Thursday, August 4, 2011

Finishing Techniques

A particularly interesting technique that is frequently used for many of the products from Woodcraft Moku (more of a trademark technique of the studio) is a sorched + laquer finish. Tables and cabinets, as well as smaller pieces such as plates, bowls, and serving trays, utilize the technique.  It produces a soft, rich texture that brings out the deep wood grain in the Sugi (Japanese Cedar). The wood is soft, so the grain is accentuated by burning the surface. By applying the Urushi (traditional natural laquer) afterwards, the deep black color is also further accentuated.

Once finished, the central void will be fitted with a cast iron basin, which is where tea is boiled.

 Blow torches!

After a few passes with the torch, a burnishing tool is used to rub off the charred wood to reveal the smooth black finish. The tool is made of tiny reeds bound tightly together with rope. Works like a dream!

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