Kintsugi materials

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Lacquers
Kiurushi Lacquer
Red Lacquer
Middle Black Lacquer
Nashiji Lacquer
Mixing Lacquer
Jozuri Lacquer
Mixing
Jinoko and Tonoko
Flour
Polishing
Polishing and sanding stones and papers
Ishiko
Roiro migakiko
Mixing oil
Polishing Tools
Metals
Fine powdered gold and silver, keshifun
#3 silver and gold
#5 silver and gold
#10 silver and gold
#15 silver and gold
Brass
Aluminium

Mawata
Brushes
Hemp fabric
Charcoal
Metal holder
Palette knife

Kiurushi Lacquer
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Materials in kintsugi, kiurushi, basic lacquer.

There are several types of lacquer you use in kintsugi. I will go through each of them and this post is on the basic lacquer called kiurushi. Kiurushi is used in most of the basic steps of kintsugi. For sticking pieces back together you mix it with flour or rice, to do fill work or to do restorations you use it and mix it with either jinoko or tonoko to make a mixture called sabi. If you are doing a repair such as fixing a blistered glaze you would use this lacquer too. I don’t use wood powder but if you did you would mix it with kiurushi. It comes out of the tube a brown milky color and as it drys it turns black or a very dark brown. It can cause skin rashes but doesn’t seem to do so with everyone. I get rashes but most of the people I have had in workshops have never gotten a rash despite having direct contact with it. Like all real lacquers it requires a damp and warm environment to dry properly, it won’t usually cure in a normal environment.

kiurushi kintsugi
kiurushi kintsugi Right out of the tube
kiurushi kintsugi
kiurushi kintsugi
kiurushi kintsugi
kiurushi kintsugi
kiurushi kintsugi
kiurushi kintsugi After drying about 15 minutes

kiurushi kintsugi after 1 day kiurushi kintsugi after 1 day

Red Lacquer
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Materials in kintsugi, Red lacquer

Red lacquer is used in kintsugi for a substrate for metal. It is a good quality lacquer that can be polished out to a high sheen and is harder than middle lacquers.

Red lacquer (1)

Red lacquer (2)

Middle Black Lacquer
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Materials in kintsugi, Middle Black Lacquer.

Middle black lacquer is used over both sabi, (jinoko or tonoko/lacquer mix) and mugiurushi, (flour/lacquer mix) as a layer to give you a smooth finish. Without a middle layer of lacquer it is very difficult to get a smooth enough finish to successfully apply a top layer of lacquer and then metal. Middle lacquer is not as hard as top lacquer.

Kintsugi black
Kintsugi black

Nashiji Lacquer
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Materials in kintsugi, Nashiji Lacquer.

Kintsugi materials, nashiji lacquer. I don’t usually have nashiji in my Etsy store but I do use it. It is a thick lacquer that is useful for building low areas.
href=”http://www.kintugi.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/nashiji-lacquer-1.jpg” rel=”attachment wp-att-630″>nashiji lacquer (1)

nashiji lacquer (2)

Mixing Lacquer
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Materials in kintsugi, Mixing Lacquer.

Kintsugi materials, mixing lacquer. I don’t sell this lacquer. It is used as a base for adding colorants to get a specific colored lacquer. It is more refined than basic lacquer and not as thick as nashiji.
mixing lacquer (1)

mixing lacquer (2)

Jozuri Lacquer
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Materials in kintsugi, Jozuri Lacquer.

Jozuri is a top layer lacquer. The one I sell is a Japanese made lacquer. Some places sell Chinese made zuri and it has about 1/3 to 1/4 of the urushiol that Japanese made does.
You don’t use jozuri unless you are using graded metals. It is used for filling in the metal so it can be polished.
jozuri (2)

jozuri (1)

Jinoko and Tonoko
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Materials in kintsugi, jinoko and tonoko

Jinoko and tonoko are 2 types of powdered, clay type materials used in kintsugi.
Jinoko is a powder and is a rougher grain. Tonoko is a mass and is a finer grain.
Tonoko has to be smashed to be used. The material itself is a finer mesh than jinoko although it looks like it is rougher since it comes in rock-like masses.
You use tonoko for making a mix called abura tonoko which is used for polishing graded metals. Graded metals are the rougher grades that start at #1 and go to #15. You don’t use tonoko for polishing the fine gold powder. You also use tonoko, usually jinoko is used, for making a mix called sabi which is used to do restoration work. It is mixed with water first and then lacquer.
There are many ‘recipes’ for sabi. I don’t use any types of set proportions but I have seen 2/tonoko/jinoko to 1/water to 1/lacquer.
You use jinoko to make your sabi stiffer if you like. That is, if you are doing restoration work you can add jinoko to the mix and since it is rougher it will be a stronger mix although it will also be rougher since jinoko is rougher than tonoko.

