Blog, Videos, and Resource Links

JEPE’s current project blogs

Emily: Plaster with Wa

Angela: tba


A fantastic NHK World produced show on Kyoto’s earthen walls


 Japan’s Clay Walls: A Glimpse into their Tradition of Plastering




***Keep in mind, each plasterer tends to their own style.  There are many ways.  For JEPE purposes, these videos are intended to give you hints, plant images in your  mind that might add to your own skills.  Another Hint:  Try videotaping yourself, and as you play it back, you will “see” where your own improvements could be made.  Another Hint:  Increase the range of motion of your wrist.  It will help you hit the corners well.  Also, keep your shoulders within the same vertical space as your hips.  Plaster with your body. This last bit will be well understood as you progress in your technique.

4. Asahara Ichiro of Shikkui Asahara plasters an earthen tea ceremony hearth, “rodan,” used to heat the tea kettle with charcoal.  He exhibits a vast amount of the skills needed to produce the Japanese earthen wall.  They say only masters can pull off plastering the roman.  This video shows the plastering of the base coat.


Above: full length

3.  Shikkui Asahara workshop overviewOhtsu Polish Workshop.  The man in a white cap is Asahara Yuzo, Emily’s master in Kyoto.  The crew exhibiting the skills includes his son Asahara Ichiro, Yano Kotaro, and Yusuke-san.  Though the video only pops from scene to scene, it is a great education on the necessary pace for this work.

2.  Naito Yoshizo plasters a site-sourced soil earthen finish in a contemporary home  built with traditional Japanese joinery.  The end shows some images of the Shikkui Asahara crew plastering a tea house of a temple.  [This video was produced for the 20th Natural Builders Colloquium at Black Range Lodge in New Mexico, 2015.]

  1.  Kusumi Akira shows a masterful first pass.  Were this a typical nakanurui (brown coat), there would be two passes.


1.  How to fix a jigane trowel: Jigane trowels are made of iron.  They are quite stiff, but repeated use can get them out of sorts.  WARNING: DON’T DO THIS FIX FOR ANY OTHER FIRED TROWEL THAN JIGANE, IT WILL FRACTURE AND BREAK.  Used jigane trowels are preferable  as they have worn on the edges, producing a smoother slide as you plaster.  Good things can be fixed.

(thrilled to find)

Omotosenke’s tea school says this.