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getting into snails


Guest ford hallam

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Guest ford hallam

I've been working on another kagamibuta, this time with a couple of snails on the disc. This view is of the inside. It's all iron and obviously not yet patinated. I'm doing the snail on the front in shibuichi with a mother of pearl shell.

 

 

sorry about the slightly over-sized file. :rolleyes:

 

These images are scanned photos of an obidome ( Japanese obi brooch ) I made about 14 years ago. It measured about 4cm across and was formed from a single sheet of 1mm thick copper. It has a silver back plate attached by means of 2 rivets soldered on the inside of the snail. Sorry about the poor quality of the photos :(

 

 

 

 

 

and this is a kagamibuta I made about 8 or 9 years ago. Carved iron ground, mother of pearl shell and shibuichi and brass snail. Total diameter 5cm. The one I'm doing now is a sort of follow on, not something I often do but in this case it just appealed.

 

 

 

escagots anyone? ;):blush:

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Way cool, Ford! I especially like the "fineness(?)" of the new one. I really like the fine striations on the shell on the back of the kagamibuta lid. How thick is it (the height of the shell)? It looks 3D, or is that an illusion?

 

Is that garlic I smell? Hmmm, wonder what's for dinner...

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Such work is remarkable! I would not believe that such shaping could be done from a flat sheet of metal. I'd love to watch the process!

 

I guess this is one more way to "blow" life into a piece of material, whether it be hot glass, clay being thrown, stretched, or metal being struck, blow by blow, as the shape becomes the object of the idea.

 

Janel

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Guest ford hallam

thanks all for the positive comments, glad you enjoyed them :blush:

 

Tom, the shell on the first one is actually inlaid and is about 1.5mm high. The body of the little thing is outlined with a chiselled line, the side of the "foot" has the ground ajacent to it pared away the create a bit of depth in that area.

 

Janel, I am going to do a detailed tutorial in about a month, showing the process I used to make the copper snail. I may even do the snail again as it is such a fun form to work up. Perhaps I'll be a bit more adventurous and push the limits a bit just to show the potential, I'll see what I can do.

 

thanks again, Ford

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Only 1.5 mm high? I'm still amazed at how 3D things look in metal, even though their actual vertical development is quite minimal. Is that just me, or do others get that feeling as well? I don't always get that feeling when looking at reliefs in other media.

 

Thanks for the description, Ford. Excellent work - I'm chomping at the bit to see the other side.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest ford hallam

It's been a little while since I posted any images of my own work and seeing as how I've been been asking lots of questions of others I think it only fair to subject myself to your scruitiny as well. Some of you, at least, should know me well enough by now to know that any and all comments, questions and critique will be gladly recieved.

 

The images below are of the front of the snail kagamibuta, the back of which started this thread. It's still very much in progress but It's starting to come together, for me anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

The body of the snail is shibuichi and Japanese green gold ( Aokin ), the ground is carved steel ( with a partially developed patina ) and the shell is carved mother of pearl.

 

regards, Ford ;)

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Guest ford hallam

Thanks, Fred :)

 

I hope the images help to clarify the methods I use. I actually have a couple of very detailed and extensive photo-essays showing the making of my last 2 pieces. I'll have them all on-line sometime soon. I am also doing a similar photo-essay with the next piece which I have actually just begun to start work on, I tend to overlap pieces, sometimes even have 3 or more on the go at once. The next one will not be detailing the technical aspect like the others but rather the aesthetic decisions I make at each step of the process.

 

regards, Ford

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Looking very good, Ford. I'm looking forward to see how you carve such neat and tight pockets for the inlays. Breathing hard, but waiting patiently!...

 

How is the gold stuck onto the snail body - solder, I assume, in this position? Or is there some other metal sorcery involved?

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Ford,

 

I have taken on a restoration of an early 20th century Japanese koro. I was made at the Hatorri shop and the pierced lid is missing two silver flowers. This site is giving me some of the knowledge to do a decent job. I will begin a new post later and show it to the group for inspiration. The body of the lid appears to be shibuichi and it is inlayed with copper, shakudo, leaves and silver flowers.

 

I am so grateful that you are willing to share your expertise and knowledge in this wonderful process.

 

Fred

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Ford,

 

Excellent work!

I don't speak the metal-bashers-lingo but that sure ads to the atmosphere. (If that's normal english language, another lingo problem)

 

I'm looking forward to see your 'aesthetic decisions'-post.

 

With regards, Leon.

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Fred,

 

thanks, I think we'd all enjoy seeing the koro you mention. I imagine that you'll enjoy working on it too.

 

Hi Leon,

 

thank you also. I'm glad you approve :) .

