Post by Dave Thatcher on Apr 29, 2015 18:25:54 GMT
Priming tetsu: Ki-Urushi (raw lacquer) is wiped onto the surface. The plate is then placed over a heat source (camping stove). The urushi smokes and turns black. Once quenched in cold water the plate has a primed surface.
This week I made a Shari-tô (舎利塔) Maedate. The base is mild steel with coatings of mugi and sabi urushi, finished with kinpauku.
It needs to cure for another day as I gilded it with urushi rather than oil. When dry I'll add a bonji for Fudo Myoo in black lacquer.
The late Dr Sasama describes the maedate as: "A small pagoda in the function of reliquary for the ashes of Buddha which reminded the bushi of the chance that his body will be exposed on the battlefield after his death".
I've seen these a few times on kabuto, making one prompted me to do a little research.
These small iron plates are called kikkôgane. They are sewn in between the inner and outer fabric layers to provide a flexible protection for the wearer. These ones are going to become a tateage section for a pair of suneate shin guards.
Each plate has been drilled with four odoshi-no-ana, cut and hammered into domes.
Ian B suggested using a lead base. it worked a treat.
In Japanese, I think the reliquaries are called hoju or Wish Granting Jewel. The shape is the fancy base, a lotus, which sits the relic (embodiment of a Buddha or Bodhisattva) and the flames around them. Just look at a traditional image of a Buddha or Bodhisattva, they are sitting on a base, in a lotus, with flames emitting from them.
The stupa (reliquaries) were used to consecrate temple areas and provide places to worship, a place that one could meet Buddha, gain wisdom, and rebirth. So, for a bushi, maybe a way to prepare for the next life.
It's urushi glue. You can eat it, but it will kill you. Once the tetsu is primed by burning on raw urushi the plates need to be covered with leather or paper. Nori urushi is a glue paste that used to stick the paper to the plate. As both the primer and glue contain urushi it bonds well.
kikko plates. Jeff, I love your drawing. But there is an intolerance resulting in lump hammering. Also armours have different sized kick just to throw a spanner in the works for mass production.
As to coating kikko with urushi, why? I used an anti rust self etching primer from the car shop. Who's going to unpick all the iriji to view them?
Mr. Ogawa (? Senior moment here) who does the restoration of armour at Ueno National showed me how they lacquered the kikko plates and then pasted paper over them to hold them in place on the base before covering them with Dutch cloth or whatever and doing the cross-knots and sewing. This was valid because the armours would be worn in rain and the kikko gane would get wet. Having said that, almost all that I see are rusted to b*ggary so I suspect a lot of armourers didn't bother with lacquer. Since we are not going to walk underwater in our armours, Dave's anti rust is more than adequate. IanB
love this Zunari! How much are you selling it forif the buyer do not like it?
I've been in contact with the buyer at each stage, I'm 99.99999999999999999% that he is going to buy it. There's more photo's on my website and pricing. I put a lot of invisible work into this project. its now in mint condition. katchu.co.uk/kab-17-兜-zunari-bachi-samurai-armour-kabuto/
Post by Dave Thatcher on Jul 14, 2015 17:23:43 GMT
Finished this today. One suneate to complete and thats a sangu set done.
I made some changes to the set. On the haidate I used flat odoshi rather than cord to join the plates together.
Here's what's involved: 1. Strip the original down 2. Remove flaked urushi and consolidate the rust on the metal plates 3. Re-lacqure the plates in Bengara Tesu sabiji nuri 4. Make a paper template of the panels 5 Sew the plates to the paper 6. Sew the silk iriji to the paper 7. Sew the sasaberi edging from the front 8. Lace the plates with odoshi 9. Replace the printed egawa sections 10. Back with asa hemp 11. Sew the sasaberi the the backing with hidden stitches 12. Join both sections together 13. Make the straps 14. Make the ichimonji gawa (that's a katchu test for you)
Being a restoration masochist I hand sew everything which took hours upon hours, not to mention the needle breaking and countless finger stabbings.
Post by Dave Thatcher on Dec 29, 2015 19:02:54 GMT
Beware of cracks.
I picked this kabuto up a few weeks back. It's very dirty and I cleaned a section to see what the urushi was like under the grime. This week i picked it up and WOW the lacquer has blown. This is tetsu and not nerigawa. So what caused it?
This is stored in my main armour room. I noticed that the original maker has taken some short cuts like, no burnt on urushi to act as a primer, or internal hemp/paper/leather covering. Just sabi onto tetsu.
My conclusion, rust has caused the de-lamination, however I believe that the sabi layers were damp. Once the sabi had dried out it contracted. The outer urushi shell remained crisp and therefore the curve occurred on the fragments. I guess this had been stored in a damp place beforehand.
If I don't repair it now I can see some knobend in 30years time claiming it's battle damage patina.
So, you never know do you. KATCHU, ticking time bombs of self destruction.
Dave, the delamination and cleavage could it be happened cause humidity and temperature changes? That kind of serious damages and in very short time use to be because climate reasons. Does the zunari come from Japan? What I think as conservator is that the fluctuation of humidity and temperature affected the support and in consecuence the peeling of urushi. I would love seeing the urushi once you consolidate and retouch
It's definitely due to the charge in climate Jo. However it's been in my cold old damp house. It must have been stored in a very damp place, maybe a kura. Or it's been submerged? I've never seen this on tetsu. Nerigawa shrinks, and metal can expand and contract, but this is shrinkage of the ground layers, not the subframe.
Post by Dave Thatcher on Jan 30, 2016 17:22:57 GMT
What do you think? I managed to fit this in between projects. (Anthony will kill me as I used the last of my gold odoshi on this, until I make another run after the Stibbert.) Another kabuto saved from the katchu grave yard.
No problem, is that was all you had it wouldn't be enough for a kebiki lacing.
Thats what I was thinking too. Would have done about two rows.That odoshi was sourced from the guy in kyoto, my new suppler has a different shade for gold, so it would have been a mistake to have used it. After the stibbert I'll spin off 200 metres.