gurdymonkey: (Default)
I was going to be good, really I was. I was going to come straight home after [ profile] ladycelia 's Best Birthday Evar, so I could get to bed at a semi-decent hour and Get Things Done(TM) today.

It was a really great party and everyone was having a good time, especially the Birthday Girl. We got the hall torn down and packed by the time the caretaker came to lock up and somehow I ended up at the Rift In The Spacetime Continuum, also known as [ profile] karisu_sama  and [ profile] didjiman 's house, since it was only one exit away up the freeway. See, any time I go near the Rift, I end up staying very, very late because time has no meaning when you're having a good time. I stuck to water at that point, but there was definitely mistletoe. And dogs. And long conversations with special friends. 

And a resulting late lie-in.

The paint that is not Rustoleum on the box lid dried without me being around to worry about it all night and the first set of lines for the game board have been masked out with overpriced blue painters' tape and painted in gold. I should be able to do the rest in a little while.

I will get my packing done. It's not raining, the truck is parked close to the house.

It'll be fine.

EDIT: Calls have been placed to Annapolis. They got 28 inches of snow, had some power outages last night, trees and wires down, and the roads are a bit of a mess, but everyone is at home and doing OK.

Truck is mostly packed.  I cannot find my ivory fleece tabi anywhere, though the oatmeal ones and the flannel pair were right where they were supposed to be. The sugoroku box is still up here and I'm going to give it another day to dry just because I don't trust that new paint 100%. It can go down tomorrow night, along with my overnight bag, then all that needs to go out Tuesday AM is the gurdy and the small cooler.

See, I told you it'd be fine.

EDIT The Second: I'm still not crazy about the paint I used on the lid. I may end up sanding it down and redoing it with yet another can of the Rustoleum Painter's Touch when I get back from Estrella. The Valspar picks up every fingerprint and it doesn't match the rest of the box in terms of finish. I am extremely pleased with the paint work on the end boards, however.

The dice cup is decorated with a couple of "Genji clouds" which were done free hand. The game pieces were pirated from a miniature travel set for the photo. I suppose I need to acquire or make a set, even though the true function of this game table is to store a tea service and other plates and utensils.

gurdymonkey: (pretties)
I bit the bullet and painted the handle hardware. While I kind of liked the patina, the fact is, Japanese furniture hardware is either shiny gold (brass) or black (iron). And when I examined the box lid this afternoon hoping to paint the game board on it, I realized how much grain was still showing through the last bout with the mini sander and had to put yet ANOTHER coat of paint on. I've used almost the entire can already.

Four lanterns are in various stages of construction in the living room. The two smaller ones just need handles and fiberglass "shoji." The big ones have bottom rings on. The pinch clamps are not working as well on the cane rings as the C clamps do - the cane wants to bend only so far and getting a circle needs a lot more pressure. But I will have four kaga chochin by Estrella.

Made my market run for sake and snacky bits for the Rising Sun party last night. Ended up splurging slightly on a kimoto sake by Kurosawa. If this is the stuff [ profile] purple_penguin 's friend brought to the first Rising Sun party, it's amazing stuff. If it's not, I still have hopes of it being pretty good.

'Scuse me! I'm geting PM'ed by A Long Lost Bushi From Mutsu!


Jan. 30th, 2010 12:43 pm
gurdymonkey: (pretties)

I have to say that revisiting a project means doing it better the second time around. At LAST I have the fineness of line I wanted on the water, thanks to an extra fine point Deco Color gold paint pent. Good metallic color and coverage and the precision that I just cannot seem to manage using a brush.  It was also a lot easier to do the decorative work on the end boards before they were part of a 12"x12"24" crate.

First end board is getting a 1/4" square piece clamped and glued with good old Titebond II, a most excellent wood glue. The clamping and gluing takes time because I don't have a lot of clamps and I want to make sure the glue sets, so it's clamp and glue a piece, then wait. Then do the next piece and wait. I'd love to get all of it done today and drill the sides for handles, then I can spend tomorrow painting the rest of the box body in-and-out.

In the meantime, I shall apply another coat of paint to the box lid.

EDIT, 7:30 PM: More or less on schedule in terms of what I wanted to get done today. Both end pieces have been assembled, drilled and hardware has mounted.  One end is currently clamped into position and drying, one more to go. You can see where 1/4" square dowels have been used to even out the size of the box sizes so the end board fits flush. Oops, look, I've streaked a little glue at the top left edge. I'll deal with it tomorrow when the light is better up here.
gurdymonkey: (Default)
Nattering about Lush solid shampoo )

