnered local inspiration and available materials.
In Japan, archaeological findings revealed the century old raden processes a bit more. Some people used to inlay shell materials and rudimentary metals within knife carvings as well. The eastern sub-region of Asia, like China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam are also deemed to be the artistic leaders when it comes the raden craft on wooden-ware and lacquer-ware items.
Today, Tan Mujiang is bringing about the raden effect, infused with hints of nature, to the west all over again. From the Thriving Lotus’s sense of purity, the Dragonfly Grace’s happiness effect, or the Koi’s symbolism for luck, every brush has this harmonious relationship between inspiration and earthen materials.
It is by that measure; the professional craftsmanship approach makes a real difference to the quality and long-lasting value of our handmade hairbrushes.