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Beetle study


Fred E. Zweig

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Guest ford hallam

Hello Fred,

 

firstly, my apologies for not welcoming you to TCP earlier ( pc problems! ;) ), so, welcome to the gang :D . I really like this beetle study of yours, particularly the sculptural quality you've achieved. Thanks for joining us and sharing your work.

 

regards, Ford

 

p.s. Would you care to describe the patination process you used to colour the copper?

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Hello Ford,

 

Thank you for your compliments. TCP has been a true inspiration and finding a forum that is filled with skilled craftsmen/women is a delight. Many of the tools I use are Japanese designs. I use several sizes of dashtagane and these impart the matt texture.

 

The color is done with heat alone. I use a torch on the copper allowing it to go through the full chomatic range and then an almost grey state. I then remove the torch and carefully and continuously rub with a stout piece of cotton fabric (denim works well) until the color is achieved. If I repeat this carefully, I can achieve a wide range of deeper red to brown patinas formed by the oxides of the copper. It is a bit senendipitous.

 

I am both a collector and craftsman and it is through collecting that I have been driven to discover how these small sculptural works of art were made. I hope to be able to improve my carving skills and add to the modeling of the metal.

 

The refined finish acquired by the other members of this forum has been an inspiration for me to push my skill level as well. I want to thank you all for this inspiration and the opportunity to share my passion.

 

Fred

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Hello Fred,

 

I'm so glad you joined the group here! This is a beautiful sculpture - you inspire me to work on my repouse and chasing a great deal more than I have - your contrast between the background, the legs and then the smooth shell forms is very pleasing indeed.

Thank You!

 

Blessings,

Magnus

P.S.

Fred, did you have to anneal this piece during your working - seems you've done a lot of deep hammering that would work harden the copper.

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tsterling,

Thanks for the compliment. Dashtagane is the Japanese name for the tool use to push metal around. the face of the tool looks somewhat like the profile of your thumb, a bit flatter and with rounded edges. It is filed and shaped from rectangular tool stock. The comparable western tool is called, by some, a bossing tool. The main difference is that the bossing tool is smooth and the dashtagane is textured by patting the face with a fine file and then hardening the tool. It is amazing what a nice texture it leaves on the metal while it is gripping it to push it into shape.

 

Magnus,

I annealed it several times. I flip the metal back and forth into the pitch and anneal it each time. If you are careful, you can do incredible things. I modified the legs several times and had I not told myself to stop I could have gone on and on with the detail.... I need to make a few more tools to access areas and in contours and scale that will allow me to increase my detail.

 

Fred

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Patrick,

 

Yes it is great fun and very satisfying. I look foreward to seeing the menuki. You will use uchidashi and carving or just carving? Most of the ones I have seen use both techniques. Will you consider documenting your progress for us to share and learn? The next critter I make I will document for the forum. I am so behind on orders that I need to wait until they are complete before I do any more work like the beetle. You carvers amaze and inspire me to do work with finer detail.

 

Fred

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Patrick,

 

Yes it is great fun and very satisfying. I look foreward to seeing the menuki. You will use uchidashi and carving or just carving? Most of the ones I have seen use both techniques. Will you consider documenting your progress for us to share and learn? The next critter I make I will document for the forum. I am so behind on orders that I need to wait until they are complete before I do any more work like the beetle. You carvers amaze and inspire me to do work with finer detail.

 

Fred

 

Well they are already done, just finished them. They are mostly Uchidashi, but for Menuki chisel work is common at least for me it is. I inlaid gold wire and a gold eyeball along with some gilding on the antennae as well.

I still need to photo and edit.

Regards,

Patrick

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