Shosugiban, Unicorn Spit and Resin
We're busy setting up our new showroom, and I wanted to create a sample board that shows off the aspects of wood and Unicorn Spit that I find most appealing. To me, the beauty of wood grain is something that should be highlighted at any opportunity.
Shosugiban is an ancient Japanese technique used to bring out the grain of a piece of wood. It involves burning the wood to a char with a blow torch, so naturally it appeals to me!
This is what it needs to get to before your find it's beauty.
The first step is to find yourself a piece of wood that already has a defined grain. Grab a gas torch, and a wire brush.
I was lucky enough to find this scrap piece to try out this technique, but to be honest, had I known just how beautiful it would come out, I would have found a piece that could have served as a platter board or even big enough to serve as something that would look good against a wall.
You now need to burn the surface of the wood to an absolute char, even it starts to crack a little that's fine.
Once properly charred, start scrubbing the char away with your wire brush, eventually the only dark elements of the wood will be the grain.
Now burn it all over again, and scrub it clean once again. Your grain should really pop now!
My next move was to choose some of the bright my favourite brights from my Unicorn Spit collection, Original colours.
To be honest I can't remember which I used but that's the thing about Unicorn Spit, just choose the colours that speak to you, you can't make a mistake!
Unicorn SPiT is available in 10 original colours, and can be diluted by more than 100% for various applications.
Undiluted it's a paint with high levels of pigmentation - once you start diluting it becomes a stain, glaze, dye, and even a water-colour medium. I even use it to tint my chalkpaint when experimenting with new colours.
For this project I just put a few drops onto the wood using a single colour at a time and used my fingers to run the colour along the grain. I used a spary bottle and sprayed a little water to diliute the Spit slightly and to facililtate easier blending.
Just look at those colours !
Then...I wanted to add a little bling to the mix, so I pulled out my Unicorn Spit Sparkling!
Sparkling works best when you use a Sparkling colour over any corresponding colours. For example, use Saphire Swift (blue sparkling) over any of your blues. The Sparkling colours are translucent, and allow the base colour to come through whilst adding that touch of bling.
Once again, just a few drops of Sparkling over the corresponding base colour of Original Unicorn Spit. (obviously I waited for the base colours to dry before adding my Sparkling :) ). Again just use your fingers to run over the grain, Sparkling Spit is really forgiving and even going outside of the lines looks so good!
Once my Spit was dry, I taped around the edges of the wooden board to create a 'dam'.
The picture below shows an example of the general idea, I forgot to takes pics of this step.
I used duct tape, but brown packaging tape may work better since it would be able to seal off any of the grooves, cracks and crevices that are found on the edge of the wood, and prevent the resin running out the sides.
For the resin, I used a 1:1 mix ratio of craft resin that is easily available at most specialist art and craft stores.
Follow the instructions that come with the product and be sure to wear latex gloves. This stuff is sticky and very hard to remove.
In my case I mixed the product, stirring really well and then I let it stand for a few minutes to let as many of the air bubbles dissipate as possible. I made sure my piece of wood was on a level surface and as safe from dust, pet hair or anything else that may settle into resin as it dries.
Once you have poured the resin, it's going to be almost impossible to move the project to a new location.
Once poured; and where air bubbles appear, lightly go over them using your gas flame and they will quickly disappear. You may need to do this repeatedly, as the resin seeps into the wood, bubbles will form.
I then left my project in peace, and let it cure overnight, after which i carefully removed the tape, and voila....a beautiful shiny glass-like surface!
Unicorn Spit, Sparkle SPit and Granny B's Products are available via www.grannyb.co.za and particpating stockists that can be located via the same website.