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Beginning urushi

 
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Yuusui
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PostPosted: 2012-06-18, 21:50    Post subject: Beginning urushi Reply with quote

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I am thinking of using urushi on some of my flutes. What tools and materials would you suggest as a basic set to start with? I am not looking to spend a huge amount of money until I know that I can work with it without any problems. I will be sourcing my supplies from Meijiro's unless there are other sources that might be cheaper in the USA.
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Perry Yung
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PostPosted: 2012-06-19, 15:53    Post subject: Re: Beginning urushi Reply with quote

Yuusui wrote:
I am thinking of using urushi on some of my flutes. What tools and materials would you suggest as a basic set to start with? I am not looking to spend a huge amount of money until I know that I can work with it without any problems. I will be sourcing my supplies from Meijiro's unless there are other sources that might be cheaper in the USA.


Hi Yuusui, I get my supplies here with the help of my urushi teacher:

http://www.urushiya.com/

They do not speak English and only accept Japanese credit card or Bank wire transfers.

Mejiro is your best bet. What you need depends upon the kind of work you want to do. If you want to start simply, I would suggest starting with Shuai urushi. Shuai cures to a shiny translucent amber that does not require polishing. All you need is the tube of lacquer. You can get fine bristle brushes anywhere in the US. If you are lacquering the bore, you will need Mejiro's long bore brush (or, make your own).

Here is the basic list:

- ventilated environment
- urushi
- brushes
- plate glass or Soy sauce dish
- wet box for curing (any closeable container where you can place wet rags to cure the urushi).
- A method of maintaining the desired temperature for curing. Hot water bottle, heat lamp etc....
- turpentine or vegetable oil (for clean up)
- cleaning rag
- surgical gloves and change of cloths (until you know you are not allergic).

If you want to get into mixing colors, you will need a lot more tools and guidance. It's quite involved.

Good luck!
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Yuusui
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PostPosted: 2012-06-20, 02:29    Post subject: Beginning urushi Reply with quote

Thanks Perry.

What about the paper for filtering out impurities? Is that more important when using colored urushi?

Make my own bore brush? I like the sound of that. Any suggestions?
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Perry Yung
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PostPosted: 2012-06-20, 14:10    Post subject: Beginning urushi Reply with quote

Yuusui wrote:
Thanks Perry.

What about the paper for filtering out impurities? Is that more important when using colored urushi?

Make my own bore brush? I like the sound of that. Any suggestions?


The Shuai from Mejiro is already refined. Just make sure your brush and plate or dish is clean. The brush is basically a long tooth brush with bristles made from horse or human hair.

See some of my Facebook photos here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3408549006448.2147511.1051645186&…
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x moran
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PostPosted: 2012-06-24, 21:51    Post subject: Beginning urushi Reply with quote

If a flute, inside and out, has been treated with oil can you successfully apply and cure urushi over that?
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Perry Yung
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PostPosted: 2012-06-25, 12:59    Post subject: Beginning urushi Reply with quote

x moran wrote:
If a flute, inside and out, has been treated with oil can you successfully apply and cure urushi over that?


A surface needs to be clean and have some sort of texture before the application, if the urushi is to last for centuries. The oils will have to be removed and the skin of the bamboo should be fine-sanded lightly. I have had Edo period, urushi coated shakuhachi come through the shop. Where there were chips in the coating, I saw untreated bamboo skin - smooth and shiny. Urushi won't stick to glass for very long either.
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Itamar Foguel
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PostPosted: 2012-09-14, 21:44    Post subject: Beginning urushi Reply with quote

Perry and Yuusui,

Ive been talking to some urushi artist back in korea who told me better use a "wet box" made out of wood, u make all the inside walls wet/humid and close it, they say this way the humidity is equal inside the box and dosnt come only from underneath, this way the urushi dries more evenly.