I started working on the sugoroku box 2.0 last night. Amazing what one can do with a small hand saw, a bottle of Tite-bond II and a great deal of precut craft plywood. Four 12" x 24 x 1/4" sheets for the bottom, sides and lid, two 12" x 12 x 1/4" sheets for the sides. Some 1/2" square dowels are cut and used to hold the whole thing together and some 1/4" square dowel strips will be glued to the tops of each long side and to the edges of the lid so that everything squares up correctly. 100% glued joinery (the stolen one held quite a bit of moderately heavy crap and never failed on me), and the only cutting is on the dowels and can be easily achieved with a small hand saw or craft saw over my kitchen sink.
I'm in the gluing and clamping stage, which, owing to the fact that I have only a couple of C-clamps, is easy but takes time. I don't think you can see it here, but the long splats are recessed slightly from the end - this is so the end boards can be fitted. I recall that trying to decorate the end boards last time made me nuts.  This time, I'm going to decorate them before they get glued into the body of the box - the first of several coats of black paint has just been applied. Maybe this time I won't paint it out and start over again so many times.

And now I'm off to see if I can find some unobtrusive, Asian-ish looking drawer pulls to mount as side handles. I never got around to doing that on the old box, but carry handles would have been nice.

EDIT: Mission accomplished. Japan Woodworker's reproduction tansu pulls looked a bit too dainty to use for lifting. (OMG, they have beautiful kitchen knives though!) I ended up with some rust-finished pulls from Restoration Hardware . Yeah, I was forced to pay Fourth Street Full Yuppie Retail, but it probably balances out between trying to run all over the area looking for something or adding shipping costs into something acquired online. Sorta. Most importantly (and something that might be hard to tell when trying to order something online) , the mount screw is plenty sturdy. I'll just glue a piece of that 1/4" square poplar to the back of the short sides, drill through it, and Yoshi's Your Uncle.

Note to self, hem those yoga pants. Once the hems actually dry, that is. I bought two pairs of the exact same style and brand in the exact same size and one is about an inch longer than the other.

Hmm, should be time to glue and clamp another piece and put coat two on the end boards.

EDIT The Second: I posted a note about this to the Tousando. A member queried, "Aren't the sides going to be 1/4" inch too short?"
This is where those teeny little 1/4" x 24" square dowels come in.
It doesn't hurt that I did this same project a year ago and worked out the geometry back then.  BTW, the 1/4" craft dowels are supposed to be 24" long, but they're slightly longer than the 24" plywood boards. Clearly they are milled in alternate universes. It's easy enough to glue the dowel to the edge of the boards that need the additional width, then trim the length with my hand saw.

Most of the glueing that I can do at this point is done. The end boards have received three coats of black gloss paint and been sanded. I can start on the ornamental paint work tomorrow. I'll probably stick with the wheels-in-the-river scheme unless I suddenly think of something I like better.
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
Sakura Pen-Touch gold metallic marker. Good color. Good coverage. Even distribution of pigment.

The perfectionist is itching to paint it all out and start again. No, to be truthful, the perfectionist is calling herself a moron because the water lines wouldn't suck anywhere near as much if she had painted the end pieces BEFORE assembling the box.

The pragmatist is saying, "Enough, already. It has to dry so you can load the party gear into it and have it in the truck tomorrow night."

Last week on the Tokyo episode of "No Reservations," Tony Bourdain asked several masters of their arts (kendo, ikebana, sushi preparation, bladesmithing) whether perfection is possible. Each in his own way said more or less, "No, of course not, but the point is to strive for it anyway." 

Sigh. At least I have someplace to keep the tea things now.

Technically, it's not finished. I won't have time to polyurethane it until after Purgatorio. I also don't have any lifting hardware on the sides. Ideally, it should be a recessed crescent shaped pull, but I haven't found anyone who makes them. Round ones, sure. Ugly modern oval ones, of course. The sorts of things you find on sliding closet doors and office furniture. If I find something that looks like cast iron tansu hardware, I'll mount it. Otherwise, I won't bother.

EDIT: This just in from Hiraizumi-sensei over on the Tousando board. Understand that when Sensei tells one of the guys, "You suck," it really means, "Beautiful work, you nailed it." I have been trying for YEARS to provoke a "You suck" of my very own out of him. This is an historic moment, not to mention an ironic one. Because, of course, Sensei is looking at the same small scale photos you are and cannot see just how much this project truly does, well, suck.

EDIT The Second: Because honesty is all and perfection was definitely not attained, you may judge for yourself by examining the paintwork in greater detail here.

EDIT The Third: It has been brought to my attention that I am being obsessive. Again.

Well, yes. I did this last year with the Tosenin Kosode. I saw every flaw because I'd had my nose pressed up against the silk for weeks. I hated it. It was awful, it was never going to be all I wanted it to be - until I put it on at an event and actually saw myself in a full length mirror.

Perhaps it will look better arranged artistically next to the koi pond. (The makings of which I'd better finish packing!)
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
I went with the grid style game board top for the sugoroku box because the only one I've seen that didn't have it is the Chinese looking board in the Shoso-in collection. However, I LOVE the Shoso-in board's crescent moon motif, so I incorporated it here.

