A few months ago Motoji Ohno from Japan contacted us and requested that we create a flute decorated with a Japanese orchid flower. Our flutes seem to be well liked in the Japanese market, for about 20% of our flutes are shipped to Japan. This decoration is our way of saying thanks to Japan for all your support. The Ebine flower decoration will be our next flute decoration that we release.
Before I am flooded with requests for new decorations, I should say that we only release one or two new decorations a year. And much thought and expense is put into each pattern.
After the pattern is selected we will create the artwork. Then the original artwork sent off to a silkscreen printer. The process is similar to standard silkscreen except the ink that is used is actually a ceramic glaze or a gold bearing lacquer. First a clear lacquer coat is applied to the silkscreen. Then each separate color is hand screened on top of the lacquer then dried before the next color is applied. We usually print at minimum 100 sheets of each decoration.
After we receive the silkscreen prints back we cut out the decorations. To apply them to the flutes they are soaked in water until the lacquer coat floats off the paper. The lacquer film holding the decoration is applied to the glass and squeegeed to remove any air bubbles. Then the flutes dry overnight and then placed in a kiln and fired to about 1050 Fahrenheit. In the kiln the lacquer coat burns off and the ceramic ink melts and creates a colored glass layer on top of the flute. If this particular decoration contains gold, the gold ink adheres to the glass and leaves a 22 karat gold coating on top of the flute.
At the moment the ebine project is in the artwork phase. Ebine flowers come in many colors; we have chosen purple and white for this decoration similar to the photo above. At the moment I don’t have a release date for this decoration. I will post again after I get the artwork finished.
Many thanks to Motoji Ohno for the idea for this decoration.