X,

i just got a Baroque wood flute that had been oiled with almond oil (VERY BAD) for years and got all sticky, i used alcohol and dish washing detergent with water to clean it, now its all clean and smooth.

i was asked to re oil it (tung oil...) but i think you could use urushi instead (on a shakuhachi) since all the oil is out and the surface is clean.




oh bdw, Perry, how hot and how humid should the wet box be for the optimal curing of urushi?

Itamar.
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Perry Yung
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PostPosted: 2012-09-15, 04:02    Post subject: Beginning urushi Reply with quote

Hi Itmar,
Itamar Foguel wrote:
Perry and Yuusui,

Ive been talking to some urushi artist back in korea who told me better use a "wet box" made out of wood, u make all the inside walls wet/humid and close it, they say this way the humidity is equal inside the box and dosnt come only from underneath, this way the urushi dries more evenly.


Yes, many who work in urushi have moldy wooden humid boxes.

Quote:
oh bdw, Perry, how hot and how humid should the wet box be for the optimal curing of urushi?

Itamar.


Optimum curing happens over time. That combined with the different kinds of urushi adds an element of unpredictability. In general, urushi will polymerize quicker with higher humidity, ideally above 70 percent, and hotter temps -78 - 86 degrees F. But if it's too wet and hot, the lacquer can buckle. It can cure in less humidity but will take longer. That's not a bad thing as a longer cure means a stronger finish. You just have to keep experimenting and you will find what works for your kind of urushi.
- Perry
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Itamar Foguel
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PostPosted: 2012-09-15, 05:15    Post subject: Beginning urushi Reply with quote

thanks Perry!

yea i was thinking about the mold issue. was thinking about gluing some type of plastic foam to the inside of a plastic box and use it. and so far i didnt find a big enoughplastic humid box for a nobekan shakuhachi, so im thinking about making myself a new humid box from a wood covered with Formica on the inside to reduce mold into minimum.

how do you prevent mold in ur humid box with long urushi curing? like the bore red? replace the wet rags every 3 days? how do u prevent the mold from getting the bamboo?
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Perry Yung
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PostPosted: 2012-09-18, 14:59    Post subject: Beginning urushi Reply with quote

Hi Itmar, sorry for the late response.

My urushi teacher once placed a freshly painted bowl in a clear kitchen trash bag and blew it up. The breath provided enough humidity to kick over the lacquer by the next day. Moisture beads build up throughout the interior walls of any closed plastic container. The entire container is humid, it doesn't just rise from the bottom.

I use a plastic bin because mold is a major problem with untreated wood or bamboo. I don't want that getting onto the bamboo Evil or Very Mad.

I found my flat plastic bin at Target. It fits a 3.0 at an angle. Kinya's humidbox in Japan is made from styrofoam, custom sized for Chokan. I think you can make your own (even a cup of water in a cardboard shoe box can work for many small jobs. Then you can recycle the box when you see mold.)



If you see mold on bamboo, I found that a mixture of Tea Tee oil and water is effective in removing it. But, there are different kinds of mold so my solution may not work for a particular mold in your part of the world (also, mold stays in the pores). Grape seed extract and vinegar are other natural solutions that can be effective in removing mold.

You have to remember that working with bamboo, especially combined with urushi, is like playing the flute. There are many approaches and philosophies. One has to experiment to find what works. I try my best to impart my own experiences here on the forum but empirical knowledge is best. Keep working, keep experimenting and take good notes. Okay

Hope this helps. Let me know what you discover - Perry

Itamar Foguel wrote:
thanks Perry!

yea i was thinking about the mold issue. was thinking about gluing some type of plastic foam to the inside of a plastic box and use it. and so far i didnt find a big enoughplastic humid box for a nobekan shakuhachi, so im thinking about making myself a new humid box from a wood covered with Formica on the inside to reduce mold into minimum.

how do you prevent mold in ur humid box with long urushi curing? like the bore red? replace the wet rags every 3 days? how do u prevent the mold from getting the bamboo?

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