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PROCESS

      
BASIC URUSHI PROCESS


 
  BASIC URUSHI PROCESS    In basic urushi process there are around 50 phases. All those different phases are developed during the last 9,000 years to make strong urushiware. Well made urushiware lasts more than 100 years, possibly even another several thousand years.
To find the terms between (....) brackets, click here.



   
kiji
Fig. P1   kiji, body
1. Fig. P1   木地揃え kiji-zoroe : after making the base body, irregular areas and sharp edges are sanded down if required.

2. 刻苧彫り kokuso-bori : engrave the joint parts and knots superficially.


ki-gatame
Fig. P3   ki-gatame
3. Fig. P3   木固め ki-gatame : rub ki-urushi () onto the surface, and wipe off if required, then dry it in the furo.

4. 刻苧かい kokuso-kai : fill kokuso  (c) in gaps in the joints and knots and drying it on room temperature. After drying the surface is flattened.

5. 引込地付け hikikomiji-tsuke : the surface of the kokuso is filled with hikikomiji which is a mixture of tonoko (d'), jinoko  (d"), ki-urushi () and water: then dry it on room temperature.


6. 引込地研ぎ hikikomiji-togi : after the hikikomiji  has dried it is flattened with whetstone #400 and water.

nuno-kise
Fig. P7   nuno-kise

7. Fig. P7   布着せ nuno-kise : glue the cloth (1)/(2) with nori-urushi (a) onto the reinforcement areas of the body and dry it on room temperature.

8. 布目揃え nunome-zoroe : after nori-urushi  has dried, cut off the overlapping parts of the cloth.

9. むら直し mura-naoshi : whet the surface of the cloth to level the surface.


makiji
Fig. P10 makiji
10. Fig. P10   蒔地 makiji : put makiji  on the blanc parts. Paint that particular part with ki-urushi () or nakanuri-urushi (A), immediately followed by spreading jinoko  (d") or sumiko  (charcoal powder) and dry it in the furo. In this way the surface of the plain wood becomes of a rougher texture which makes it easier to put on the next layer ji.

11. 布目擦り nunome-zuri : plaster the whole surface thinly with sabi, a mixture of tonoko  (d'), ki-urushi () and water. Depending on the form, a spatula or brush is used and dried on room temperature.

ji-uwazuke
Fig. P14   ji-uwazuke
12. 地下付け  ji-shitazuke : spread ji which is a mixture of jinoko  (d"), ki-urushi () and water, evenly with a spatula or brush and dry it on room temperature.

13. 地空研ぎ ji-karatogi : whet the surface with whetstone # 400 without water and dust off thoroughly.

14. Fig. P14  地上付け ji-uwazuke : spread the second layer of ji  evenly with a spatula or brush and dry it on room temperature.


15. 地水研ぎ ji-mizutogi : whet the surface smoothly with a # 400 whetstone and water.

16. 地固め ji-gatame : rub ki-urushi () onto the surface, and wipe it off if required then dry it in the furo.

kiriko-uwazuke
Fig. P19 kiriko-uwazuke
17. 切粉下付け kiriko-shitazuke : spread kiriko-ji  (the same material as hikikomi-ji )  which is a mixture of tonoko  (d'), jinoko  (d"), ki-urushi () and water evenly with a spatula or brush, then dry it on room temperature.

18. 切粉空研ぎ kiriko-karatogi : whet the surface with whetstone # 600 without water and dust it off thoroughly.

19. Fig. P19 
切粉上付け kiriko-uwazuke : spread the second layer of kiriko-ji  evenly with a spatula or brush and dry it on room temperature.

20. 切粉水研ぎ kiriko-mizutogi : whet the surface smoothly with whetstone # 600 and water.

21. 切粉固め kiriko-gatame : rub ki-urushi () onto the surface, and wipe it off if required, then dry it in the furo.

sabi-uwazuke
Fig. P24 sabi-uwazuke
22. 錆下付け sabi-shitazuke : spread sabi, a mixture of tonoko  (d'), ki-urushi () and water evenly with a spatula or brush, then dry it on room temperature.

23. 錆空研ぎ sabi-karatogi : whet the surface with whetstone # 800 without water and dust it off thoroughly.

24. Fig. P24  
錆上付け sabi-uwazuke : spread the second layer of sabi  evenly with a spatula or brush and dry it on room temperature.

25. 錆水研ぎ sabi-mizutogi : level the surface perfectly by whetting it with whetstone # 1000 and water, so no irregularity remains.

sabi-gatame
Fig. P26 sabi-gatame
26. Fig. P26  錆固め sabi-gatame : rub ki-urushi () onto the surface, and wipe it off if required, then dry it in the furo.

nakanuri
Fig. P27   nakanuri
27. Fig. P27  first 中塗 nakanuri : filter the nakanuri-urushi (A, B or C) and paint it evenly, then dry it in the furo.


nakanuri-togi with whetstone #1000
Fig. P28   nakanuri-togi with #1000
28. Fig. P28  first 中塗研ぎ nakanuri-togi with # 1000 : It is tradition to use special charcoal, but here synthetic whetstones are used to show the difference in result of process easily. Whet the surface with whetstone # 1000 and water.

