What-o?
Mitsuro.

Mitsuro is a 1300-year-old Japanese sculpture technique which was almost lost to history. Originally used in Nara era Japan in the construction of Daibatsu, the Great Buddha, Mitsuro is a veritable fusion of alchemy and artistry. In 2002 artistan-jeweler Russ Sharek of The Morpheus Company revived this ancient technique.

Western lost-wax sculpture methods involve either carving pieces from a larger block or building up a design in successive layers of wax, clay, or other material. By contrast, the Mitsuro technique is a dynamic, organic process.

Small pieces of the material are warmed in the hands to body temperature, and then the entire mass can be stretched, pulled, twisted and formed in a highly kinetic manner. By careful folding and twisting, natural line patterns called hikime are formed in the Mitsuro, further adding to the organic look the technique produces.

Mitsuro is a demanding technique, which requires great focus and an incredibly delicate touch. The slightest over-handling can ruin the delicate textures created or even work the wax to the point where it becomes unusable.

Mitsuro's working properties are affected by many variables. Humidity, temperature and even the body chemistry and fingerprints of the artist cause every piece to have its own signature hikime patterns. These details are so delicate that they can not be duplicated with any kind of molding process; making each piece of Mitsuro completely unique.

06 / 05 / 2009
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