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Bob T

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  1. I saw my first ittobori carving (in the flesh, so to speak) today and was struck by the similarities to Scandinavian Flat Plane (SFP) carving. I don't know much about ittobori, but I do know a bit about SFP. It seems to me that the biggest difference between the two styles, in human figures, is that SFP tends to be more "in the round". The arms/hands/legs are more separated from the body in SFP than in the few examples of ittobori I've seen on the web and in person. SFP is about conveying the essence of the subject with the fewest cuts possible. Some people see it as unfinished, but, in my view, SFP takes more planning and technique than most other forms of in-the-round carving. And the polished surface left by a sharp edge is, again in my view, every bit as pleasing to the touch as 1000-grit sanded surface. Arguably the most famous SFP carver was Axel Petersson (Doderhultarn) who was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The critical descriptions of his work read like a definition of the Japanese concept of "shibui". I would be very interested in hearing from those familiar with ittobori what they think about the comparison of the two styles. I have included a couple of my own flat-plane carvings. The first is an elf carved from a 1" birch dowel about 3.5" tall. The second is a Santa carved from 1"x1"x2.5" basswood. You can also see SFP carvings by Harley Refsal and others at the following links: Pinewood Forge Little Shavers Bob T
  2. Here is my first effort at doing a netsuke. The pattern is that of the Sleeping Dormouse in Peter Benson's book, The Art of Carving Netsuke. It is approximately 1.5" in diameter and carved from basswood. As with every time I try something new, I do it in the wood I'm most familiar with. I also carved this pattern in quilted maple, though it is smaller at 1" in diameter. When I get some photos of that, I'll post them. All comments are welcome. I have the skin of a rhinoceros, so don't hold back. Bob T
  3. Bob T

    A Little Market Research

    As a new member (intro posted in Who's Who) I'm wondering what the current preference is among collectors of netsuke. Do the majority lean more toward shibui or rococo, the beauty of simplicity or bells, whistles, filigree and furbelows? Thanks. Bob T
  4. Bob T

    Surface Treatment

    I'm a new member of the forum. I have posted an intro on the Who's Who section, and I have a question. Are tool marks (subtle or otherwise) on netsuke a no-no? Most, if not all, of the netsuke I've seen photos of show either a surface that has been sanded to within an inch of its life, or fully textured hair, shell, etc. My personal philosophy is that tool marks show that the piece was made by a human. My favorite style of carving is Scandinavian Flat Plane, a style that strives to show the essence of a subject with the minimum number of cuts. The use of the Devil's Paper is severely frowned upon. Sanding, in my opinion, is a tiring, dirty, boring process. A good, sharp edge leaves a lovely polished surface that I find superior to a surface sanded baby-butt smooth. But that's my opinion. Your mileage may vary. So, are there netsuke out there that show the facets of edged tool use? Or do I need to bite the bullet and corner the local market on sandpaper? Thanks, Bob T
  5. Bob T

    New Member Intro

    My name is Bob Tinsley. I have been carving, off and on, for nigh on to 45 years. My father got me interested originally. I have been carving seriously and continuously for the last two years. I carve caricatures, a lot of Santas, kitchen and table spoons and Welsh-tradition love spoons. I lean toward smaller carvings. Virtually all of my caricatures are less than 6" tall, most being 4" or less. I find it ironic that as I age and my eyesight deteriorates that I begin to carve smaller and smaller things. I have been interested in netsuke for some time now and have decided that it's time to jump into the pool. I've been lurking on the forum for about a week now and have learned a lot. I am hoping that by participating I can learn even more. I have attached some photos of my work. The first is a Santa about 2.5" (6.4 cm) tall in basswood. Next is a love spoon in poplar about 12"x2.5" (30.5 cm x 6.4 cm). Next is Big-Foot Bob, carved from basswood about 4" (10 cm) tall. Following is a mini love spoon about 6" (15 cm) long in poplar. And finally is another full-size love spoon in poplar. Bob Colorado Springs