漆塗りの大敵「ちぢみ」The great enemy of lacquer “Wrinkles (Chijimi)”


The first annoying mistake of lacquering is “Wrinkles (chijimi)”. I have failed many times. I still do it once in a while. By the way, I thought that I hadn’t seen this “Wrinkles (chijimi)” in the references so much, so I decided to focus on it this time and summarize it.

「ちぢみ」とは。。What is “Wrinkled (Chijimi)”? ..


It is often said that “it has shrunk (Chijinde-shimatta)” when it is lacquered and there is “Chijimi” when it is applied and dried. “Chijimi” is like so-called painted wrinkles.


When you apply lacquer, the area of the applied thickness and the surface of the part with the pool becomes larger than the other uniformly applied surface, so if you try to dry only that surface, it will wrinkle and shrink. It tends to occur when dried in high humidity or when thickly applied.


I also shrunk it, pretended not to see it, and left it for a long time (photo) I thought that the coffee cup made of wiping lacquer wood that I used at home every day had to be cracked and healed. Was there. I tried to paint the inside as well, but the part I applied while painting shrank brilliantly.


The humidity was quite high, so I had to change the direction diligently, but I turned it over and left it for a long time, so it seems that the lacquer drips and accumulates. Even if I think I applied it thinly, it will hang down if I leave it vertically for a long time. The idea that it would be awkward if the bottom shrank was too strong, and I left it vertically and the edges shrank. Because it was my own, I didn’t look at it properly because I left it unattended.


Regarding this “Chijimi”, I am aware that there are too many points to reflect on and it was unavoidable to shrink. The sentence “Each process is always a serious battle between your hands and your heart” written in the bibliography permeates myself.


If you don’t do “lacquering” really seriously, you will fail as if your heart is being seen by lacquer. .. .. .. I know that, but I’m a human being because I’m impatient, tired, and so on, so I fail. But such an excuse doesn’t matter, “Urushi-san” is a tough creature. It’s a matter of course because I’ve received a drop of lacquer blood, but if I get used to it and forget about it, it will naturally end in failure. I repeat my reflection every day.

縮ませないようにする注意点 Precautions to prevent shrinking


“Lacquer Urushi” is all determined by the thickness of the coating, in addition to the fight against dust and dirt.


Here are some notes on my painting. I hope you find it helpful.


★ The following items will differ depending on what you are painting and the environment in which you are painting.

  1. 漆の硬さ Hardness of lacquer
  2. 厚塗りになりやすい箇所の特定 Identifying areas that are prone to thick coating
  3. 筆通し(適切な筆の使用)Brush stroke (use of appropriate brush)
  4. 温度湿度調整 Temperature / humidity adjustment
  5. 置き方の時間単位の調整 Adjustment of how to place in hours

1.漆の硬さの調節 Hardness of lacquer

Too hard
Too soft
brush marks are left
it is difficult to apply lacquer evenly
lacquer tends to accumulate
Lacquer flows too much
Easy to drip


★ When you lift the lacquer with a spatula and drop it, it becomes like a thread.


If you want to apply thickly, you need a certain amount of hardness, so if you can confirm that no brush marks remain, improve the brush stroke and focus on applying evenly.

2.厚塗りになりやすい箇所の特定 Identifying areas that are prone to thick coating


The main areas where thick coating is likely to occur are as follows.

  • 器物の隅角・内角 Corner / internal angle of an object
  • 螺鈿などの貝・卵殻の溝 Grooves of shellfish and eggshells such as Raden
  • 素地面との高低差のあるところ Where there is a height difference from the ground
  • 角のすぐ下 Just below the corner
  • 塗り終わりの箇所(端)The part (edge) at the end of painting
  • 側面 side


Scientifically speaking, the lacquer to be applied is in a so-called liquid state. When applied to an object, it exhibits the property of surface tension, which naturally tries to make the surface as small as possible when placed in a state where the liquid (lacquer) is applied. Places where liquids tend to collect, such as grooves, can be said to be places where liquids naturally collect as places where liquids can stay stably.


In addition, it is said that the force of surface tension decreases as the temperature rises. This is because the intramolecular distance increases due to thermal motion, and the intramolecular aggregation energy decreases.


There is a high probability that it will work if you apply a thick coat at a high temperature and low humidity. For now, I think it’s best to warm it up in winter and apply a thick coat. In the summer, the temperature and humidity are too high, so it is difficult to adjust. (This is just my personal opinion, so I would appreciate it if you could refer to it.)


I think it is important to understand the point that it tends to be thick here and pay attention to the uniformity of the whole.

3.筆通し Brush stroke (use of appropriate brush)


After applying it all over and leaving it for a few minutes, lacquer will try to accumulate in the grooves and dented areas.


Also, depending on how you move the brush, lacquer may accumulate on the edges and edges. I think that it depends on the individual’s painting habits by the dominant hand, so I think it is also necessary to understand your own painting habits.


Carefully check the identified areas where they tend to collect, and then brush. The brush used at this time may be a brush that has been painted as it is, or a brush that is slightly narrower to fit the size of the groove or dent than the brush that was painted. The brush to be used and how to move it will change depending on the equipment to be painted and the condition of painting.


Also, it would be great if I could successfully remove the dusty areas, but in some cases I may have to brush again. Therefore, it is necessary to be careful not to cause the accumulation of lacquer again.