kintsugi jinoko
kintsugi jinoko
kintsugi jinoko
kintsugi jinoko
kintsugi tonoko
kintsugi tonoko
kintsugi tonoko
kintsugi tonoko
kintsugi tonoko jinoko
kintsugi tonoko jinoko
kintsugi tonoko jinoko
kintsugi tonoko jinoko

Flour
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Materials in kintsugi, flour.

One of the materials you use in kintsugi is flour. It is used as an additive in a mixture called mugiurushi, mugi = flour, urushi = lacquer. Mugirushi is used as a “glue” to stick things back together. Regular, white wheat flour is what I use. In Japan there is a type called middle gluten which works best for me.

Polishing and sanding stones and papers
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Materials in kintsugi, polishing and sanding stones and papers.

There are several steps in kintsugi where you need to either sand down or polish parts of the piece.
The initial use of sanding is after you have either stuck the pieces back together or done any kind of work wherein you have to smooth the seam. You can use either sand paper or specialized whetstone type materials.
Soft whetstones come in the following meshes, #400, #600, #800, #1000, #1500, #2000, #3000.

Polishing stone for kintsugi
Polishing stone for kintsugi

There is almost no difference between the different meshes as far as appearance goes so I will just put this one photo up.
I use the meshes #400-#600-#800 to do only the roughest work on the seams. I never use them on graded metals as they are too rough and will destroy the metal. If you use any of the soft whetstones on unglazed ceramic or directly on rough sabi you will wear them right out and have very little effect. You should use the rougher meshes to smooth out sabi but don’t expect them to last if the surface is very hard and rough.
I use the meshes #1000-#1500 to do the initial polishing of graded metals. Use #1000 delicately since it can rip the metal off the lacquer. The #1500 will shine graded metal to your final state. After that you need to use #2000-#3000 to polish away the scratches from the #1500 and get to almost your final shine.
Note that polishing metal is only for graded metal, not for fine powder. If you polish fine metal it will come right off and you will ruin it.

Ishiko
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Materials in kintsugi, ishiko.

Kintsugi materials, ishiko

Kintsugi materials, Ishiko
Kintsugi materials, Ishiko

Ishiko is a type of powdered stone that is mixed with oil to polish graded metals but not fine powdered metals. It is rougher and cheaper than the other polishing powder, roiromigakiko.

Kintsugi materials, Ishiko
Kintsugi materials, Ishiko
Kintsugi materials, Ishiko
Kintsugi materials, Ishiko

Roiro migakiko
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Materials in kintsugi, roiro migakiko.

Kintsugi materials, roiro mikagiko

Kintsugi materials, Roiro migaki ko
Kintsugi materials, Roiro migaki ko

Roiro migakiko is a fine powder that is mixed with oil to polish graded metal to a final finish. It is finer and more expensive than the other polishing powder, ishiko.

Kintsugi materials, Roiro migaki ko
Kintsugi materials, Roiro migaki ko

Mixing oil
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Materials in kintsugi, mixing oil.

This is an oil that is mixed with either roiromigakiko or ishiko for final polishing of the metal. It is possible to use other oils but this one doesn’t really gum up or heat up as much as others.

Kintsugi materials, mixing oil

Kintsugi materials, Oil
Kintsugi materials, Oil

Kintsugi materials, Oil
Kintsugi materials, Oil

Polishing tools
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Materials in kintsugi, polishing tools.

Kintsugi materials, polishing tools
These tools work for polishing fine powder metals and some of the finer graded metals. They are best for thin line polishing. If you try to polish wide areas it is more difficult to get a good, smooth finish.

Kintsugi materials, Polishing tool
Kintsugi materials, Polishing tool

Kintsugi materials, Polishing tool
Kintsugi materials, Polishing tool

Fine powdered gold and silver, keshifun
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Fine Powdered gold and silver, keshifun

There are many types of metal that are used in kintsugi. This post will talk about the most common grind which is a fine powder and is called keshifun or keshi in Japanese.
This is what is mostly seen in pieces that are done with real kintsugi and have real gold or silver applied to them. It doesn’t need to be polished but it will take a burnishing if you want to. It is more durable if it is polished but that also makes it shinier. I prefer it matte so I usually don’t polish it. It also doesn’t need an overcoat of lacquer.

kintsugi silver keshi 10 times magnified
silver keshi 10 times magnified, applied to a bowl
kintsugi silver keshi raw
silver keshi out of the package
kintsugi silver keshi
silver keshi applied to a bowl.
kintsugi gold keshi 10 times magnified
gold keshi 10 times magnified
kintsugi gold keshi
gold keshi applied to a plate

#3 silver and gold
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Materials in kintsugi, #3 grade gold and silver.

