PORTRAIT – DAVID THATCHER

Full-time restorer living in the UK David has carried out restorations on some of the worlds finest samurai armours crafted by the Myochin, Nagasone, Saiga, Baemen, Iwai, Saotome, Neo and Haruta Schools.

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Katchushi David Thatcher
David’s Katchushi Studio has a number of dedicated workshops covering textiles, lacquering, metalwork and photography

My name is David Thatcher, and I am a professional restorer of Katchu, Japanese armour. I began to restore armours in the early 1980’s committing to a full-time venture in 2011. I work from a dedicated commercial studio located in the historic Roman town of Towcester in Northamptonshire, England.

My customers include leading museums, international dealers and collectors both inside and outside of Japan

You may be surprised to know that there is no formal qualification for restoring armour. These days there are only a handful of restorers in Japan. The opportunity arose that I could begin to study the art of Japanese lacquer. My sensei, Miss Miho Kitagawa, a professional urushi teacher of the Kyoto Prefectural University was able to help me adapt traditional lacquering techniques that were used on armour. Understanding lacquer and the important role it plays in armour is a necessity as nearly all restorations require some form of lacquer repair.

I only use traditional materials and authentic procedures in my restoration work

I am also a PhD student in the subject of Conservation and Preservation of Japanese Armour. To date, I have been able to carry out restorations on some of the worlds finest samurai items crafted by the Myochin, Nagasone, Saiga, Baemen, Iwai, Saotome, Neo and Haruta Schools.

As part of my Continuing Professional Development, I visit Japan on a regular basis where I learn from the worlds leading Katchushi including such teachers as Nishioka, Toyoda and Ogawa.

You are guaranteed that by using my services you will receive the very best restoration standard outside of Japan.

The Samurai Art Museum Berlin: Working on an armour originally belonging to Lord Kato Yasuzumi (加藤泰済, 1785-1826)

Examples of before and after commissions

A badly damaged armour from the Higgins museum was restored to its former glory
A completely restored oshu gusoku

Website: http://yoroi.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Samuraiarmour/