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Kobako 1

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Project by madburg posted 05-29-2020 06:32 AM 599 views 6 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Still in my Japanese ‘period’ of woodwork, and following on from the small chest/ kodansu shown in my last project, this small box is also related to the Japanese art of appreciating incense – Kōdō. Whereas a kodansu was used to store a range items related to Kōdō, a Kobako is used to store the actual incense.

It appears to be two boxes fused together. It is made from woody pear and cherry with an ebony string around the top and decoration using sprinkled gold dust and pau shell.

The pau shell mosaic was cut from a laminated sheet with the pieces ‘glued’ onto wet polyurethane. Many more coats of polyurethane were then added to build a surface that was almost level with the shell. The gold dust patterns were then produced using masking tape.

The unmasked areas were coated with polyurethane varnish and the gold dust sprinkled on to the wet varnish. The masking tape is then removed and once dry another 7 or 8 coats of poly are applied to build up a flat surface that can be polished through to the shell without removing the gold dust. I polish using wet and dry paper 800 – 2000 finishing off with a polishing powder.

The inside of the box also has a gold dust sprinkled finish.

Thanks for looking.

-- Madburg WA





13 comments so far

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

1684 posts in 324 days


#1 posted 05-29-2020 07:24 AM

That truly is beautiful. Serious wow factor 10.

Love the “fused” idea. Ima gonna be thieving that one, but I will spin it Wildwood way, and of course give credit where it´s due.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: Because cheese isnt a healthy source of cheese, I will use grated cucumber to top off this raw food vegan pizza.

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1114 posts in 3089 days


#2 posted 05-29-2020 09:48 AM

Superb! It seems to have an “aged” look to it which makes it even better.
Jim

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View recycle1943's profile

recycle1943

4502 posts in 2399 days


#3 posted 05-29-2020 10:23 AM

fantastic, so many things to try but I know all of it is way above my pay grade

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View mikeacg's profile

mikeacg

1538 posts in 1835 days


#4 posted 05-29-2020 10:48 AM

Beautiful! The difference in color between the ‘2’ boxes made me think that you were getting clever with your photography as the first photo looked like a double exposure to me! I like the effect and the detail that went into this little box is amazing!

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl, http://www.artcentergraphics.com

View madburg's profile

madburg

274 posts in 1620 days


#5 posted 05-29-2020 10:57 AM

Thanks for your comments guys. The box was an experiment. A simple construction using splines made from laminated veneers. It was an interesting problem to glue it together. The number of coats of polyurethane to build up a surface that could be sanded flat took for ever, 5 times as long as making the box! The experiment was in using polyurethane instead of ‘proper’ Japanese urushi lacquer. Its looking like I can get similar results though the finish isn’t quite as hard as urushi. Watch out for the next kobako.

-- Madburg WA

View madburg's profile

madburg

274 posts in 1620 days


#6 posted 05-29-2020 10:57 AM

Thanks for your comments guys. The box was an experiment. A simple construction using splines made from laminated veneers. It was an interesting problem to glue it together. The number of coats of polyurethane to build up a surface that could be sanded flat took for ever, 5 times as long as making the box! The experiment was in using polyurethane instead of ‘proper’ Japanese urushi lacquer. Its looking like I can get similar results though the finish isn’t quite as hard as urushi. Watch out for the next kobako.

-- Madburg WA

View metalbot's profile

metalbot

22 posts in 300 days


#7 posted 05-29-2020 12:50 PM

Can you elaborate a bit on the pau shell mosaic? That’s gorgeous.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8562 posts in 3575 days


#8 posted 05-29-2020 02:32 PM

Another great piece Martin. I’m surprised to see you using polyurethane for a build up – sand down surface. I would think that unlike the original lacquer, poly would give you endless witness lines as you sanded back.
Anyway the result is as I would expect, perfect!

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View sras's profile

sras

5493 posts in 3906 days


#9 posted 05-29-2020 03:29 PM

Love this! I too would like to attempt some version of intersecting boxes some day. Nice work!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Peteybadboy's profile

Peteybadboy

1966 posts in 2727 days


#10 posted 05-29-2020 06:16 PM

That is a great design. I looks like you have splines on the inside corners as well. NIce job!

-- Petey

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

5773 posts in 1351 days


#11 posted 05-29-2020 06:21 PM

Sweet!!!! That is a cool look, and a fake out all in one. Like it.

-- Think safe, be safe

View madburg's profile

madburg

274 posts in 1620 days


#12 posted 05-30-2020 01:40 AM

Thanks all. Good point Paul about using poly. I brought some urushi back with me from Japan last year but haven’t got round to using it. I tried epoxy on some earlier test pieces but although its harder and can be applied thickly its messier than poly and wasteful in terms of brushes equipment. So I thought I would try poly, the brush of which I keep suspended in turps so very little cleaning up – and poly (oil based) has working. Yes there is the occasional white line were you rub through a coat, but they go as you put on the next coat. The white line tends to result if the satin poly I use hasn’t been mixed that well. But sanding with nothing coarser than 800 and on up to 2000 between the later coats builds a very flat surface. So I find there is less problems with of rubbing through a coat. When I think i’m getting towards the last 1 or 2 coats then a start with 1000. I brought these wet stone sanding blocks back with me from Japan, which I’m find are excellent. The thin 800 one is a piece from small sharpening stone that I’ve cut – but I usually use the wet and dry paper for 800. At the back is the polishing compound that I’ve started using applied with a soft cotton cloth and a bit of canola oil.

Metalbot – The shell sheet can be purchased from Luther suppliers I get mine from Australian Mother of Pearl
“http://www.mopsupplies.com/ ” The pau /abalone sheet is thinner than the 0.5mm that I use in combination with wood veneering – so probably 0.2mm. You can cut it with a scalpel and probably sharp scissors. I just cut a load of small bits and then placed then with tweezers and fine adjusted them with a pin pushed into the end of a small dowel rod. I did a small area at a time applying the poly as I went. It the requires loads of coats of poly to build up a surface that’s just above the shell so you can sand it back to the shell.. Sand with 320 or 400 initially and the finer as you get a surface. Its a lot of work, but fortunately the box is small – think I would get fed up if I put it on something larger. Hope this helps. Australian Mother of Pearl will make sheets up to what ever thickness you want – their website is worth a look for ideas.

-- Madburg WA

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

3563 posts in 4490 days


#13 posted 05-31-2020 06:04 AM

Unique and lovely!

L/W

-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

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