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Yes yes I know i got a crappy camera...

well, my cam is traveling for a while ( guess it forgot me!)

Anyway hope to please you with these to last carvings of me

the girl is 4,5 cm tall and the dragon is uhhh the same hight...

The dragon has teeth and eyes inlayed

And for the metalica's on this forum I gave the girl a real samurai sword with tsuba!!!!







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I myself have had absolutely no benefit from people who said only "oh" and "ah". So I hope you 'can stand the heat', It's all meant with respect.

The lady is nice. It's a little fuzzy what is in front of her and she is a little heavy on the breast but she is nice.

The dragon has an expressive head. But you should look at the topic about scales here on tcp. All the time you invest in carving these with detail pays!

It looks like you are a little inpatient. I think time is all you need. So take it! Producing less is compensated by much better results!

(I do not mean trying to work like Cornell Schneider, he's one of a kind) Carving each scale separately seems to take forever, but each one finished is one less to go!

I think you can do it!

Thanks for showing these carvings.

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Guest ford hallam

Hello Bart,


it's encouraging to see that you are keeping at it, well done.


I think you have made a reasonable job of suggesting the folds etc of the lady's kimono. As Leon points out her breast is perhaps a bit big but hey!, maybe that's how you like them :blink: . It's an interesting subject particularly with the sword being in metal. Personally I would like to see more of a temptation in the appearance of the figure, sort of innocent, sweet, a hint of sexy-ness. Then when you are fooled by her appearance and pick her up you are shocked to discover the lethal blade she hides. I think this is one of the possible expressions this subject could present, you may have others, but this is the point, the work must be more than just a subject. Try to hint at more....


The dragon is fun and I get the feeling you are more involved with expressing the "dragon-ness". Again Leon makes a good point, this time regarding the scales. The arrangement of scales is always best when it is a visible pattern or where one can see an ordered progression. It helps suggest movement and the coiling quality of the creature. On a fish it helps convey a subtle sense of movement. It helps to have a clear idea of how scales function of living creatures.....unless you have a real dragon to study ;)


I think you're making good progress.


Namaste, Ford

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He guys,

This really really helps a lot!!!!!!!!!!

thanx for the comments, still learning myself sooo...

everything helps!

The scales are always difficult and I do need to take more time for it!

I'll do my best to slow down a bit and pay more attention for detail.

For shure these comments is why we have this forum righ?!

The thing is for me I sometimes loose the final picture and get to much in carving on, that's what you get in a busy western world!!! :blink:


On e-bay you get a lot of netsukes like production work, still there are some fairly good-ones how do these people make them? Especially the wooden ones, have seen the small movie of how the ivory ones are made, just by turbo japs!!!!


Hope to learn even more!!!!!!!!!

Cheers B_art

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You're getting a good, deep color with the dragon- and it's nice and even. It looks as though you're polishing a bit after coloring- I think it helps to lighten up areas like the dragon's eyebrows, whiskers, and claws. Provides some visual variety.


The second I saw your girl with hidden assets, I thought of Tarentino's "Kill Bill" films. I think that there's already a bit of your individual personality coming through with these two pieces.


One tip that you may want to consider when you're planning figural pieces of people and animals and you're at a drawing stage (I assume you do a sketch or two first), is to think about the form as a broad gesture, or direction of movement. It may be like the letter 'S', or a 'J' or something more complex with a main thrust and then a counter movement. The easiest is a twist to the spine that defines the figure, or a direction of travel. This movement will add vitality to the carving and make it attractive from all angles. The contemporary carver Ryushi Komada specializes in geisha, and has perfected posture as a means of defining the form. You'll find that all of the geisha's robes can highlight and exaggerate it. I looked for some photos of his work for illustration but couldn't find any. If you have access to books on contemporary works, there will be a piece or two of his.


About the Ebay netsukes- stop looking at them :blink: they're all made in Hong Kong and have absolutely no vitality. I assume there's a bit of an assembly line going on. I wouldn't be surprised if much is mechanized. The eyes are the worst...

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here's a little one, by Ryushi. See how the general shape is an "S", with the arms creating a secondary downward movement to anchor the figure. Head, obi knot and feet serve to punctuate the movement. Just something to keep in mind :blink:

On your piece, the sword offers a nice strong vertical that could contrast a gentle curve in her hips... there's always the not-so-subtle sexual themes you've set up, too.

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Doug, Bart,


just a small technical detail but the lady Bart has carved can't be a geisha as her obi knot is in the front. This marks her out as a tayu, a courtesan or high class prostitute. Geisha were, and certainly now, are very different profession. The suggestion of the knot in front, and therefore more easily undone, is that the woman is actually available....for a price :o .


The lady by Mr Komada appears to have her knot in the front too......naughty, naughty :blush:


Don't think about asking how I know this stuff........ :rolleyes: but at least you won't get confused now when you visit Kyoto, Doug ;)




Ford B)

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Hello Ford and Doug,

Well well that's something new for me! I always thought that a geisha could be a prostitute as well...

After reading this I remembered that bit about the knot!

There's a nice movie about the live of geisha's, if I'm not wrong it's called "the life of a geisha"

haha how tipical!

Have to tell you that I kind of copied the tayu (!) a bit and changed a bid, this is just a part of the "learning how to" phase. But the dragon I did myself. I draw a few sketches and than start to carve.

I do a lot with just a simple carving knife, especially in the beginning phase...

Am I the only one?

Anyway thanx a lot (and I mean a LOT!!!) for the comments and sugestions!

I love the work of ryushi and will study his works if I can find any...

You know some books where I can find it in???



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Guest ford hallam
More like a money belt


I came across this photo on Deviant art, another take on the theme. Pretty too :o perhaps this young lady might be the inspiration for your next version Bart.




cheers, Ford

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