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Handbook on Japanning: 2nd Edition eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 49 pages of information about Handbook on Japanning.
(for in marble fixed we have no transparency) that it owes its softness of effect, which makes marble of such decorative value.  This translucency can only be obtained by thin glazes of colour, by which means each succeeding glaze only partly covers the previous one, the character of the marble being thus produced.  This is done sometimes in oil-colour in a marvellous manner, but even the best of oil-painting in marble cannot stand the comparison of water-colour, and it is only by comparison that any accurate judgment can be formed of any work.  The production of marbles in water-colour has a depth, softness, and stoniness that defies oil-painting, and in some cases will defy detection unless by an expert of marbles.  It may be that first of all the materials employed are more in keeping with the real material, as no oil enters into the composition of real marble, and by using the medium of water we thus start better, but the real secret is that by using water as a medium the colours take an entirely different effect.  In painting in water-colour greys of any tint or strength can be obtained suitable for the production of a marble of greyish ground, by pure white, tinted as required, being applied of different thicknesses of colour, all the modulations of tone being obtained by the difference in the thickness of the colour applied.”

VARNISHING JAPAN WORK.

Varnishing is the last and the finishing process in japanning.  It consists in (1) applying, and (2) polishing the outer coats of varnish, which are equally necessary whether the plain japan ground be painted on or not.  This is best done in a general way with common seed-lac varnish, except on those occasions where other methods have been shown to be more expedient, and the same reasons, which decide as to the propriety of using the different varnishes as regards the colours of the ground, hold equally with those of the painting, for where brightness is a material point and a tinge of yellow would injure it, seed-lac must give way to the whiter resins; but where hardness and tenacity are essential it must be adhered to, and where both are necessary a mixed varnish must be used.  This mixed varnish should be made from the picked seed-lac as directed in the case of the white japan grounds.  The common seed-lac varnish may be made thus:  Take 1-1/2 lb. of seed-lac and wash it well in several waters, then dry it and powder it coarsely and put it with a gallon of methylated spirits into a Bohemian glass flask so that it be not more than two-thirds full.  Shake the mixture well together and place the flask in a gentle heat till the seed-lac appears to be dissolved, the shaking being in the meantime repeated as often as may be convenient; then pour off all the clear and strain the remainder through a coarse cloth.  The varnish so prepared must be kept for use in a well-corked glass vessel.  The whiter seed-lac varnishes are used in the same

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