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About Artisan Crafts / Professional Maya HeathFemale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 9 Years
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Paisley Lotus Tambour Embroidery by Isiscat777 Paisley Lotus Tambour Embroidery :iconisiscat777:Isiscat777 9 4 Gardenias mini-quilt by Isiscat777 Gardenias mini-quilt :iconisiscat777:Isiscat777 6 3 Christmas Tree Quilt - 2013 by Isiscat777 Christmas Tree Quilt - 2013 :iconisiscat777:Isiscat777 1 4 Caruso On LOgan's Quilt by Isiscat777 Caruso On LOgan's Quilt :iconisiscat777:Isiscat777 1 0 Logans Quilt - a quilt for my grandson by Isiscat777 Logans Quilt - a quilt for my grandson :iconisiscat777:Isiscat777 2 4 Logan and Adam w the quilt by Isiscat777 Logan and Adam w the quilt :iconisiscat777:Isiscat777 0 1 Dragonfly Carry-All - Front Closeup by Isiscat777 Dragonfly Carry-All - Front Closeup :iconisiscat777:Isiscat777 4 2 Dragonfly Carry-All by Isiscat777 Dragonfly Carry-All :iconisiscat777:Isiscat777 3 2 Blessing Hand I - center detail by Isiscat777 Blessing Hand I - center detail :iconisiscat777:Isiscat777 14 8 Blessing Hand I - Pendant detail by Isiscat777 Blessing Hand I - Pendant detail :iconisiscat777:Isiscat777 1 1 Button Blossoms by Isiscat777 Button Blossoms :iconisiscat777:Isiscat777 2 1 Blessing Hand I by Isiscat777 Blessing Hand I :iconisiscat777:Isiscat777 4 6 Winter Camellia 11-24-11 by Isiscat777 Winter Camellia 11-24-11 :iconisiscat777:Isiscat777 1 1 The Last Antares 11-24-11 by Isiscat777 The Last Antares 11-24-11 :iconisiscat777:Isiscat777 0 1 Butterfly Memento - Smalls by Isiscat777 Butterfly Memento - Smalls :iconisiscat777:Isiscat777 50 29 Antares 7-4-11 4 by Isiscat777 Antares 7-4-11 4 :iconisiscat777:Isiscat777 3 1


couple by moussee couple :iconmoussee:moussee 133 33 bone medallions on olive tree wood  - detail 3 by manuroartis bone medallions on olive tree wood - detail 3 :iconmanuroartis:manuroartis 36 9 Very large Raven horn and antler stand pic 3 by Bonecarverpm Very large Raven horn and antler stand pic 3 :iconbonecarverpm:Bonecarverpm 26 11 3 roses tambour hook by Bonecarverpm 3 roses tambour hook :iconbonecarverpm:Bonecarverpm 9 9 Autumn path by SnowSkadi Autumn path :iconsnowskadi:SnowSkadi 4,769 164 Mokosh - 5009S by dragonscalearts Mokosh - 5009S :icondragonscalearts:dragonscalearts 10 0 Badger - 3061S by dragonscalearts Badger - 3061S :icondragonscalearts:dragonscalearts 6 1 bizim davetiyemiz by zynpklc bizim davetiyemiz :iconzynpklc:zynpklc 25 15 Biscornu Re-done by Mattsma Biscornu Re-done :iconmattsma:Mattsma 7 12 The Sun Card by Elric2012 The Sun Card :iconelric2012:Elric2012 18 4 Giles pelican Medallion finished by Bonecarverpm Giles pelican Medallion finished :iconbonecarverpm:Bonecarverpm 26 22 'is this it' finished by JulieSwanSculpture 'is this it' finished :iconjulieswansculpture:JulieSwanSculpture 67 19 Simple shell thread winder by Bonecarverpm Simple shell thread winder :iconbonecarverpm:Bonecarverpm 8 14 TWO OF WANDS by Elric2012 TWO OF WANDS :iconelric2012:Elric2012 21 11 winter adventure by moussee winter adventure :iconmoussee:moussee 337 45 Six of Swords by Elric2012 Six of Swords :iconelric2012:Elric2012 18 4


 A large part of any project seems to be the research that goes into the processes and techniques needed to achieve it.  Now that I've decided to paint the box, my next step was to find out how to do that and get a really authentic look to it.  The history of Chinese and Japanese lacquerware (urushiol-based lacquer)
is a long and impressive one.  When done right, the result is not only beautiful, but the lacquer itself cures through oxidation and polymerization to form a a kind of natural plastic that is extremely robust and can last over a thousand years.  The process of applying it is long and arduous and includes lots of noxious and toxic vapors even if you can find the authentic ingredients and complete step-by-step instructions.  Not to mention that, if you don't know what you're doing, getting it on your skin can result in "urusiol-induced contact dermatitis".  And having read enough about exotic tree resins from sou-east Asia I decided that there had to be a better way that I personally could achieve good results. 

There are all kinds of commercial lacquers out there both acryllic based and nitrocellulose.  But the first thing their labels mention is about how to paint a car.  Somehow I don't think this is what I have in mind.  There are water-based lacquers too.  But the general consensus is that the finish they produce is relatively fragile.  If I am going to put all this effort into something I want it to last.  So moving on......

Then I came to "Japanning".  Oriental lacquerware was quite popular in the late 17th and 18th centuries.  Due to the high cost of importing both the goods and the materials, Europeans developed imitations of their own that were effectively a different technique of lacquering based on shellac.    I finally located a plain-spoken practical source on how to do this.  The Handbook on Japanning: 2nd Edition by William Norman Brown,  D. van Nostrand, New York, 1913.  Although most of the book is about applying japanning to metal as an enameling technique, the fir 11 pages are all about applying it to wood.  From the first step of preparing the surface, to priming and then application, it leaves out nothing.  Complete with exact recipes not only for the varnish itself but for exactly how to put which pigments in it to achieve the color you like.  The language is stilted and pedantic and I will have to take some time taking it from antique book to studio notes, but with a little effort all the information is laid out one step at a time.  I have painted icons before and am familiar with this technique of sizing and gesso-priming a surface.  It will take patience and care, but I think it's well within my scope to be able to turn out a creditable outcome. 
  • Listening to: Azam Ali / Vas
  • Reading: John Masters - The Nightrunners of Bengal
  • Drinking: Green Tea


Maya Heath
Artist | Professional | Artisan Crafts
United States
I've been an artist of one sort or another since I can remember. It's not what I do; it's who I am. So I've spent most of my life following what's interesting or beautiful or touching. I've lived in big cities and tiny hamlets, apartments and remote adobe houses. I've had more cats than I can count. When I'm not painting, making jewelry or writing books (5 so far), I'm doing embroidery, belly dancing and playing in the SCA.

Current Residence: Florida
Favourite genre of music: classical, soundtracks, old blues, belly dance
Favourite style of art: Orientalist, art deco, art nouveau, craftsman, steampunk, medieval, what ever is well done
MP3 player of choice: Sony Walkman
Favourite cartoon character: Scrat
Personal Quote: It'll come to me. - Res ad me veniet.


:iconquilters-quagmire: :iconlovelynature: :icongiveallamagetallama: :iconfansofancienthistory:


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