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Kintsugi Lexicon

- Bengara urushi

A reddish-brown urushi made by adding red iron oxide to translucent urushi. Also known as e-urushi.

- Charcoal

See Sumiko.

- Chijimu

Wrinkles appear when the urushi layer is too thick or when the humidity of the furô is too high.

- E-urushi

A mixture of ki-urushi and bengara used mainly for drawing patterns in kintsugi before sprinkling them with metallic powder.

- Fude

Brush. Regarding urushi, these are the brushes used for drawing or preparing the ground for kintsugi, as opposed to the hake, which is used to apply flat layers of lacquer.

- Fuki-urushi

Wiped lacquer. Transparent lacquer that is rubbed after hardening, giving a silky shine to the coated surface.

- Funzutsu

Bamboo tube with a silk or gauze net for sprinkling powder (kintsugi).

- Gin-fun

Silver powder, usually of the finest type. See also keshifun.

- Ho-zumi

Magnolia charcoal. Also hou-zumi or hoh-zumi. High-quality charcoal used for polishing.

- Jijimu

Wrinkles on the surface of the lacquer caused by too high relative humidity in the murô.

- Ji-tsuke

Basic technique (shitaji) applied in two or three steps, starting with a coarse mixture of jinoko water and ki-urushi, and ending with a fine mixture of tonoko, water, and ki-urushi.

- Jinoko

Ground powder. Natural clay or powder used as a base (shitaji) for urushi, using the jitsuke technique. There are two types of jinoko: one type based on clay that is mixed with water to form a paste and is associated with ki-urushi, and a diatomaceous type associated with nori urushi.

- Keshifun

Infinitesimal powder. Type of metallic powder used in kintsugi. It has the finest particle size of the powders used and cannot be polished. Instead, after being sprinkled on urushi and hardened, it is burnished. It is used in okinie and in keshifun kintsugi.

- Ki-urushi

Raw urushi. Also called nama urushi. Raw urushi after being filtered and slightly reduced in water to make it usable as lacquer. There are different types of ki urushi depending on the origin of the tree and the season it was harvested.
Hatsugama (or hatsu urushi), harvested in early summer, has a high water content in the emulsion and strong adhesive potential. It is used for adhesive blends and for suri-urushi.
Sakari urushi, harvested in late summer, is used for processing into kuro urushi and suki urushi.
Oso urushi is harvested in early autumn, and urame and tome urushi are harvested late in the season, in late autumn, before the tree is felled.
Eda and seshime were traditionally harvested on branches during the winter after the tree was cut, but in modern times, low-quality urushi from China

- Kintsugi

Also known as Kintsukuroi, "golden repair"), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with gold, silver, or platinum powder, a method similar to maki-e technique. The philosophy of this art is to consider the breakage and repair as part of an object's history, rather than something to hide. (Jin Shan in Chinese)
- Kijiro urushi

Also called suki-urushi. Translucent urushi obtained by removing water from the ki urushi emulsion through the kurome and nayashi processes. Kijiro urushi dries to a translucent medium brown with a semi-matte surface.

- Kuro urushi

Black urushi that can be made in two ways. Translucent black urushi can be prepared by adding iron hydroxide to suki-urushi; the urushi reacts with the iron, and the resulting chemical reaction darkens the urushi. Opaque black urushi can be made by adding lamp soot or pine soot (carbon black) to suki-urushi. Types of black lacquer include: Roiro-urushi, hana-urushi, haka-shita.

Translucent black urushi will brown over time, but opaque black urushi, which is often used as an undercoat, will remain black.

- Kokuso

Also known as kokuso urushi, mokufun, a mixture of wood powder, sawdust, or plant fibers with nori urushi or mugi urushi, used as putty in the substrate before lacquering and in the repair of damaged parts.























- Muro

This is usually a moisture-resistant wooden chest or cabinet, with a humidifier or at least a bowl with a damp cloth (cardboard). A Muro or Furo is necessary for urushi processing, as urushi requires moisture and warm temperatures to dry properly. It is also referred to as urushi-muro or simply muro when referring to a room used for drying larger urushi pieces. (Read kintsugi materials)

- Mugi-urushi

An extremely strong mixture made by mixing ki-urushi into wheat flour that has been kneaded with water to form an adhesive paste.

- Naka-nuri

Intermediate lacquer

- Nobe urushi

Mixture of rice glue and ki urushi. see mugi urushi

- Nuri

Term used to refer to an object or lacquer technique as opposed to the lacquer itself, urushi.

- Nurishi

The lacquer craftsman

- Roiro-urushi

Highest quality black lacquer without added oil.

- Sabi

A mixture of jinoko clay and ki-urushi used primarily as a filler.

- Shuai urushi

Suki urushi mixed with a little vegetable oil to produce a glossy finish without having to do roiro age.

- Suki urushi

- Transparent lacquer Suki urushi. nashi-ji, shuai, shunkei, jo-tame.

- Sumi

Solid charcoal pieces are traditionally used to clean lacquer layers. High-quality charcoal is becoming increasingly difficult to find and can be extremely expensive. Charcoal in small pieces or powder is used for various cleaning purposes.

- Sumiko

Charcoal powder. Charcoal powder is used for polishing, cleaning, and several other techniques.

- Tonoko

A kind of clay (finer than jinoko) that is mixed with urushi and used in the base layers of urushi application.

- Urushi

The sap of the urushi tree (Rhus vernicifera) native to Asia. Trees in China and Japan are particularly suited for lacquer production.

- Urushi-nuri

Urushi paint. General term for the basic process of lacquering as well as some decorative techniques.

- Urushi-no-ki

Lacquer tree. Scientific classification Toxicodendron vernicifluum, formerly Rhus verniciflua. Also called lacquer tree, varnish tree, or Japanese sumac. Species of tree native to China, Korea, and Japan from which urushi is derived. Other notable members of the genus Toxicodendron include poison sumacs, poison oaks, and poison ivies, while more distant relatives include cashews and mangoes in the Anacardiaceae family, many of which also have components that cause skin rashes in their sap.
Urushi is harvested from the lacquer tree by making a series of incisions in the trunk and branches of the tree using one of two methods: the traditional "living" method (romaji/kanji) and the more modern "cut and mark" method (koroshi-gaki-ho).
Approximately 150 ml of ki-urushi can be obtained from one tree in a season.

- Urushiol / Urushioru
Urushiol is one of the main components of urushi sap, and the higher the urushiol content, the better the quality of the urushi. It influences the hardening of urushi and gives lacquer its durability.

- Wabi Sabi
Wabi is humility, solitude, simplicity, melancholy, nature, sadness, facing the natural. Sabi is the alteration by time, the decrepitude of aging things, the patina of objects, the taste for aged things, for dirt, etc. The art of kintsugi falls within the wabi-sabi movement by inviting admiration of the imperfections and cracks in the object.

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