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Pipe Case Bugs


Dick Bonham

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Hi,

I have been busy restoring two pony size Shishi dogs but I just finished this small restoration of a very early dragon pipecase. The dragon pipe case had some worm damage which was almost impossible to repair so I thought of fixing it without fixing it. I made an ant and a beetle and placed them in the worm hole. The ant is 5mm long.

Dick

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this is very impressive.. thank you for sharing ;)

 

Have you ever thought about filling empty spaces with some material painted with gold dust? Japanese people use this sistem to repair broken pottery. They use a mixture of raw urushi and rice flour. When everything is dried you can fix the shape using sand paper, then paint again a very thin layer and put gold dust on the fresh coating. ;)

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Hi Dick,

 

you have done a beautiful job there, would you mind to post a foto of the whole object? Is there still a kiseru for this pipecase?

 

Hi Amati,

first a warm welcome on the carving path.

And a short word on the nature of "restoration". A restoration should preserve the state of an object or complete an object to asure its function. ( if possible all modifications should be reversible) Both with the makers intention in mind. Adding urushi would in this case alter the expression of such an object completely and is not reverible at all. ;)

This comment should not be an answer in leu of Dick, it just meant a general word regarding restoration. ;)

 

Cheers,

Karl

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Hi Amati and Karl,

When I do restoration I try to make them invisible and reversible. When that is not possible as in this case I try to make the repair look as though it was made when the piece was in use. I have seen insects in carved worm holes on netsuke, inro and tonkotsu. You look at the bug not the damage. Thank you for your input.

Dick

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Dick,

 

an elegant and very fine solution I think. That ant is amazing. I think also that your instinct in this case was spot on.

 

Karl, the Japanese attitude towards restoration in a case like this would be quite different from the western museum approach. This is an object of everyday use that has suffered some damage through neglect This is merely part of it's history. In fact it can be a valued aspect of the overall aesthetic. To attempt to hide it would be to deny it's past. By using the flaw as Dick has done he has paid attention to both the story of the object and utilised the damage in a way that adds to it's appeal. By doing so so carefully he has also reminded us of it's value.

 

The lacquer and gold approach that Amati refers to is another indication of this sensibility.

 

Namaste, Ford

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