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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Additional Work : Miso Barrels, Whisky Barrels, Soy Barrel, Water Barrels and Spa Barrels

November 21st - 26th 2014

When I purchased the walnut cleats from the Italian mini shop, I also purchased some small barrels that I wanted to use in the storage area of the kitchen.  I wanted the barrels to contain some things that were common use but also unique.  I found some pictures of some pretty cool barrels for miso (a kind of soy paste used in cooking) and a Japanese whisky (altho not the one that has been in the news recently).  It seems odd but this whisky brand has been around quite a while and perhaps the inn would have a barrel or two for their VIP guests.

First I found some labels that could be transferred to the barrels.  Next was finding the best medium for transferring them.  I printed the labels out on paper and a transparency both on the laser printer and the inkjet and set about making some tests.  All the tutorials I read required certain solvents (Citra Solv which I have no idea what that is and it’s not available in Italy, acetone, etc) or products like Modge Podge which are not available here either.  So in reading the tutorials on how to transfer, the only thing that stuck with me is what can dissolve the printer ink onto a porous surface.  I tried printing off my laser printer onto paper then placing the image on the wood and wetting the paper with acetone, then rubbing.  Wrong.  Not even one small bit of toner ink came off.  So that failed.  I then tried using the acetone on the surface and trying to transfer the toner ink from a transparency - nothing.  So my toner ink is pretty non soluble. 
Next was testing the inkjet on the transparency.
Printing on a transparency.
Clearly the ink is wet so you have to be super careful not to smear it (hence why I printed off many little images) but the size of my barrels are so small you really can’t see details once some of the ink transferred over.  I did discover it was best not to moisten the barrels as the ink just ran and clouded the image.  So, on the miso barrel, I finally got a few transfers to show up.  The soy sauce barrel was a total loss.  So I printed the page out again on calligraphy rice paper and attached the labels to the barrels with water and glue.  As the paper dries, you can see the printing through the paper a little.  Since I couldn’t see enough for the soy, I reprinted it on the other side (still with the toner ink) and then decoupaged it onto the barrel.  So, overall it was not a total loss.  In any case, all the tutorials about transferring images to wood are a bust for small pieces.  There just isn’t enough possibility to get good detail.
You can barely make out the label...
The miso label was a little better on a dry surface
Next was decorating the miso barrels.  One barrel has stones on top (found photos on the internet that showed how they press the fermenting paste by setting stones on the lid) and one of the barrels is open for use in the kitchen.  I used some acrylic paint to color a mix of glue and sand to create a paste-like mixture that I then spread onto the top of the barrel.  I made a small spatula and inserted it into the paste.  The final effect is quite cute.
Inspiration - miso barrell with stones on top.

Inspiration - Miso paste
My mini version of both.
Inspiration from Nikka Whisky
Finished barrels.
I then pulled out the changing room’s wardrobe so I could add some obijimi - obi belts - to the kimonos nestled there.  I just cut and glued some small colored ribbons.  Just a small detail that I wanted to add for a while and finally got round to it.
Adding the obijime.
Next I made a few buckets for the spa and water buckets for the irori fire pit room.  I also painted one bucket red to put into the Buddha room as a decoration.  Red sake buckets are given during wedding ceremonies so I thought maybe a bucket would be used up and then placed as a decoration in one of the rooms.  It’s cute and small.  So I was sold.  I painted “water” in kanji on two buckets which I filled with “water” (liquid Fimo) and baked for half an hour in a low oven.  I let them cool then finished aging them.  I then placed one in the irori room and one in the kitchen near the stove.  I then also placed the miso barrel in the kitchen and the whiskey and soy barrel in the storage area.  I think they look pretty good.
Water filled buckets for the spa.
The shower drain with a small bench.
Buckets filled and non filled for the spa.
Two fire fighting water buckets and the red used sake bucket.
Whisky, soy and miso barrels in the storage space.
Buckets placed in the spa.
Miso paste barrel in place and water bucket at the far right.
It’s now Christmas time as I write this (well, really the day before Thanksgiving) so all the manger accessories are out in the stores.  Often you can find a few little objects that work well in scale but you have to go within a day or two of the displays being put out because the cool objects disappear quickly.  Anyway, I found a set of tubs (buckets for a manger scale but for me they will be tubs) and cleaned them up a bit, painted them and varnished them.  I used a gold paint pen to trace a small band of “metal” round the outside.  I’m not quite sure what I will do with them yet but they are definitely going in the house. 
Manger buckets will become tubs in my house.
Anyway, real life is crashing down on me of late.  My next idea is for the back of the house but I have to plan it out and I’m not really concentrated right now.  So, perhaps after Thanksgiving (which I am going to celebrate on Sunday).

Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends and remember to appreciate your loved ones at least one day out of the year.  Eat turkey.  Be Happy!!
Super cute pie miniature you can find on Etsy.