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On my bench today


Janel

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Thanks guys. The flat thing on the side of the carved gourd will be a simple leaf. I am saving a lump on the gourd for maybe an insect, and/or may inlay something on the leaf. Gotta get to that point to be sure. The real gourd is to the left of the image, and is really gnarly! I want to carve it again, in a different way, or something like it from another wood.

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Thanks Magnus and Phil,

 

The first day with a carving, a lot of progress is made on any piece with the power tool. The hand carving takes quite a while to accomplish the rest of the work. I started this piece two weeks ago, and yes, I keep a record of the time it takes for each piece. I keep a little notebook at the bench to record the day's time in it. I have a little count up timer, and at the end of the carving day, I translate the time into a decimal number, ie., 1 hour and 25 minutes = 1.42 (I round to the next five minutes) so that would be 1.45 with a line under it (the line indicates a day's work). Most days have more hours but with family life, there are days with small numbers, like .35, recorded. I have a little piece of paper with the conversion from 60 minutes to decimal units taped to the side of the drawer where I keep the notebook. Handy reference. The decimal record makes adding up the hours so much easier. This is getting to be more than you wanted to know!

 

I have not kept a photo record of this piece, I just want to carve and not fiddle with the camera and computer right now. Later pieces I will take more photos. I'll post another photo of this one when enough difference has been made in the working. The bumps have taken a while to define after the rough carving, and when they are done, the leaf and the rest will show up for photos.

 

Janel

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Wow! you've done it again

 

Looks as if there won't be too many coloration issues with this. It's a clone of the real thing. I think the contrast of textures (between leaf and gourd) will be very satisfying.

 

p.s. I used to work at a place where we kept decimal track of our time, only it was every six minutes measured giving nice units of 0.1 hrs.

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Hi Doug,

 

Yes, the boxwood is very much like the gourd. I think that eventually though the wood might become gray without some finish. Once again, I am weighing the choices. I might try yasha bushi (alder cone infusion) for a gentle accent, and maybe some detail enhancement... we'll see what develops.

 

The decimal units, yes, but you still had to round up or down, so the ten's place number helps my dull wit do that at the end of the day. Cold and mechanical are numbers, but there is a beauty in math when one gets it all right. 'nother philosophical track.

 

With the real gourd, how come something so ugly be so beautiful? The name of this sort of gourd group with the flanges I think is Autumn Wings. Nice image in the name.

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Janel,

 

It's great to see a wood piece after all the metal talk letely, as interesting as that is too. I'm wondering, in your carving do you try to replicate the particular features of the Gourd your looking at, or do you try to create an effect on your piece that gives the same appearance / impression? Also in this regard, it looks like the actual Gourd (from what I can see in the picture) has a large stem on the more bulbous side, wheras the carved version has just a small nib. Is that you taking artistic license, or is it done for some other reason?

 

Thanks for sharing!

Hovig

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Hi Hovig,

 

Yes, it is good to have other media represented here on TCP. It would be good to have some company from the non-metal carvers joining in again after their summer/winter activities change with the seasons.

 

I do take some liberties with emulating real things, as with the gourd. I do try to make essential elements to resemble that which gives the subject its character, but I don't strive for exact copying as that is not possible. It is hard enough to capture the characteristics yet take some away to allow space, hard to describe...

 

The whole autumn winged gourd is shown here. The stem to gourd proportion of the carving to the real gourd proportions may or may not be exact. Not all aspects will be exact...

 

autumnwingedgourd_w.jpg

 

Janel

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I do take some liberties with emulating real things, as with the gourd. I do try to make essential elements to resemble that which gives the subject its character, but I don't strive for exact copying as that is not possible. It is hard enough to capture the characteristics yet take some away to allow space, hard to describe...

 

The whole autumn winged gourd is shown here. The stem to gourd proportion of the carving to the real gourd proportions may or may not be exact. Not all aspects will be exact...

Janel

 

I like your version better than the actual gourd, Janel. I heard once upon a time that "art" is how things should be, not how they are. I checked the expiration date on your artistic license, and it doesn't expire on your birthday this year, so you're still legal... :blush:

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Janel,

 

Thanks for the reply. Seeing the whole gourd makes things clearer for me, and actually helps apreciate your fine work a lot better. Thanks for that. Yeah, I see how trying to make an exact copy is impractical, and probably unnecessary, as your work proves. You've captured the essence of gourd-iness quite well (the autumn winged essence, anyway). IMHO though, the "wings" could be a bit more emphasized, but what you've done is much more appealing as a netsuke, I would guess, from a tactile perspective...

 

By the way, where can I get one of those artistic licenses. Do I have to be as good as Janel?

 

Hovig

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By the way, where can I get one of those artistic licenses. Do I have to be as good as Janel?

Hovig

 

License requirements are a desire to be an artist, and willingness to go the extra mile beyond craftsmanship. The fact that you have come here seeking to improve and share demonstrates that, as do your perceptive questions. There are no other performance requisites... :blush:

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Hi Hovig, thanks for the comments. I chose to reduce the wings, thinking that they may have been less pronounced on the fresh gourd (no photos of it then - chagrin.smiley!), and I did not want the wings to snap off, since the vertical grain line would run along the thin part of the wings. I will keep your thought in mind when I do such a gourd again. This such a lovely kind of vegetable!

 

Sebas, Ha! I know what that is! My son spent a week with a fellow who introduced him to the taste of Mate. He then spent the week sharing his mate with my son! Upon his return home we ordered two gourds and the, uh, sipping piece (cannot remember that name) and a bag of mate. He enjoys his, but for me it is an acquired taste. Maybe it is the quality of the product, who knows. Are there different brands and qualities of mate? Oh, I am going off topic sort of. The gourd cups are wonderful functional pieces.

 

Now for some hot water and another try at the hot sipping drink... then back to the winged wonder.

 

Janel

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I love your work. Now I want to try a gourd. However; I don't think it will look as good as yours. Some of you people should be glad you don't live near me. I'd become a pest. I'd ask more questions than my four year old grandson. I'd also be at your house a lot. I'm really glad I found this website. It is an inspiration to me. Thanks to all for sharing.

 

Don

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It is getting to be time to wring my fingers. I am pretty much done carving, and I like the piece without any finish, but I believe that it should have something done with it. I cannot yet decide. I did some quick things tonight, on test wood, with Tung and Watco oils, but that is not what I want. I have several tests to do tomorrow with both water based and oil based stains or finishes. There are so many choices, and I am not convinced that I will like any of them. Time will tell.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello Leon,

 

Nice to see your picture! Sorry, I did not return here earlier to post the images of the gourd. Thank you for the reminder. I chose to use artist's oil paint to give a subtle tone to the wood.

 

414_1.jpg

 

414_2.jpg

 

414_3.jpg

 

414_4.jpg

 

boxwood gourd, mammoth tusk-wing

 

Janel

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