Metals that are ground coarser than the fine grind of keshifun are available in kintsugi. The graded, coarser metals go from #1–#15. #1 is the least coarse, #15 is the coarsest. In kintsugi the most common grades are from #1–#5. These metals require a completely different process to finish than the fine keshifun. The techniques are more akin to makie and require ‘filling’ in or hardening the coarser grains of metal onto the surface and then polishing the surface so it is smooth and shiny. It is easier to imagine sand paper to understand what is necessary. If you imagine #2000 grit sandpaper as a #1 grade and about #240 grit sandpaper as about a #15 grade you can understand how the metal gets coarser as the #1–#15 gets bigger. It isn’t possible to polish the graded metals as is. You need to fill in between the grains of metal with lacquer to first make a smooth surface and then come back in and then sand down both the lacquer and the tops of the metal to make a very tough and durable metal finish. A properly finished surface of graded metal is very durable. The photos show #3 silver in varying states of application, from applied and ‘hardened’,(the spaces between the grains of metal are filled in with lacquer) to finish polished. The coloring that appears in the unpolished samples is from the lacquer that is used to ‘harden’ the metal to the surface.

kintsugi silver number three 10 times magnified polished to final state
kintsugi silver number three 10 times magnified polished to final state
kintsugi silver number three 10 times magnified unpolished but ready to be polished.
kintsugi silver number three 10 times magnified unpolished but ready to be polished.
kintsugi silver number three unpolished and unmagnified
kintsugi silver number three unpolished and unmagnified
This is raw gold #3 grind.
This is raw gold #3 grind.
kintsugi silver number 3 polished to a finished shine.
kintsugi silver number 3 polished to a finished shine.

#5 silver and gold
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Materials in kintsugi, #5 grade gold and silver.

Number 5 grind is about the coarsest that is usually used in kintsugi. #5 is also the point where you need to switch to a thicker hardening lacquer. You can’t really use regular, high quality lacquer as it is too thin. Using coarser metal than #5 is done sometimes. You will notice if you compare the magnified images of keshifun, #3, and #5 that the grains are getting bigger and the areas between the grains is turning more reddish since they are being filled with lacquer.
The photos show a reddish tint to the gold which is caused by the lacquer.

Kintsugi silver number 5 polished magnified 10 times
Kintsugi silver number 5 polished magnified 10 times
Kintsugi silver number 5 polished
Kintsugi silver number 5 polished
kintsugi gold number 5 magnified 10 times polished
kintsugi gold number 5 magnified 10 times polished
kintsugi gold number 5 magnified 10 times polished
kintsugi gold number 5 magnified 10 times polished
kintsugi gold number 5 polished
kintsugi gold number 5 polished
kintsugi gold number 5 polished
kintsugi gold number 5 polished
kintsugi silver number 5 raw
kintsugi silver number 5 raw
kintsugi silver number 5 magnified 10 times polished
kintsugi silver number 5 magnified 10 times polished

#10 silver and gold
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Materials in kintsugi, #10
grade gold and silver.

Number 10 silver and gold are very rough and need a lot of filling in of the grains in order to be able to polish them to a smooth surface. As the graded metal numbers get larger the grains of metal get larger and the finished polish shows more visual texture. The texture comes from the lacquer that fills in between the grains of metal. The larger grains also provide a thicker layer of metal that is a lot more durable.

Kintsugi silver number 10 polished
Kintsugi silver number 10 polished
Kintsugi silver number 10 polished
Kintsugi silver number 10 polished
Kintsugi silver number 10 polished magnified 10 times
Kintsugi silver number 10 polished magnified 10 times
Kintsugi silver number 10 polished magnified 10 times
Kintsugi silver number 10 polished magnified 10 times
kintsugi silver number ten unpolished magnified 10 times
kintsugi silver number ten unpolished magnified 10 times
kintsugi silver number ten unpolished
kintsugi silver number ten unpolished
kintsugi silver number ten polished magnified 10 times
kintsugi silver number ten polished magnified 10 times
kintsugi silver number 10 raw
kintsugi silver number 10 raw

#15 silver and gold
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Materials in kintsugi, #15
grade gold and silver.

