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WHAT THE BOX IS MADE OF

The body of the box is made of papier-mache based on pure wood cardboard. The product is impregnated with hot linseed oil, then dried at high temperature in an oven. After that, the box is primed and polished to obtain an absolutely smooth surface. Then it is covered with several layers of black lacquer outside and red lacquer inside. The entire process takes from 4 to 6 months!!! Made in compliance with this technology, the boxes are permanent and durable; they will not warp or crack with age.

HOW THE MINIATURE IS PAINTED

"Preparing the Base"

By applying aluminium power to the lacquer layer, the paint applied over such a base will not grow dull. If transparent paint is applied, the metal powder will shine through; thereby producing an impressive effect.
Sometimes metal foil or mother of pearl pieces are used as a base to paint on. They create a glow through the thin layers of paint applied over them. I start a work by using tracing paper to transfer my line drawing onto the primed base.

 

 

"Underpainting"

I start a work by appling the first layer of paint to build up the basic colors and shades.
The work is then dried in an oven at 60 deg C.
This is neccessary because oil paint requires a long time to dry at room temperature and paints such as lamp black will not dry at all.
After this first layer is dry, I apply a thin layer of lacquer and then the work is again dried in an oven.

"Overpainting"

In this step the details are carefully painted, the shades are deepened, and the light is enhanced.
The work is again dried, relacquered, and redried. After each relacquering, the work is polished with pumice power.
This removes all the small surface bubbles and roughness as well as prepares the work for the next layer of painting.

 

"Highlighting"

This is the last step or layer and the name speaks for itself.
It is the time to put in accents, highlights, and the finest of details.
Again the work is dried in an oven.
We now come to the final step, appling 10 layers of lacquer which are dried in an oven after each layer is applied.

 

The finished box

The last step is to make the box itself look splendid.
I use a small steel pen to paint an ornamental pattern on the sides of the box.
After being relacquered no less than 10 times, the box must now be polished with the same oil paint named "green rouge". A slow turning polishing wheel is used untill a glassy even surface is obtained.
The final polishing is done by hand. The box is now ready for display.