Technique "Hagiawase" (Joining) in Detail:
For example, "Summer Musical Score" is made of silver (seen in white), several types of shibuichi (copper and silver alloy - seen in gray), and shakudo (copper and gold alloy - seen in black). These metal alloy plates are cut with a fine-saw to be fit into the designed patterns. The joint sections (where plates are placed side by side), are joined together with silver wax and then melted with a gas burner to join the pieces together. Since it is not possible to make the pattern exactly as designed each time, Okamoto does this "Hagiawase" process a few times until the desired patterns are complete.
When the pattern on each side is completed, she then sands only the inner side, which smooths out the rattling due to brazing. After that, she hammers it to make curves to shape it. Then, she makes patterns of the white dots. This is done by drilling holes with a 1mm drill, while insetting a short cut pure silver round wire into the hole, and tapping the protruding part with a hammer to fix it in place. Next, she files the protruding part to make it smooth and flat. Strictly speaking, it is the technique of "Kiribamezogan".
When all the patterns are complete, only the inner surface is sanded with coarse sandpaper. She assembles the parts so that they form a three-dimensional shape, fix them with wire, and braze the pieces together.
When it becomes a three-dimensional artwork shape, she files the outer surface. Gradually preparing the surface smoothly by using sandpapers from coarse to fine grain. After sanding, she uses the finest sandpaper to polish the outer and inner surfaces to achieve a mirror finish.
At this point, shibuichi and shakudo are copper alloys, appearing as a beautiful orange, like a copper product, by boiling with chemical patination. Shibuichi turns gray and shakudo turns black. In regard to shibuichi, an alloy of copper and silver, adding more silver makes the surface appear as a light gray, conversely, adding more copper makes the surface appear as a darker gray, and moreover if gold is added, it becomes deeper dark gray.
2023 Asia Week New York, US
2022 Japan Traditional Kōgei Exhibition, Japan
2021 "Metal Kogei Exhibition," Kanazawa Yasue Gold Leaf Museum, Japan
2020 "Tansuio Award Exhibition," Sekido Museim of Art, Tokyo, Japan