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Hanging scroll framed paintings

Hanging scroll framed paintings are great creations of art. They are pleasing to the eyes, full of meaning, and conjure a deeper sense of calmness to the viewers. Construction of traditional hanging scroll paintings may not be as easy to beginner artists. Because it is a combination of paper and textile, it can be quite a hassle to construct with a lot of different aspects to consider in making a perfect traditional piece.

We all know that papers are used in making a scroll mount, but it isn’t just any type of paper. The fibers used are often made of mulberry, and other specialized types like mitsumata and gampi. Because of its suppleness and the length of its fibers, mulberry is often the fiber of choice. In making Japanese paper, the most valued are the ones created by hand during the winter season. The snow naturally whitens the fibers, and its coldness tightens the fabric, making the sheet more compact.

In terms of textiles, many types can be used in making hanging scroll paintings. Silk was the traditional type of choice, but other types can be used, such as gold brocade or kinran, takyamachi or embroidered silk, donsu or satin and nanako or plain basket weave.

There are also different types of mounting styles used in constructing hanging scrolls. Mount styles mirror the conventionalism of a particular scroll. Mounting can be divided in three broad categories:

SHIN – this is regarded the most conventional way of mounting, and also most formal. It is also the most complicated to make. Traditional Buddhist paintings were mounted using this style.

GYO – this is the most widely used mounting style in a variety of subjects from courtesans, animals, to landscapes.

SO – not as frequently used. Scroll using this mounting style have narrow sides called rimpo. Scrolls used in tea ceremonies are often mounted this way.

The paste or adhesive is also important in making quality hanging scrolls. Starting from many years ago, Japanese used gluten-free wheat paste. The Japanese process their starch paste different from the Europeans, and theirs are often smoother and less granular. Soaking is done before cooking the paste. After that, it is mixed vigorously between 30 minutes to an hour. The starch paste can now be kept for up to 10 years. In time, the paste will only turn softer and suppler through retro gradation. It can now be used in almost all the scroll linings except that of the first lining.


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