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[Master Board] Refined Pine Resin and Carving Wax

New posting to The Gem and Jewelry Master Board BBS

I am looking for about what I heard is a Japanese process for
combining refined pine resin with normal carving wax to create a material
that is stretchable like candy taffy.

Thank you very much for your help.
Paul Cassarino

hi paul,

the description of preparing and using this wax is detailed in a book
entitled, ‘advanced wax techniques’. i don’t recall the author, but the
book is a japanese translation and is available from gia bookstore or
other sources.

best regards,

geo fox

Here is a review of the book George mentioned ( I think this is actually
up at the Ganoksin site someplace) It mentions the fibrous wax method.

Practical Wax Modelling: Advanced Techniques for Modelers
Lewton-Brain 1994

To begin with I highly recommend this book of technical and
procedures for anyone wanting to learn wax modelling techniques (as always
given patience and practice in carrying out the exercises). There is very
little available in English on jewellery oriented professional wax working
and this text contributes to the field. A good half of the currently
available books are by Japanese authors (Wada for instance). This is
interesting when one considers that Japan did not have a tradition of
precious metals jewellery using gems until after the Americans (and later
DeBeers) introduced the concepts after World War II.

Overall this book is clear and well organized. Good large step by step
explanatory black and white photos (some of which are a bit on the gray
side) illustrate the points made in the concise, strictly l
text. This is the second in a series of books on professional wax working
for lost wax casting. It might be useful to have read the first volume
(‘Basic Wax Modelling’, printed in 1985) before this 1993 volume but it is
still a good stand-alone text. My immediate response to this one was to
obtain the first volume too. Originally written in Japanese by Hiroshi
Tsuyuki and Yoko Ohba it is translated extremely well by Susumu Satow.
Several color plates of finished work preface the table of contents and
demonstrate the relationship of the wax working shown to the final work.
It was part of the course curriculum for lost wax courses at the Japan
Jewelry Craft School.

Chapter subjects include hard wax modeling techniques, soft modelling,
incorporating gemstones and finishing castings. The sections are organized
into specific projects, each teaching a different and cumulative set of
Examples of specific skills addressed include numerous
texturing methods, hollow construction, carving, hot working options,
shaping sheet wax over forms, wire work, simple setting construction,
sizings and the use of Japanese tools and materials new to North American
professionals. Each project begins with a worksheet page briefly
describing it, important considerations and a list of materials and tools
required. The design sense is subtly Japanese with some projects feeling
fairly ‘cute’ by North American Standards. This does not detract from the
given. Along with flexible shaft bur use there is also some
emphasis on scraper work (where a North American might quickly reach for a
flex shaft). The use of hand scrapers does promote better control and
understanding for someone learning the techniques-but a professional
constrained by time and money might adapt some procedures shown to more
machine tool use. The occasional hint of the Japanese sense of poetry and
observation flavors the text.

Several techniques new to the West are introduced. The Japanese kisage
scraper and wooden tools for modelling are examples as is mitsuro, a
intriguing blend of yellow impression wax, soft wax and pine resin which
has historical importance in Japan and produces a fibrous, lined,
cloth-like material when stretched out in the fingers-quite unique and
offering an addition to the vocabulary of the professional wax worker. The
utilization of the nature of materials to produce an element to be used in
the design of a piece is a particularly Japanese sensibility and a welcome
one for us who so often merely force form onto the material we work with.

The book has a sturdy spiral binding which allows one to easily lay it
flat for reference while doing the projects. The use of spiral bindings
for goldsmithing books demands homage to Harold O’Connor’s 1970’s
Jewellers bench reference book and Tim McCreights use of the same for his
popular series of books.

The translation feels like that of a native English speaker with some
experience with goldsmiths jargon. Flaws are extremely few: 'router’
instead of the jewellers jargon word ‘bur’, ‘cleaner’ for ‘ultrasonic
cleaner’, ‘rout’ for the verb ‘to bur’, otherwise a very good job. There
are almost no typos , the rare words run together; a dashed line instead
of what I presume is the word ‘soldered’ at the end of the book in my
copy-fixed in future ones. There are a few odd technical approaches such
as obtaining a mat surface and depletion gilding by coating with a borax
solution before heating and pickling-in fact you don’t need to use any
borax for this.

A short appendix of measurements and conversions emphasizing American ring
sizes and inches finishes off the book.

The book is what it claims to be-a documentation of a curriculum which
teaches wax working techniques. Fixed, rather conservative designs and
clearly described projects give For a North American the
Japanese part of it-the mitsuro, the scraper types are intriguing and for
collectors of technical an added reason to pick this one up.

Practical Wax Modelling: Advanced Techniques for Modelers

Hiroshi Tsuyuki and Yoko Ohba, Translation by Susumu Satow
ISBN: 0-9637463-0-8
ASQ Corporation, 17356 West 12 Mile Road, Southfield, Michigan., 48076,
USA =46irst published in Japan in 1988, US edition 1993

Charles Lewton-Brain/Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053 Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brain

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