29. second nakanuri : filter the nakanuri-urushi and paint the second layer of nakanuri  evenly, then dry it in the furo.
30. second nakanuri-togi  # 1000: whet the surface with whetstone # 1000 and water.

31. third nakanuri : filter the nakanuri-urushi and paint the third layer of nakanuri  evenly, then dry it in the furo.
32. third nakanuri-togi # 1000 : whet the surface with whetstone # 1000 and water.

33. fourth nakanuri : filter the nakanuri-urushi and paint the last layer of nakanuri  evenly, then dry it in the furo.
34. fourth nakanuri-togi  with # 1000
: whet the surface with whetstone # 1000 and water.

nakanuri-togi with whetstone #1500
Fig. P35   nakanuri-togi with #1500
35. Fig. P35  last 中塗研ぎ nakanuri-togi with #1500 : level the surface perfectly by whetting it with whetstone #1500 and water, so no irregularity remains. Attention must be paid to that the layers below should not come through while whetting, not even a small area. If this stage fails the working process is must be repeated from phase 33.

uwanuri
Fig. P36   uwanuri
Fig. P36  上塗 uwanuri : filter the uwanuri-urushi (D, E, F or H) and paint it evenly, then dry it in the furo.

uwanuri-togi with whetstone #1500
Fig. P37   uwanuri-togi with #1500
37. Fig. P37  上塗研ぎ uwanuri-togi with #1500 : level the surface perfectly by whetting it with whetstone #1500 and water, so no irregularity remains. Attention must be paid that the layers below should not come through while whetting, not even a small area. If this stage fails the working process must be repeated from phase 37.

uwanuri-togi with whetstone #2000
Fig. P38   uwanuri-togi with #2000
38. Fig. P38  上塗研ぎ uwanuri-togi with # 2000 : when the uwanuri-togi  with the #1500 whetstone is succeeded, whet it with a whetstone #2000, This sequence is essential because the #2000 fades away the small scratches caused by the #1500.

uwanuri-togi with whetstone #3000
Fig. P39   uwanuri-togi with #3000
39. Fig. P39  上塗研ぎ uwanuri-togi with # 3000 - # 4000 : whet with # 3000 and # 4000 whetstones in due order. This sequence is essential because the #3000 fades away the small scratches caused by the #2000 and the #4000 alternately fades away the small scratches caused by the #3000. Eventually the surface will become smooth without any scratches.

dozuri-polishing
Fig. P40   dozuri-polishing
40. Fig. P40  胴擦り dozuri-polishing : smoothen the surface by polishing it with dozuri-paste and a soft cloth. This dozuri-paste is said to be of better quality when purchased on the market. In case of self-making, a mix of elutriated whetstone powder and non-drying plant oil is used. In Japan colza oil is very popular, but in my experience pure olive oil is even better and there is no need to use expensive oil. After dozuri, the oil is washed off with neutral detergent and rinsed carefully with plenty of water. After drying it is wiped thoroughly with petroleum ether.

suri-urushi
Fig. P46   suri-urushi

41. first 摺漆 suri-urushi : apply the protection layers during the suri-urushi process. Dilute the kijomi-urushi (Ⅲ) with camphor and rub it onto the surface with a cotton tampon. Then kijomi-urushi is wiped off thoroughly with soft tissues. This is the first layer of suri-urushi and it is left in the furo  for 3 hours or longer. After this, the process of suri-urushi, wiping off and drying is repeated four times. With every layer the kijomi-urushi is thickened by reducing the amount of camphor, and the drying time is shortened as well.

42. second suri-urushi : apply suriurushi  layer as phase 41 again.
43. third suri-urushi : apply suriurushi  layer again.
44. fourth suri-urushi : apply suriurushi  layer again.
45. fifth suri-urushi :apply suriurushi  layer again.

46. Fig. P46  sixth 摺漆 suri-urushi : apply suriurushi  layer again.


tsuyaage-glossing
Fig. P50   tsuyaage-glossing

47. first 艶上げ tsuyaage-glossing : when the fifth layer has dried for 95% the object is quickly taken out from the furo  and glossed with glossing paste and a soft cloth. There are good glossing pastes available on the market, although products with silicone deserve some caution. According to traditional technique, deer horn powder and non-drying plant oil as olive oil are used for glossing. It is important to let the deer horn powder absorb the oil completely, so that no oil remains after glossing.

48. seventh 摺漆 suri-urushi : the process of suri-urushi, wiping off and drying is repeated another two times. In this suri-urushi stage non-diluted kijomi-urushi is used.
49. eighth suri-urushi : apply suriurushi  layer again.

50. Fig. P50  second 艶上げ tsuyaage-glossing : when stage 49 is practiced, repeat tsuyaage-glossing as in stage 47. The surface becomes remarkably smooth and glossy. This gloss is durable against washing with water, solvents, alcohol, acid, alkali and the daily usage. Ideally if the object is maintained with cleaning and treatment every 20 years, it will guarantee daily usage and the quality for centuries.



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