The coarsest metal you can get ‘over the counter’ is #15. You can feel the grains with your fingers. It offers a visually textured finish although the surface of the polished metal is smooth. It is also very durable as the polished layer is so thick.

Kintsugi silver number 15 polished
Kintsugi silver number 15 polished
Kintsugi silver number 15 polished
Kintsugi silver number 15 polished
Kintsugi silver number 15 polished magnified 10 times
Kintsugi silver number 15 polished magnified 10 times
Kintsugi silver number 15 polished magnified 10 times
Kintsugi silver number 15 polished magnified 10 times
kintsugi silver number fifteen unpolished magnified 10 times
kintsugi silver number fifteen unpolished magnified 10 times
kintsugi silver number 15 raw
kintsugi silver number 15 raw

Brass
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Materials in kintsugi, Brass.

Brass is an easy to use metal. The brass I have is extremely fine grind, finer than gold keshifun. Since it is so fine it goes on nicely and usually lays flat.

kintsugi brass, raw,  magnified 10 times
kintsugi brass, raw, magnified 10 times

kintsugi brass raw
kintsugi brass raw

kintsugi brass
kintsugi brass

kintsugi brass  (2)

Here is a video showing application of brass.

Aluminium
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Materials in kintsugi, Aluminium.

Aluminium is also used in kintsugi. The grind of what I have is fine and since aluminium is so light it almost immediately becomes airborne when the package is opened.

kintsugi aluminum  magnified 10 times, raw
kintsugi aluminum magnified 10 times, raw
kintsugi aluminum raw
kintsugi aluminum raw

kintsugi aluminum  (1)

kintsugi aluminum  (2)

Mawata
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Materials in kintsugi, Mawata.

Kintsugi materials, mawata Mawata is a silk based, cotton type material. Regular cotton doesn’t have the natural oils that are necessary to keep from sticking to the metal. You use it to either apply metal to the lacquer or to slightly buff out metal that is already applied to the piece.

Kintsugi materials, Mawata
Kintsugi materials, Mawata
Kintsugi materials, Mawata
Kintsugi materials, Mawata
Kintsugi materials, Mawata
Kintsugi materials, Mawata

Brushes
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Materials in kintsugi, Brushes

Kintsugi materials, brushes
There are several types of brushes for kintsugi. For most lines a medium brush will suffice, for getting the finest lines either a fine or very fine brush will be necessary. All are natural fiber and handmade in Japan. They should be cleaned with vegetable oil and stored with a very thin coating of oil which needs to be removed before use.

Kintsugi materials, fine brush
Kintsugi materials, fine brush

Kintsugi materials, medium brush
Kintsugi materials, medium brush

Kintsugi materials, very fine brush
Kintsugi materials, very fine brush

Hemp fabric
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Materials in kintsugi, hemp fabric

Kintsugi materials, hemp fabric
Hemp fabric can be used to strengthen large fill areas. It is embedded into the sabi mix and care must be taken so it is completely covered by sabi and the threads don’t stick out.

Kintsugi materials, Hemp fabric
Kintsugi materials, Hemp fabric

Charcoal
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Materials in kintsugi, charcoal

Charcoal is more of a makie material but can be used in kintsugi as a cleaning powder. You use it to clean the surface of the piece after you have mixed it with some water.
Kintsugi materials, charcoal

Kintsugi materials, Charcoal
Kintsugi materials, Charcoal

Kintsugi materials, Charcoal
Kintsugi materials, Charcoal

Metal holder
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Materials in kintsugi, metal holder

This is a tool used for sprinkling the metal on the lacquer. You load it up in the open end and the metal comes out the meshed end. The mesh stops any debris in the metal from coming out.

Kintsugi materials, metal holder

Kintsugi materials, metal holder
Kintsugi materials, metal holder

Kintsugi materials, metal holder
Kintsugi materials, metal holder
Kintsugi materials, metal holder
Kintsugi materials, metal holder

Palette Knife
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Materials in kintsugi, palette knife

A wooden, straight palette knife is traditionally used in kintsugi. There are a couple of qualities of wood and thickness with the thinner one being of higher quality.

Kintsugi materials, palette knife

Kintsugi supplies, palette knife
Kintsugi supplies, palette knife

Kintsugi supplies, palette knife
Kintsugi supplies, palette knife
Kintsugi supplies, palette knife
Kintsugi supplies, palette knife
Kintsugi supplies, palette knife
Kintsugi supplies, palette knife