What is sabi urushi?
LAYER 1 Extremely low viscosity: We often dilute kiurushi, or raw urushi, to seep into even the most microscopic crevasses of broken surfaces.
LAYER 2 Highly porous: Kokuso, often made with wood powder and fine cotton, serves as additional bones of the body as needed.
LAYER 3 Mildly porous: Sabi urushi, made with tonoko whetstone powder, fills in the nooks and crannies left by kokuso.
LAYER 4 High viscosity: Eurushi red urushi and kuroroiro black urushi are layered one after the other until there are absolutely no kinks, bumps, or scratches.
LAYER 5 Ornamentation: Gold or other metal is the final layer, bejewelling the repair below. When the metal is applied and polished, how much attention and care, or lack thereof, is made perfectly clear.
Sabi Urushi Recipe
- Tonoko (whetstone powder)
- Kiurushi (raw urushi)
- Small spatula
- Glass palette or ceramic tile
- With the spatula, scoop up a small amount of tonoko and place on a palette and press down onto the tonoko using the spatula to work out any clusters. How much? Enough to fill the chipped area or any remaining crevasses of broken ware. If you do not have a palette, simply use a glazed ceramic, porcelain, or glass plate instead.
- Use a dropper to add water to the tonoko, one droplet at a time, and use the spatula blend. This process requires surprisingly very little water. Just enough so that the tonoko is no longer crumbly.
Once you think you've gotten to a good consistency, right next to the tonoko, squeeze out a suitable amount of kiurushi (tonoko 10: kiurushi 8)*. Begin by blending in half of the kiurushi. Once it's combined, add in the second half. Once you've thoroughly combined the kiurushi, you will notice faint black streaks. If this does not appear, you may need to add a bit more kiurushi.
Fill all chips and crevasses with sabi urushi. Add just a tad more than you need as sabi urushi has the tendency to shrink slightly as it hardens.
Gently smooth out the sabi urushi with the spatula, helping to prepare for a smooth final finish.
- Place your ware in the muro for 7 days to harden.
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