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Doug Sanders

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About Doug Sanders

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  • Location
    Indianapolis, IN USA
  1. Critique

    Agreed. That's it. I'm outta here. Last post.
  2. Favorite Tools

    In my experience, a scalpel of the type with the thin disposable blades creates a knife that will chatter when used with harder woods. Also the steel in them is extremely brittle when a lot of force is put behind them- they tend to shatter sometimes. That said, there has been an occasion when I reach for one and put on a new surgically sharp blade, if I need an extremely precise cut.
  3. file & burr sharpening

    After the oven gets an 8 hour use on Thursday, I'll keep some Easy-Off for the burrs
  4. file & burr sharpening

    Thanks for the tips. I'll give them a try. Phosphoric acid is in naval jelly...and coke...
  5. file & burr sharpening

    I'm reviving an old thread here... I've given my workshop a thorough cleaning this past weekend and am adressing some issues of tool upkeep. Can anyone tell me how to clean small needle files of accumulated gunk (aside from sending them out, as Jim suggested). I tried engine degreaser and it did clean them a bit, but not as thoroughly as I had hoped. Also, I've got some diamond burrs for the foredom that are all gunked with wood resin and antler. Any way of dissolving that? I've got a brass brush and it doesn't dislodge a thing on either the files or burrs. Thanks!
  6. Bracket fungi

    quills. (palm slaps side of head smiley) The grass growing through the fungus is an interesting thing though. We usually think of fungus as mysterious growths that pop up overnight and fade in a few days, but these shelf fungus are clearly old-men of the forest compared to the growth rates of grass. Is it true that lichen growth is linear and serves as a good benchmark of time? Every 1/2inch diameter equals 10 years or something like that?
  7. Some of my netsukes

    I saw your greenman (or one very similar) in a show catalog from the past. It's great to see some close-ups.
  8. Its looks lovely and old..

    I think we're blurring the definition of patina... Are we talking about the artificial ageing of a piece of art to look older, more worn, etc, or are we talking about creating a piece of art that references natural decay processes? I think these are two very different things. Jim- you've got a profound connection to the cycle of growth and decay in your local woods, and that inspires your work... Your choice of subject matter appears to comment on natural decay (ie. patination) mechanisms in the physical world. That lovely smell of humus. The Japanese, particularily with botanical subject matter, tend to show decayed or insect eaten foliage. I interpret this as being not only a visual accent, to add varitey to a depiction of what could just be many identical leaves, but also a device to show a broader sense of the subject. It's almost like the artist can show the passage of time, though he only captures a single instant. ... I see this being aped sometimes to the extent that it becomes almost a check list item as in "I've carved this mushroom, now I have to add the requisite mouse bite, bruise, and rotten part." I'm not pointing to anyone in particular... I'm just saying that we have to watch getting carried away with this to the point where it looses original meaning and becomes habitual. Now, the Japanese (I'm generalizing) also tend to appreciate the aesthetics and beauty of decay- whether it's in the slow darkening of wood used on a house exterior, or the tarnish that silver attains through use. This runs counter to the prevailing Western idea of keeping things clean and new. Read Tanizaki's In Praise of Shadows for more about this. My point is, what are we talking about Clive?
  9. Its looks lovely and old..

    Clive- It's difficult for me to come up with something coherent regarding patina and adding age to a newly created work of art. I have a feeling that your original question is more about ethics than aesthetics/. Why do so many of us choose to add an artifical patina to works you ask? In short, romanticism with the past and insecurity about our own accomplishments. Phil mentions aesthetic needs for applying a patina to carvings, to mellow out the fresh cuts and provide a warmth of appearance. Sometimes the volume of a work is best brought our by darkening recessed areas to increase light and shadow contrasts. I think this is a separate issue from willful 'ageing'. Artwork for centuries has been aged- paintings have been smoked or purposely darkened by varnish; paper has been tinted with 'age', before drawn upon; carved wood has been burnished by leather or stained. These can be considered as aesthetic decisions. But why do we like such appearances? I think it goes beyond aesthetics and points towards some sort of desire to reclaim the past, or to lodge our works more securely within the canon. There's a chair on exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, whose construction and carving was commissioned as a copy of (if I remember right) a C18 original. Visitors for years have been invited to touch it (perhaps even sit in it...) with the purpose of showing the rawness of fresh carving, and the beauty added through use and age. The original is displayed right next to it... their appearances are converging as the years go by. I think there's an aspect to artificial ageing seen in some contemporary carved works (and might be present in metalwork as well, if I knew more about it) where it is used to hide flaws in execution. In my own development with carving, I've found that it is very difficult (or at least time consuming) to rid a piece of all scratches during the polishing process, especially in recessed areas. A thick tinted wash of color, or some judicious going-over with shelf dust can hide these imperfections. I think it's safe to say that more accomplished carvers present their work clean as a whistle with no hint of artificial age, due to their confidence. I'll add a comment on Mike's contribution that the 'genuine is often unobtainable'. It's clear that many on this forum have gotten into their creative work from an interest and genuine love for historic works. I'll include myself in this group. Possession isn't possible, so the natural next step is "I'll try to create for myself this envied piece". But are we only seeing the surface of the historic piece, and not realizing that there's more to it which has enticed us? From here, we've got to realize that true duplication has nothing to do with appearances, but the spirit within the work. I think anything other than that might be us trying bring a part of what we envy into our own work rather than being 100% honest. btw. Freda as Phil's comment mentions... if you're ever back in Durham... Within the cathedral there are minute traces of the original paint scheme on some pillars within the nave.
  10. Another mystery material.

    Those collectors are always getting in the way! I'm reminded of Klee's remark (paraphrased) of a line being created by taking a dot for a walk. Seems to me like you're taking the material for a walk too.
  11. Another mystery material.

    I think you're saying this a bit tongue in cheek, but I'd be careful in wishing for more materials... it's akin to saying 'I wish I had fancier tools'...
  12. Another mystery material.

    Clive- So, in effect you work directly on material with a sort of sketch-book mentality, getting down the energy of the first impression or idea. Once down, it'll serve as an earmark to come back to at a later date for the hard labor? If so, this is a different approach than working from start to finish on a single item at a time. I've thought about this a bit... does one way favor the directness of inspiration, does the other allow interest to remain steady?... just some rhetorical questions. I'm seeing that you respond to the uniqueness of each individual piece of tusk, antler, wood (rather than just their broad categories) and allow a dialog to ensue. For me at this point, I think I'm resisting that and prefer materials to be as homogenous as possible (like a white sheet of paper, rather than one which is soiled, torn, etc). So often I get asked "Does the material speak to you?" in a New Age-y sort of way and maybe that's why I'm resistant to capitulating. How do you feel about Turner's watercolors? -Doug
  13. King of the Confessors

    Clive- thanks. I've never heard of the cross nor been to the Cloisters. I'll go grab the book this afternoon and sit down for an enjoyable read. Phil- I just viewed some closeups on artstor.com and the lettering is BEAUTIFUL. Another thing to add onto another trip to NYC.
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