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Arakabe panel plastered with nakanuri on the right. A watery acrylic product we call Hi-Fure (Hi Flex?) is applied twice over the panel, which has incredible strong suction. (What does that do to the breathability of the wall? I do not know.) Higeko (small brad nails with hemp rope tied on to create two lengths) are nailed at the four corners of the wall. The thin strands of the rope are embedded in the first application of nakanuri, as a measure to prevent the plaster from pulling away from the wooden edge. Then, quickly, a loose-weave hemp mesh fabric is embedded in the first nakanuri application before the moisture is sucked away by panel and air. Then a second layer of nakanuri plaster is applied and shaped as level/plum/flat as possible. Nakanuri is applied with a jigane trowel, and finished with horizontal passes from left to right. *Given the constraints of the chiri — the depth of wood framing the earthen panel, which still needs a finish lime layer — creating a surface that limits undulation throughout the whole surface is challenging. About the time the plaster gets leather hard, we go over it again (just vertically) with a hanyaki trowel (some steel involved in the process), which reveals slightly high places, which compress with relative ease, and slightly low places, which get a tiny bit of plaster to flush out. Then the tape comes off. Yes indeed, we use tape. It’s really nice tape, somehow not available the US. That ought to change, because it’s way better than what we can find at the Home Depot. Any willing importers?

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