Geare, Randolph I.
Japanese bronzes, pp. 481-487
JAPANESE BRONZES which was forced to supply the wants of. foreigners who, for the most part were as well satisfied with a lower grade of work. This condtion of affairs soon gave rise to a class of inferior workmen, who flooded the market with cheap imitations, such as can be seen in any of the so-called Oriental shops. N conclusion it may be of interest to offer a brief description of the method of casting bronzes employed at the present time in Japan. The materials used in the preparation of the molds are vegetable substances: bees- wax, resin, clay, river-sand, chopped rice- straw and rice husks. The core, or piece around which the metal is to be poured, is generally solid, when small pieces are to be made; and, in other cases, hollow. The hollow core is open, either at one or both ends, generally at the latter. When the core has been completed F we could but rid ourselves of the false ideas, which, taken en masse, are called education,, we should know that there is nothing ugly under the sun, save that which comes from human distortion. Nature's work is all of it good, all of it purposeful, all of it wonderful, all of it beautiful. We like or dislike certain things which may be a way of expressing our pre- judice or our limitation; but the work is always perfect of its kind irrespective of human appreciation. We may prefer the sunlight to the starlight, the evening prim- rose to the bisnage, the antelope to the and dried, the object is modeled upon it iin" wax uf the proper composition. The wax model is then coated with successive thin layers of fire-clay applied with a brush, until the crust is thick enough to allow coarser clay-layers to be applied; this being necessary in order to give the desired strength to the mold. The rold is then lried very slowly, the core removed, and the wax melted out by means of a charcoal fire. The mold now being ready for the opera- tion of casting, the molten bronze is poured from ladles into the mold-openings. This is kept up until the mold is filled, and dur- ing its continuance, finely-powdered rice bran is sprinkled on the metal as it flows from the ladles. The mold is then allowed to stand for several hours before breaking; it off from the casting. In making large castings'ladles are not used; the bronze being allowed to run from cupola-furnaces, first into a receptacle lined with fire-clay, and from this, through an aperture in the bottom, into the mold. mountain lion, the mocking-bird to the. lizard; but to say that one is good and the other bad, that one is beautiful and the other ugly, is to accuse Nature herself of preference-something 'which she never knew. - She designs for the cactus of the desert as skilfully and as faithfully as for the lily of the garden. Each in its way is suited to its place, anid each in its way has its unique beauty of character. And so, more truly perhaps than Shakespeare him- self knew, the toad called ugly and venom- ous, still holds a precious jewel in its head. -John C. Van Dyke, in "The Desert." 487
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