Process of Wajimanuri
1. The base
The base are provided from kiji-shi wood masters, forming rough wood chunk to refined wood base. This is the lacquer's heart, which is inevitable to check thoroughly. The tree has a life trace, so we remove the knot, crack, grain joints with sharp knife to prevent the trouble later on. This step called KIRI BORI(切彫り).
2. Permeat & Solidify
Apply the unmodified raw natural lacquer sup to the whole surface of base to prevent wreck or crook, modifying its form firmly. Workshop visitors surprised to this black colour change, ask the reason why. Original lacquer sup is beige and white, which changes to dark and deep colour triggered by oxidization as the time passes.
3. Filling bumps
Still there is a clear scars of Kiribori and grain tracement. Unless apply some putty into those concave, a smooth finish will never be achieved. So at this point we put Kokuso Urushi to refine the surface for the next step. This paste is consisted with a mixture of rice glue, wood powder, and raw natural Urushi in a best mixing ratio.
The lacquered surface has water proof urushiol coat, which is a little bit slippery. So at some point, sanding required to remove urushiol from the surface. Paint & Polish are the repetitive process continues till the end. This also enhances the "catch" for the next coat.
5. Edge protection
For those delicate edge often tends to crack, rough cotton strips applied with glue urushi (mixture of rice glue and lacquer sup), for further reinforcement. These strips are very tricky and sticky to fit in, but craftsmen handle this with light touch of their skilled technique.
6. Cut the excessing strip off
After solidifying the edge, the excessing cotton edge should be removed so that the lid fits to the bowl. plus smoothing required slightly with rough sanding paper.
7.Level the strip bump
Still there are some bump slightly in between strip and the wood. To smooth this, we apply SOUMI urushi which is a mixture of burnt wood powder and raw natural lacquer sup evenly to that part. This applying range varies depending on its purpose and function.
8. Soumi polish
After solidifying the soumi urushi, we polish the bowl thoroughly with rough sanding paper. Now we are ready for the whole paint towards 1st layer.
9. Ippenji/1st basic layer
Mix up the roughest burnt local diaomeacious earth aka Jinoko, rice glue, and natural raw lacquer sup, so does called as Ippenji urushi. We devide this applying part into several area across over a few days, since each part is too soft to touch after layers.
For more extra rim reinforcements, Hinoki cypress spatula which leads natural raw urushi fully till the limit has been used as efficient tool. We call this JIBUCHI HIKI.
10. Ippenji Polish
After solidifying the Ippenji urushi, we polish the bowl thoroughly with rough whet stone. Tuning up for 2nd layer has done.
11. Nihenji/2nd basic layer
Now you do realize the Jinoko powder are getting finer and smoother as the process follows... Here we use the mid-milled powder. The rest of them are the same ingredient we did before. Then this Nihenji urushi wiwll be applied and repeated the step like the 1st layer, dividing the applying area into 3-4 parts.
12. Nihenji polish
Light touch-up with whet stone or similar sanding paper.
Ready for the last basic layer.
13. Sanbenji/3rd basic layer
The finest jinoko powder rising on the stage. The content is the same, but called as sanbenji urushi.
The step is...well it's the same, repeating turtle slow speed (we love turtles since they are symbolized as long life: well these are long life too).
Anyway, by utilizing 3 powder range, it more refined surface will arise...
14. Sanbenji polish
After solidifying for a few days, polish the surface lightly with whet stone, or sanding paper.
...Probably some of you are wondering how we dry each paint: we use Shime Furo（湿風呂）, the moderate wood sauna for lacquerwares, under 75-85% humidity and 20-25℃ environment. They simply need humidity and oxygen in appropriate temperature.