Thursday, November 5, 2015

The making of Sanuki Branding Iron

This follows from the last article that talks about Sanuki Branding Iron.  

Unfortunately no one is making these branding irons anymore. I hear that they were last made in the 70's; the maker was 77 years old at that time.  Now, when we see these marks on Japanese sweets or other objects, they are done by machine.  

The way to make the mold of yaki-in is quite unique - the mold is made of seaweed and a specific sand found only in a specific beach of Chiba prefecture.  

These two ingredients are mixed together until it becomes like a clay.  Then a motif or picture is drown on the clay-like material.  After the mold is formed, iron is poured in the sunken parts.  When the iron is fixed, you crack the mold of seaweed and sand and they break down.  Since the form is made of 100% organic ingredients from the ocean, it can be reused again. 

If someone is interested in reviving this beautiful handwork, please contact me!

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