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Chinkin production process

Motifs are carved onto lacquer finished foundation
with a chisel and filling the chiseled part with gold leaves and gold powder.
This is the “Chinkin (Gold Inlay)” technique. In contrast to the “lacquering” of Maki-e, Chinkin (Gold Inlay) is a “carving” technique,
so every carving is a true challenge. There is no room for error.

  • 1


    Draw a design on a piece of Washi (Japanese paper).

  • 2


    Put the paper on the lacquerware, and transfer the design to the surface.

  • 3


    Carve dots and lines with Chinkin chisels.

  • 4


    Apply black lacquer into the carved surface.

  • 5


    Place gold foil and powder on the lacquered dots and lines.

  • 6


    Dry lacquer with moderate moisture in Shimefuro(a room where the humidity is controlled).

  • 7


    Wipe off the remaining foil and powder, apply black lacquer on the surface, and dry it again.

  • 8


    Finish up sublime art that has both decorativeness and delicacy.

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