Aka that time when watching the paint dry really was fun.

You’ve probably walked past hundreds of storefronts in your lifetime advertising all sorts of goods, specials, and even just business hours. But have you ever given a second thought to how those slogans got to be there in the first place? Some of them may have been applied as decals, but others may have taken a bit more of an artistic vision to come to fruition. At least, that’s what Twitter user @s_ozawa0718 discovered during a recent visit from a professional letterer.

Ozawa Kanamono-ten is a hardware store in Echizen City, Fukui Prefecture. They specialize in objects made of gold, other metals, and wood crafted in a traditional Japanese aesthetic, making them a perfect place to swing by whenever there’s a local construction of a new teahouse or temple. They also have a selection of vintage ware from the Showa era (1926-1989), adding a strikingly retro flare to the merchandise lineup.

Earlier last week, the owners of Ozawa Kanamono-ten decided that the exterior of their store was in need of some sprucing up, so they called a local professional to come and paint the store’s name in kanji on the main glass door. To their surprise, the process was much simpler and faster than they were expecting, taking less than an hour from start to finish, but it definitely was something that only a true craftsman would be able to accomplish. They detailed the steps to the finished product in a series of photos:

“It’s pretty uncommon nowadays, but I had my glass sliding doors hand-painted. I put the call in yesterday and this morning the artisan painted his spontaneous design using only one arm. I really like shops with handwritten signs.”

“The finished product. This style is the best on old merchant houses. Not cut-out characters, but hand-painted ones. There really are very few signmakers who will write characters on glass, but this professional came over right away the morning after I called. This is what it means to work with your arms, huh.”

Net users responded positively to the post, demonstrating their newfound appreciation for the stylish hand-painted sign and artistic trade in general. The store owners also enthusiastically responded to many of the comments:

“So the white is painted outside like a rough sketch? It’s erased later, right?”
[Owners’ response] “That’s right! The writing is applied with color from the inside, and the white draft is on the outside!”

“That is just pure awesomeness.”
[Owners’ response] “I agree. The painter was finished and went home within an hour. It was so cool.”

“This is it! Real Japanese craftsmanship”

“Thank you so much for posting–I’d never seen how this kind of thing was done before.”
[Owners’ response] “I completely assumed that he would have to unfasten the door and lie it down on the ground to paint on it, but no need. Apparently painting on window panels and trucks is the same process.”

“I hope this craft continues to be passed down for future generations.”

There you have it–sometimes, it’s the most seemingly simple things that are the most intriguing.

Source: Twitter/@s_ozawa0718
Featured image: Twitter/@s_ozawa0718