Posts Tagged ‘lacquer tray’

One of the engaging projects I have and the opportunity to work on over my internship has been a lacquered tray from Japan. Lacquer, or urushi as it is called in Japan, is a natural tree extract which hardens to a glossy film in a warm humid environment.

Urushi being collected from a Rhus verniciflua tree

The tray I worked on had pieces of decorative inlay, made from materials like shell, horn, wood and ivory (or bone) which had become detached. Several pieces of inlay had also become lost over time, leaving gaps in the surface of the tray. In addition, some of the inlay had become warped which created spaces between the surfaces of the tray and inlay.

The area of the tray where the inlay has become dettached.The area of the tray with detached and missing inlay. The adhesives used to attach the inlay, protein glue and lacquer depending on the area. are visible on the surface. 

The inlay was reattached using fish glue and this same material was mixed with glass micro-balloons to create supporting fill to fit the spaces between the inlay and tray.

Beads of fish glue on the cleaned wooden surface of the traySupport fill made of fish glue and micro-balloons visible in the warped area.The gaps in the tray were also filled. The fill was white though and so after it dried it was painted to blend in with the surrounding area.




The tray after the conservation work was completed









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