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Kolrosing #2: Chinkin-bori

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Blog entry by Dave Polaschek posted 09-04-2021 12:24 PM 373 reads 1 time favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: White on brown Part 2 of Kolrosing series no next part

Was reading a book on inro last night, and discovered chinkin-bori, which is Japanese kolrosing, using gold or other materials to fill the fine carved lines.

Just leaving this here as a reference for myself. I’m pretty sure this is similar to the ideas I had about using other colors in kolrosing, with the added touch of using lacquer to hold everything in place.

Note that the Japanese is 沈金彫り but I’m not sure if that will survive LJ’s code…

-- Dave - Santa Fe



17 comments so far

View madburg's profile

madburg

347 posts in 2083 days


#1 posted 09-04-2021 01:27 PM

I did some Chinkin on my last visit to Japan. It starts with a completely filled and highly finished surface. I tried it with a polyurethane finish with a bit of success. Any blemishes, or minute scratch/imperfection will hold the gold dust when the surplus is wiped. So, with this highly finished and polished surface you then put your design on with something similar to carbon paper. The surface is usually black or red lacquer. Next you scratch this into the surface. There is a wide range of shapes and profiles to the scriber like tools. Though I found a simple sharp pointed scriber worked. Different depths and cross sections to the scratches produce different effects. Its similar to engraving on boulle marquetry, but definitely scratching rather than cutting. With the design scratched in the surface is wiped clean. Now a washi paper, or lintless cloth swab is used to wipe lacquer (or polyurethane) onto the surface to fill the scratches. Its lightly wiped clean. Then another washi paper/cloth or cotton swab is used to wipe ultra fine gold dust onto the surface which sticks to the ply in the scratches. Different coloured gold or even other coloured ultra fine powder is also used. The excess is then wiped off and you are left with your design. Once dry another coat of lacquer/ploy is wiped on to further fill the scratches. Its quite a simple process but the skill is in the scratching of the design.

Here examples of what my wife and I did.

This by one of the masters!

-- Madburg WA

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8414 posts in 1822 days


#2 posted 09-04-2021 01:40 PM

Thank you kindly for the additional information, Martin!

One of the pages I was reading suggested that small chisels were used, which led me to believe it was more cutting than scratching, but I suspect if the cuts get small enough, they’re effectively scratches.

Kolrosing is done in wood, and fine-grained wood works better. I find myself wondering if stabilized wood might behave well enough for my purposes. Or perhaps a shellacked finish, rather than lacquer. I don’t think I’m ready to start playing with urushi…

In any case, I suspect I’ll play with it a bit and see where my experiments lead me.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

8975 posts in 1952 days


#3 posted 09-04-2021 01:49 PM

so much to learn in this huge world if your mind is open lovely work Martins wife :<)))))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View madburg's profile

madburg

347 posts in 2083 days


#4 posted 09-04-2021 02:06 PM

The critical things is the highly finished/polished surface. I have thought of using an epoxy finish as that can be really polished. I brought some lacquer back but haven’t used it – it can bring you out in a rash and you need a humid box/cupboard to put your work in to make it dry. It takes moisture out of a humid environment to make it ‘dry’. We went to Echizen one of the best villages that specialises in Chinkin and Makie – they have a great website. A chisel is used but is sort of wobbled from side to side to put a series of short lines – equal to the width of the blade. Butits tsill scratching and scraping.

-- Madburg WA

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8414 posts in 1822 days


#5 posted 09-04-2021 03:16 PM

There sure is, Tony! The best thing about retirement is that I have more time for learning mew things.

Martin, thanks for the additional detail! An epoxy finish sounds like it might work well. I’m probably not going to end up doing anything traditional, but will instead experiment and my guess is I’ll end up with something between chinkin and kolrosing.

I’ve got a half dozen different colors of super-fine pigment (normally used for cosmetics) that I’ve been playing with a bit. It doesn’t work well with wood with open grain, but I will probably try using shellac as a sealer and using French polishing techniques to get a surface to work with.

I may end up trying some wood with very tight grain, such as boxwood or citrus. We’ll see what I come up with. But today I’m cutting half-lap joints in ash, oak, and walnut.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

3321 posts in 3430 days


#6 posted 09-04-2021 04:51 PM

Just leaving this here as a reference for myself.” LOL, guess we’re in the same boat, I need to refer to my prior project posts when starting a new similar build. I even get frustrated with myself occasionally because I didn’t leave enough detail.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8414 posts in 1822 days


#7 posted 09-04-2021 04:59 PM

I’ve always left notes for myself, Tom. The biggest problem is “is that on LJs, or a scrap of paper in the shop, or did I actually put it in my notebook that I can’t find at the moment?”

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View mafe's profile

mafe

13333 posts in 4329 days


#8 posted 09-04-2021 05:13 PM

Might have to read that book.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8414 posts in 1822 days


#9 posted 09-04-2021 05:15 PM

I think you would enjoy it. There are around 100 inrōs pictured, with descriptions of the techniques used to make them. Lots of ideas to make your brain bubble like a pot on a fire!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1493 posts in 2532 days


#10 posted 09-04-2021 07:44 PM

Great info. Followed your link. Very informative. I don’t think I’ll be using it until gold prices come down. :-)

-- James E McIntyre

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8414 posts in 1822 days


#11 posted 09-04-2021 07:54 PM

Thanks, James! I’m pretty sure the amount used is pretty minuscule, as the gold dust used is very fine. But still, not cheap to experiment with gold. That’s why I plan to use colored powders from the cosmetics industry.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View mafe's profile

mafe

13333 posts in 4329 days


#12 posted 09-04-2021 07:59 PM

Smiles, I can imagine that. ;-) brain bubble like a pot on a fire

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

8264 posts in 3444 days


#13 posted 09-05-2021 12:38 AM

Its an interesting aspect of woodworking, and trust the Japanese to be the forerunners.

Stefang was into it in a big way. May be worth a visit?
I don’t suppose this qualifies?

The half miters are looking good I am eagerly awaiting how you weave the slats together

-- Regards Rob

View madburg's profile

madburg

347 posts in 2083 days


#14 posted 09-05-2021 01:08 AM

I did lots of research into chinkin so here’s a couple of the good links I found useful. The chisel, scriber, scraper used is different depending on the tradition in the town where it is done, as is how you hold the ‘tool’.

https://www.pilot-namiki.com/en/technique/chinkin.html

This is the home page of the Echizen Lacquerware Cooperative that Dave posted earlier. Its where my wife and I did our workshop. Take your time and work through their website

http://echizen.org/

This short video shows a number of different techniques – gold dust, gold leaf, painting and the tools/chisels

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QYY7CfthJ0

The full range of lacquer/urushi techniques
https://www.nihon-kogeikai.com/TEBIKI-E/3.html

-- Madburg WA

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8414 posts in 1822 days


#15 posted 09-05-2021 01:23 AM

Rob, thanks for the pointer to Stefang’s project. The slats will be half-lapped.

Martin, even more information. Thank you!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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