Sanzenbon nikawa recipe: Standard glue solution
For pigments: 20 grams* and 300cc water (adjust
to particle size and specific layer on painting)
* each stick is about 10 grams
Nikawa solutions vary as follows:
Finer pigment requires weaker glue
Coarser pigment requires stronger glue
Lower layer on painting requires stronger glue
Higher layer on painting requires weaker glue
More humidity and damp weather requires stronger glue
Less humidity and dry weather requires weaker glue
In summer months use weaker glue
Soak nikawa in warm water overnight or for a few hours. Transfer to a double boiler or crock pot (stove OK- just be careful not to boil as glue will lose its strength). Heat and stir to thoroughly mix. If the glue seems dirty it can be strained through a fine mesh strainer or through cheesecloth rubber banded to a jar or small bowl.
This glue will last in the fridge for about 5-7 days. It will smell when it is old and it will not feel sticky on your fingers when it is spent.
For applying leaf: make a 2% nikawa-80% water solution, apply three coats-last coat remains wet and then place leaf on
For paper size: 1 tsp alum in 150cc very hot water to dissolve then mix
with 200cc nikawa solution. Dosa lasts for about 3-6 months as the
alum acts as a preservative.
Shufu nori recipie: paste for mounting
Mix 1 part wheat starch to 6 parts water in saucepan. Cook slowly to start, then turn the heat up a bit, then slow it down again, just keep it bubbling stirring all the time. It will turn from a milky color to a transparent color- losing its stiffness. Cook for another 10 minutes and then let it cool. Push the cooled paste through a strainer with a wooden spoon to get all lumps out then transfer to a paste bowl and mash with a paste brush (can use a stiff wallpaper brush) while adding a little water at a time to desired consistency. Will keep for a few days at room temp covered. When it smells or is moldy you will know when to toss it.