4.温度湿度調整 Temperature / humidity adjustment


For the “Urushi muro” that you can put in immediately after painting, prepare a “Kara-muro” that is not very humid. I think that the “Kara-muro” should have a humidity of 55 to 60% and a temperature of 20 degrees or higher. (It’s just my personal opinion. The method and the condition of the Muro are different for each person.)


If the humidity is 50% or less and the humidity is not too high, it will take 1 to 2 weeks or more to dry. Also, if the inside of the room is inadvertently cold, it will not dry out. In that case, you cannot go to the next sharpening process. Even if it takes 3 or 4 days to dry, I think it is a suitable guideline. If you want to prevent the color of the colored lacquer from becoming dark, it may take a considerable amount of time (more than a month) to dry.


From a low humidity state, increase the humidity step by step every 5 to 10% and let it dry slowly.


This method of drying is especially for thick coatings. When I apply it very thinly or dilute it, I sometimes put it in a lacquer room with a humidity of around 75% from the beginning.


In any case, failure due to high humidity or sudden sudden change in temperature and humidity is likely to occur.


I also made a lot of mistakes, and the success rate increased little by little, and when my attention decreased, I failed again. Even now, I have failed and am in the process of trial and error every day. However, if I try it for the time being and do not fail, there is nothing to gain, and I am doing it positively, although I am depressed to some extent. If there is something to lose, I think there must be something to gain.

5.置き方の時間単位の調整 Adjustment of how to place in hours


It moves while the lacquer exerts surface tension from the liquid. The point is how to keep the lacquer in a uniform state while this surface tension is working.


I think that my shrunk coffee cup wouldn’t have accumulated and shrunk if it was dried by changing the placement in about 10 minutes. On the way, I forgot it while turning it upside down, so it seems that it has shrunk.


The ones that need to be adjusted are mainly those with a curved painted surface.


The time unit adjustment of this placement is mainly done until the surface of the lacquer is dry. If you don’t have an automatic rotating Muro, you have to measure the time with a timer etc. and move it each time. Depending on the thickness of the thick coat, it may be better to change the placement all night long. If that happens, I can’t sleep if it’s not automatic, so I apply it first thing in the morning and check the condition until I go to bed at night. Even so, I just can’t sleep well because I’m worried. However, I care about that and finally I can paint it well. If I completely forget it and leave it, it seems that the lacquer is in a bad mood and shrinks.

縮んでしまった場合の対処法 What to do if it shrinks

縮んだら、基本やり直しです。If it shrinks, it’s basically a redo.

  • (急いでる場合)乾きが甘ければ拭き取る、or削ぎ落とす
  • (時間に猶予がある場合)1ヶ月くらい放置
  • (It’s in a hurry) If it is not dry, wipe it off or scrape it off.
  • (If you have time to spare) Leave it for about a month


If it shrinks, it will take time to dry because the lacquer in the shrinking wrinkles has accumulated.


Only the surface is still slightly dry, and if the shrinkage is confirmed, wipe it off with a solvent and reapply it. If it can be wiped off, it is definitely better to wipe it off without wasting time.


If it can be wiped off even if it is becoming solid and tattered, wipe it off and reset.


If it is almost dry and shrunk, if you are in a hurry, scrape the shrunk part with a cutter or spatula to remove the raw lacquer inside and dry it. After drying, sharpen it off. I’ve tried various things such as applying lacquer only to the shrunk part to make it smooth and usable again, but I didn’t get it. Even if the same lacquer on the same surface is dried at different times, the temperature and humidity environment will change every day, so it will not dry in the same way. As a result, even if they are integrated, there is a difference in the coating film, and even if the same black lacquer is used, it will not turn black in the same way due to light reflection.


It is good if the finish is beautiful at the breaks in the pattern, but if you repair it with only the black lacquer surface, it will not be finished cleanly and evenly. I think there are various methods such as layering Suri-urushi, but it takes time and process accordingly.


It is faster to start over than to spend time on this advanced repair in μmm units. In my case, giving up and making decisions are quick and redoing. I’m more focused on how to prevent shrinkage than on how to repair it. I don’t think you should give up on restoration or repair, but it’s just about making a work. (Each person has their own way of thinking and method, so this is just my personal opinion.)


Also, if you sharpen off the shrinkage part and you can’t see it, and if you think it’s okay and proceed without sharpening it properly, the final finish may be that the shrinkage wrinkles appear. “Lacquering” is not allowed to be done loosely.

再挑戦できる「漆塗り」”Lacquer” that can be challenged again


Even if it shrinks, the material itself will not be damaged if you peel off only one layer of the applied material.


In the case of pottery and other traditional crafts, everything can be ruined, but lacquering can be redone. It may take several months to apply the Togidashi-Makie and the Raden, but it can still be redone.


When I shrink, I’m absent-minded for a while, but I have no choice but to do it.


Of course, “Chijimi” is a failure, so I don’t think you will see it in products. There are also people who occasionally make use of the intended shrinkage in their works.


This time, I reviewed all the references I always see. However, none of the books I reviewed regarding “Chijimi” wrote in great detail, so the text is mainly based on my actual experience of failure. Also, if you find a book with detailed information, I would like to update it in this post.

参考文献 References

  • 佐々木英『漆芸の伝統技法』.オーム社,1986
  • 十時啓悦、工藤茂喜、西川栄明『漆塗りの技法書』,誠文堂新光社,2015


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