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Urushi lacquer- answer to Natasha


renato

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Hi Natasha, I read now Your questions on urushi and I try to answer in a new topic:

 

Sabi-urushi: normally the mixture for ground layers are made of: 2 parts of clay (jinoko or tonoko), 1 part of water and 1 part of raw urushi. The amount of urushi depends from its fluidity, and sometimes You must thin it with turpentine oil or others. For example Sawaguchi (Nippon shikko no kenkyu-Studies on Japanese Urushi Techniques- 1966) suggests for an intermediat ground layer: 50g of jinoko +50g of tonoko +45cc of water +50g of raw urushi. Remember You must always apply very thin layers of urushi (less than 1 mm of sabi-urushi; less than 0,5 mm of pure urushi) and You must work the urushi, before to apply it, on the glass table with a spatula, to improve its fluidity.

 

Dry the urushi: if You don't have a Japanese furo (or muro, the drying cabinet), You can make an efficient one with a big cardborad box with an efficient cover; instead of water cup, I found that one or two small and wet rags inside are better; You put the box at 24/27 C° and check the rags are always wet. The urushi will dry well in two days; normally sabi-urushi dries before pure urushi, because there are water inside it.

 

Mix pigments in tranparent urushi: the best way is to buy directly colored urushi (specially for roiro). If You mix pigment podwers to suki-urushi remeber the urushi'll become thick, and You must thin it (Not too much, otherwise urushi can loose its properties). It's better to mantain the urushi fluid, with a litte less of podwer, and put some layers more to strengthen the colour.

 

I hope this topic is helpful to You

Renato

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Hello Renato!

Thank You very much this evening I'll use your advice with Sabi-Urushi! Today I've got one more parcel from Watanabe Shoten, now I have Seshime-Urushi and Tonoko! I have muro and can control temperature, but lacquers dry very long, about two weeks or more, probably I have not enough humidity inside this box, I put a cup with some water, I think I should add bigger cup with water. I live in very dry climate last years, only autumn brings enough humidity. Before I tried to use Kijiro and Kijomi Urushi, added too much water. The test lines of Urushi lacquers on a piece of glass dried also very long. Can it be problem of less humidity or I kept to high temperature about +28-+30 C?

Thank You for your help!

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I think the problem is humidity and not temperature. First check Your drying cabinet is well sealed; second try to put inside two cloths well soaked in water and squeezed (they realase moisture faster then a cup of water). Mantain the cloths wet and the urushi will dry in two days. If You apply a layer too thick it wrinkles and remains wet under the external wrinkled surface.

Try!

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When I was a potter, and used a damp cabinet, or cupboard, for maintaining a level of humidity for what ever reasons, the floor of the cupboard was covered with a thick, rectangular piece of plaster, which was constantly damp. Moisture was added when needed. Would such a technique work for this moisture provision?

 

Janel

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Hello Renato!

I'm sorry I have one more question about Sabi-Urushi, now the process goes well and fast, but for the next layers of Sabi-Urushi, I would like to cover with thinner layers, what should I add in mixture of Sabi-Urushi for to do it thinner, to add more water in Tonoko, or to add more Seshime-Urushi? Using the proportions 2Tonoko+1water+1Seshime I get a little bit thick layer. I need to do finer polishing with every layer of Sabi, I think that Sabi must be thinner, or not? :blink:

Thank You!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hello Renato!

I'm sorry I have one more question about Sabi-Urushi, now the process goes well and fast, but for the next layers of Sabi-Urushi, I would like to cover with thinner layers, what should I add in mixture of Sabi-Urushi for to do it thinner, to add more water in Tonoko, or to add more Seshime-Urushi? Using the proportions 2Tonoko+1water+1Seshime I get a little bit thick layer. I need to do finer polishing with every layer of Sabi, I think that Sabi must be thinner, or not? ;)

Thank You!

 

 

It's difficult to change the proportions having the same qualities of the mixture. You can try to thin the urushi with a litte turpentine oil, mixing and working for a long time the urushi with a spatula on the glass table. I think is not a good idea to put more water in tonoko, may be better to put less tonoko and water at all (the mixture will be thin and harder when it dries). There aren't very strictly rules in lacquering, You must try and find the right way looking at the work You want to do. Anyway You have to remove most of Your layer, grinding and smoothing the work, so the final thickness of all the layers of urushi is very little.

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Thank You, Renato!

I've added more Urushi, it works very good! :) The process with Sabi-urushi I understand very good now! I think in a couple of days I'll begin to work with Roiro, it is absolutely new process for me! Can You give me some advice? ;)

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Thank You, Renato!

I've added more Urushi, it works very good! :( The process with Sabi-urushi I understand very good now! I think in a couple of days I'll begin to work with Roiro, it is absolutely new process for me! Can You give me some advice? ;)

basically working with roiro is the same than another kind of urushi. You must keep in mind that roiro nuri will be the final layers, so You must be careful in spreading the black urushi (thin layer, watch to dust etc.). After the layer is well dried You can smooth it with a piece of charcoal and water. You have to repeat this stage several times (five and more). When You have obtained a good surface, smooth without irregualrity or spots of dust, You can continue to smooth the work with fine abrasive: I use first tonoko podwer with water and after charcoal podwer with water (other people use whetstones or sandpaper). When You have a smooth surface, dull and without scratches, You can polish it first with tonoko podwer and vegetal oil, second with tsunoko (deer horn podwer) with oil, and third tsunoko with oil using your finger without pad or cloths. The final result is good and You don't have to work a lot. If You want the work more glossy or more resistant against water and wear (for example a tea or a soup cup) You can apply suri urushi (see the process on urushi-kobo site). Bye

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