Despite carefully masking off all the lines with tape, there was a little bit of bleeding because the liquid leaf is so fine. I will go back later and clean it up with a little black paint and my really fine brush.

Now I am faced with the blank expanses of box sides.... What to put on them!

POOH! My thinnest brush does not appear to be quite thin enough - you can see where I've sanded and painted out a couple of water lines on here.  It doesn't help that the consistency of the liquid leaf is really liquid AND fast drying at the same time. I had to go back and put a second coat on the cartwheels because of it, though I do draw a mean cartwheel.
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
I keep forgeting e-museum!

A Heian period box decorated with wheels and water - this motif makes sense once one discovers that wooden wheels would be put into a stream to swell any loose joints. I really like the contrast of the regular geometry of the cart wheels against the swirling water.
The same motif in a Kamakura period toiletry box.

Another Heian box, with lotuses and butterflies from the Nara Museum.

Sparrows from the Nara Museum collection. (Lamentably, their search engine only runs in Japanese!)

Anyone remember this one?

I keep coming back to the water motifs. I need to make some sketches when I'm not too exhausted to hold a pencil.
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
This post will be of no interest unless you want to look at pre-1600 examples of Japanese lacquer-ware.

Autumn grasses motifs like this seem quite popular from what I've been able to find.

Sake party, anyone? (WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

This poor, battered thing must've been stunning at one time. The pics are frustrating, but I love those gnarled trees.

For a Momoyama piece, this is surprisingly simple.

I do not intend to even TRY to do this to a camp box, but OMG!

More chrysanthemums, another very common motif:

And for something completely different, a 16th century Japanese Christian artifact, a pyx (container for blessed Eucharist wafers):
gurdymonkey: (Default)

The open house at Emeryville Taiko last night was fun. I now have a few more things I can incorporate into the warmups I've been doing. (Have I mentioned that I seem to be the only person in my class who bothers to warm up?)

Put another coat of black paint onto the sugoroku box and will probably try to get a third on tomorrow morning. This so-called "semi-gloss" isn't very glossy at all. Sanding takes it right down - which isn't a bad thing because I'll be drafting designs on the sides in pencil and painting them in gold. I'll make it look lacquer-y with top coats of polyurethane.

And on that note, I'm off to the kite festival. I've decided NOT to shlep the hurdy gurdy today, take my camera and just enjoy, especially since I plan to try to find free parking on the east side of the freeway and hike down instead of coughing up $10.

EDIT: So much for that brilliant idea. I should know by now that Berkeley and motor cars are incompatible no matter how you slice it.  I spent an hour and a half sitting in traffic just trying to get down there. Couldn't find a place to park on the east side of the freeway to even try to make the walk over - why? The AM traffic channel said that all the parking lots in the marina had been full for more than an hour at that point.

Plan B, I thought. If there's parking at West Oakland BART, I shall brave San Francisco. There was not.
I took local streets back and made a stop at the Cost Plus in Jack London Square to see if they had any interesting sake in the wine clearance bin (they did not). A glance at the ferry dock as I came down the Embarcadero to make the turn for the Webster Tube showed a huge line.

Plan C, came home. Ate lunch before I gnawed off a limb. Put a coat of paint on the inside lid of the box. The outside of the box looks pretty good and I'm going to put that third coat as soon as I'm sure the second one is dry.
gurdymonkey: (pretties) Edo period print of mother and child playing sugoroku.
Children fighting over a game.
gurdymonkey: (thought)
The suguroku box has its first coat of black paint and I Am Not Pleased.  Will have to see how it dries, but it was a bitch to get it to mix and the coverage is kind of inconsistent and blotchy, despite my efforts to drag the paint along the grain of the wood as carefully as possible.  Sigh. I'll probably have to sand the crap out of it, then do another coat or so - I may simply switch to something else for the second coat.  If I get a nice result with that, THEN I  can think about gold leafing the game board top and doing designs in gold leaf on the sides - and polyurethaning everything to a fare thee well.

Skies are still gray and it's bloody cold in the garret.

EDIT: Now that it's dried somewhat it looks less horrid. Will sand when I am sure it's dry and give it another coat. Not sure it won't require a third, but since I'm still mulling what the decorative motifs on the sides of the board will actually be, there's no rush.

While waiting for it to dry, I've been looking at period lacquers in my art books and online. While I can't find that many examples of extant suguroku boards from period, I don't think it's completely unreasonable to assume that motifs used on other decorative pieces of laquerware would not be appropriate.
Is this not gorgeous?

In the meantime, while looking for an online image of the two monkeys with a suguroko board from the Choju Giga scroll (and this one is not very good), I found THIS
While netsuke and ojime are pretty much post-period for the SCA (and men's accessories anyway), these are still a lot of fun.

Caught "The Prestige" again on cable. Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, David Bowie and Michael Caine make lovely company on a Sunday afternoon.


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