Monday, 5 January 2009

Ox kagamibuta

I found this little chap this morning while digging around in my studio. As it's the year of the ox I thought I post an image. It's shakudo with silver eyes and shibuichi horns. The disc is steel and measures about 28mm across. I made this about 15 years ago...but he still appeals to me :-)

If you double click the image you can view it as a much bigger picture.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

a new year, a new idea for the next piece...

I've been toying with some ideas for the next piece and am still intrigued with long expressive leaves like those on the orchid tsuba and kagamibuta. I'm really enjoying developing a more direct sort of carving technique whereby the actual chisel marks are left to articulate the surface. I also love the juxtaposition of very refined and delicate inlay with these very immediate marks as left by the chisel face.

I found a beautiful piece of cloudy white mother of pearl in my scrap box, actually an old button, that just screamed "moon" at me. So I want to try and use this, set flush in a steel ground, to represent to moon seen through some grasses. I'm also going to try and develop the basic idea of how kagamibuta are made. I don't think any real exploration of the format took place in the past so I'll give it a go ;-) Basically exploring the way a metalworker can produce an artistic work that is still light enough to function as a netsuke and yet also make use of the full potential of our materials and processes.

I went out walking our dog yesterday and collected some various grasses. I've just been playing at minimalist ikebana. Here's one of the compositions I might get some ideas for working out designs like this too, it trains your senses and eyes and it's good fun too.

Here's a link to some of the other images I took of grasses. Feel free to comment on them and if they're of any use to you please feel free...