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The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin with the continued support of The Sumitomo Foundation in Tokyo, have now commissioned Restorient to conserve three more of their most treasured Japanese paintings. Dating from the early 17th century this set of hand scrolls chart the epic tale of "Hunting the Ogres" It will be possible to follow the conservation of these magnificent hand scrolls here on this blog. We at Restorient are delighted to have the opportunity to share this remarkable project, and to offer some insights into this type of specialist conservation.

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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Gold !

As part of the finishing process we had to make the decorative paper which forms the inner lining of the cover silk called the mikaeshi. This is a rather complicated process involving three layers of deer glue size nikawa. These are allowed to dry thoroughly. A coat of seaweed adhesive funori is applied and whilst this is still wet, sheets of gold leaf are carefully placed into a bamboo tube which has a copper gauze covering one end. In the tube there are also some small brass screws. So...... when the tube is gently shaken the screws shred the gold leaf which then drifts slowly onto the pasted sheet below. Any breath of air is to be studiously avoided and a sneeze.......?

We chose a simple cloud design using both gold and silver leaf which was drawn from the cloud patterns which appear throughout the two scrolls. The entire sheet was first sprinkled before a stencil was laid over the sheet to highlight the design.


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