 

I think that we can very easily get too caught up in the technical aspects of our work, especially when working on a very small scale. I felt that as I don't focus on the technique really, I feel reasonably secure in that aspect , but I am continually making decisions about how I use the technique, how better to convey what it is I'm wanting to express, that perhaps that particular inner dialogue might shed some light on my own particular creative process.

 

Hi Tom,

 

yes, the sliver of gold is attached to the shibuichi with solder. There is of course a trick to how I get a perfect fit with such small and convoluted shapes but I'm not going to reveal that aspect of alchemical sorcery.....just yet :) . You guys are getting all this far too easily as it is :D

 

As for the inlay, what can I say? practice, practice, practice :)

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Dick,

 

not a "stupid" question at all really. One of the very first fuchi I ever made was made that way.

 

The first problem is that of controlling where the solder goes. This can be kept to just under the piece to be soldered on, if you have the experience, but there will inevitably be a solder seam visible which may be very distracting, particularly on very fine work. There is also the problem of keeping the pieces in place, as you know, small items, when being soldered have an irritating habit of moving, this would be quite a tricky to control when trying to apply a number of pieces.

 

Another serious problem is that of getting the base, and the piece you want to apply, to soldering temperature together. With repeated soldering there is also the possibility that some of the joins may fail when the applied pieces are carved. Multiple solderings will also increase the chance of the failure of any construction work. Repeated oxidising and descaling, not to mention the possibility of solder eating into these sometimes delicate Japanese alloys and then having to remove all the outer layers of the metal to ensure a decent patination all makes the whole proposition very messy and ultimately very unsatisfactory.

 

When it comes down to it I find that true inlay is an efficient and effective process in terms of what I want. I have control of absolutely every aspect of the process, I can add a practically unlimited number of additions of inlay, overlay and build up ever more complex effects or pictures and all the while know that the material I'm selecting will not be altered in any way. No nasty surprises after any soldering either.

 

I hope some of this is helpful in explaining my own "loyalty" to this approach.

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Hello Ford,

 

Thanks for showing this very sweet piece in progress. I'm learning much! ;)

 

I would like to add my own comment to Dick's question concerning soldering and your reply - though I have only just begun to learn inlaying as a means to integrate different metals together, I have been using soldering techniques to do this for over thirty years and I can attest to the absolutely superior qualities of the inlay method after just one project. I have hammer set stones into gold almost daily for years now and the precision of placement and the durability of the joined items is extreme. Joining metal to metal is even more of a lasting union. :ph34r:

 

Namaste,

Magnus

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Magnus,

 

thanks, I'm pleased you're enjoying the little fella.

 

Thanks also for letting us know about your experience with the advantages of inlay.

 

I probably come across as a bit of a purist, I probably am to be honest ( I was even described as a "die hard traditionalist", which sounds pretty macho but is actually not all that acurate) What I would like to demonstrate is the quality and value of these older approaches. It does bother me a bit that there is often a tendency to try and find easier, and quicker ways to emulate these "traditional" ( whatever that is) processes. The problem in my mind is that it is rarely a fair comparision. If one doesn't have any real experience or skill in the older method then you have no way of accurately assesssing whether your "new and improved" technique is comparable at all. You may be able to produce a simulation of that which you're trying to emulate but these older process go much further, and this is the point, the ever more sophisticated application of essentially basic technique and an increasing sensitivity in ones application of your developing skills.

 

Sorry to bang on a bit....... "the gospel according to Ford" :ph34r:

 

Namaste, Ford

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  • 3 months later...
Guest ford hallam

Greetings all,

 

I thought some of you might enjoy seeing how my little snail turned out. I actually completed it a couple of months ago but I'm sure you know how it is with trying to remember to do everything you've committed to. ;)

 

 

 

 

 

sorry that the files are a tad oversize Janel :blink:

 

Namaste, Ford

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Very nice Ford! Compliments.

 

It looks just slimy enough! Tiny holes in the eyes?

I suppose the hue of orange on the second photo is from the flash.

 

(Remembers me of a holiday in France where my kids decorated living escargots with small dots of paint and even plastic clay! Anybody found some in his meal?)

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Hi Ford,

Thank you for showing us the snail piece. Beautiful work. I like the way you made the bowl. It allows you to showcase the metal work. The piece becomes a two sided sculpture with a removable base not just a netsuke. Wonderful! I know it's not a patented idea but would you mind if I tried the format?

Dick

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Guest ford hallam

thanks for the kind words Gents.

 

Leon, the orange colouring is just as a result of me not getting round to adjusting the light balance after shooting. I don't use a flash at all as I find it is far too harsh for metalwork.

 

Dick, by all means use anything you like that my work suggests to you. I have no problem with anyone using whatever they can of anything I present, thanks for asking though. :blink:

 

cheers, Ford

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