Almost finished "xyz#1" based on the Shosoin in Nara, final layers of finishing lacquer to be applied and gold inlaid next.
First one almost finished ready for final touch up and lacquer finish, then there will be the gold inlaid to be designed and worked on with a specialist in the art of lacquer with gold inlaid at the Department of metal work. The wooden embryo - xyz Qin #2, will be delicately carved inside with thickness variations for different strings. The variation is to enhance vibration properties of each string as per thickness of string.
Drilling holes for the strings: first half way through, align from the back, second half of the hole. This way, the holes are aligned properly, neat and clean
Samples of strings available on the market today: left nylon strings with coating from PRC, "ice string" from Xiamen, "silk strings from Suzhou.
When applying the deer horn powder mixed with lacquer, the mixture is best to be rather dry. If the lacquer is too wet, when it dries, the polymers will wrinkle into many folds like "sharpie dog skin" and will take a lot of work to remove, also the density of the material snuffles the sound. When it is dry, the material is more porous, a much better vibration property for the sound to resonate. Raw natural lacquer is toxic, some people are allergic to the fumes. Skin may become red and burnt from the fumes. Wear gloves, masks. People who are very allergy should not work w lacquer because the inflamation that occurs inside the body is v dangerous. On the hands, it doesnt look pretty or comfortable but not life threatening.
Back of xyz Qin #1. Back. with deer horn powder hui layer, coarse, medium and fine, one layer of black lacquer, one layer of lacquer with iron oxide for giving a bright color to the sound. Excess is sanded off using no800 sandpaper. Next, is the touch up black lacquer, then fine polishing lacquer. 7 lacquers of thin transparent lacquer to be applied next.
Happy Qin Maker, a very good worker, a classmate. :)
His qin is in a Ming style, named "Phoenix Singing" (Feng Ming)
Here the qin is sitting inside a tuning rack to see if any adjustments are to be made and in general the character of this qin. Each qin has a different voice, due to the natural properties of the wood - the body shape and many other factors. This one is a solid, good volume qin. Volume is not the same as timbre. Every step of the way will reveal the character of the qin. Even after completion, if a qin is not touched and just resting as a decoration, it would not have been "exercised" and could loose its voice.