One of the specific Urushi techniques I use is Haku-e 箔絵.
There are many different techniques of Urushi decoration, all of which make use of the viscosity and hardening properties of Urushi. Uniquely with the Haku-e technique exceptionally thin gold leaf is applied to Aka-haku-shita-urushi the lacquer used to adhere the gold leaf to the surface. The gold leaf can be applied in solid sections or applied in a pattern dictated by the lacquer beneath. Layers of Iro-urushi • 色漆, a coloured lacquer, coloured with yellow or gold pigments are built up over successive weeks before the gold leaf and after a very thin layer of Nashiji-urushi • 梨子地漆 is applied to seal the leaf. Sometimes to create depth many layers of gold leaf and Nashiji are used.
As you may have seen in my shop I love combining this technique with others such as Rankaku-nuri • 卵殻塗 or more recently Nanako-nuri • ななこ塗り.
- Nanako-nuri • ななこ塗り - Lit. fish roe painting. A tsugaru-nuri technique which involves creating a textured surface by sprinkling the wet lacquer surface with rapeseeds or hemp seeds to create a pattern of small craters. The surface is then lacquered over with a contrasting color and polished smooth to reveal a pattern of circles reminiscent of fish roe.
- Rankaku-nuri • 卵殻塗 - The use of eggshells as an inlay material. 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. After curing, the eggshell fragments are layered over with lacquer then polished smooth to reveal the shell fragments again.
- Nashiji-urushi • 梨子地漆 - Lacquer used for nashi-ji. It typically becomes paler over time.
- Iro-urushi • 色漆 - Lit. colored lacquer. Urushi colored with pigments
- Kuro-urushi • 黒漆 - Lit. black lacquer.