|Scroll one during retouching|
Whilst the condition of the three hand scrolls is generally very good there are inevitably some areas of loss and damage which have occurred during their four hundred year history. Any missing areas are repaired with a matching gampi fibred paper. However before we can apply any colour to harmonise the repair with it's surroundings it needs to be sized.
The traditional way of doing this is to apply a very dilute solution of freshly prepared soy milk. This prevents the colour from being absorbed too quickly by the paper and allows a much greater degree of control when applying any colour.
|The stages of preparing the soy size|
The soy beans are soaked overnight - around 10 beans to 100ml of water. These are then ground to a pulp (in this case using an earthenware Japanese grinding bowl -suribachi), strained to separate the liquid from the pulp and then diluted with more water for use.
Contemporary artists also find this soy size very useful when working with absorbent papers.