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Carving Scales in Wood, Fossil Ivory, Antler, Stone


Janel

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Here is a topic to help members who choose to carve wood, fossil ivory (tusk or tooth of mammoth, walrus, etc.), antler, stone, amber or what ever else.

 

Wood carvers have the potential to use more than simple subtractive carving and shaping. Ukibori technique works with certain woods, especially boxwood. (Honestly, I have tried it once or twice on a couple of woods, with less luck, but there are a lot of other woods to try yet. Maybe fruit woods?)

 

Ukibori has been discussed here on TCP in the past years, but basically, it is a technique which the carver compresses the wood with a shaped metal tool, shaves or sands down the remaining area to the level of the bottom of the compression, sands to what ever degree that is the finish point, then subject the compressions to very hot water. Amazingly, the compressions will swell and find their original position above the background wood. Nifty technique, used by netsuke carvers. I have not the knowledge of carvers, other than Japanese netsuke-shi, from history using this technique. Do any of you know more history of such a technique, from other cultures?

 

Cornel Schneider uses this technique expertly on the lizard and snake skins of his netsuke and sculptures. I use it for the bumps on the skin of frogs, and a little texture for the surface of branches being carved, as branches. :rolleyes:

 

What sort of carving approaches or techniques might you all use when carving scales, whether or not they are on a dragon. Fish, lizards, snakes...

 

Janel

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Hi Janel,

Here is an interesting sagemono that isn't seen often. It is a Bokuto or Doctors Sword. These pieces were worn by individuals who were not permitted to wear a sword. The piece is 18" long. This gives you an idea of a 19c. way of carving scales in wood. This dragon also has shakudo eyes.

Dick

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I make a small tool that fits in my carving grinder to make small round raised dimples that serve well as small lizard scales. Especially works well on dark woods, since spinning in your grinder causes a lot of friction heat and often darkens the wood.

 

You can see more about making the tool in my netsuke carving instruction eBook (page 37), available (for free) on my web site. http://www.sterlingsculptures.com/

 

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Tom,

 

that's really effective. Your lizard looks excellent ;) . I really like the clean apprearance of the handpiece graphic too.

 

thanks, Ford

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