Monday, 4 February 2008
Ferns sillouetted by the moon.
In lieu of something more visually interesting or intellectually stimulating ( I need a lot of sleep after a rather tiring weekend spent mainly studying more swords than is probably healthy ) here's yet another kagamibuta I made last year. This one is made of iron and is quite small compared to most I've made, it's just over 3cm in diameter. The gold is applied using a technique called nunome-zogan which is a common, traditional technique.
The iron is first prepared to receive the gold foil by cutting a very closely arranged series of parallel grooves at angles to each other. The foil is then worked into this cross hatched surface and burnished smooth. I wanted the piece to have a slightly worn feeling about it so I polished though the foil in some areas. You can see the pattern of the patterned ground showing through. The ferns are actually a fairly common Japanese design. The inside of the wooden bowl is lacquered and has crushed mother of pearl embedded in it. It occasionally catches the light and flashes through the cut outs. You can just see a hint of it in the picture.