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Rankaku Technique

Image shows a black earring with pieces of white eggshell being placed one by one.

One of the specific Urushi techniques i use is Rankaku-nuri, 卵殻塗 or Just Rankaku.

 

Uniquely with the Rankaku technique the white seen in the bespoke pieces i make is real eggshell. After removing the inner membrane of the eggshell, it is pressed into mugi-urushi or nori-urushi, crushing it into small pieces with the finger. Alternatively the eggshell is broken, individually shaped and then embedded into the lacquered surface of the piece. Over the following weeks the surface is coated in successive layers of lacquer. Normally a diluted layers of Kuro-urushi, 黒漆, but more recently i have also been experimenting with using pigmented Iro-urushi, 呂色漆.

Then the surface is sanded back smooth and polished to reveal the unique modern mosaic.

 

  • Rankaku-nuri • 卵殻塗 - The use of eggshells as an inlay material. 
  • Iro-urushi • 色漆 - Lit. colored lacquer. Urushi colored with pigments.
  • Kuro-urushi • 黒漆 - Lit. black lacquer.