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colouring boxwood etc


Simon F

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Hello All

 

I was wondering if I could ask for various comments about what people use to colour boxwood (in fact all colouring info would interest me, be it bone, ivory, what ever..). I have been using powdered fabric dies to some success. However it does not always soak in well nor give a colour that is sympathetic to the wood sometimes.

 

I have just been reading some old posts from Natasha about her walnut die for ivory which was interesting (also been looking at your website Natasha - wonderful work!) and would like to know what age the nuts are when you collect them?

 

I was also looking at Cornel's site and wondered what colouring agent he uses. anyone know?

 

So, I'd love to be bombarded with ideas and recipes!

 

Cheers

Simon

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I for one, am still learning! I tried the fabric dyes, and decided to explore further, because I was unsure about too many things. And, other carvers were using it (then and now), so experimentation beyond fabric dye made sense. Many of my pieces were colored with artist's oil paint, but I have found that the green has faded on one of the pieces in a collection. Bad news for me. Now I am shy about using the green oils, but they are great when it gives the look I want.

 

Do you have the Masatoshi book by Ramond Bushell? Older coloration techniques are described in there. There are also some threads in the archives here that may broaden your knowledge.

 

The best thing is to experiment, on simple forms with textures, on side grain and end grain, since it matters how the color is absorbed or resisted. I hope you find some earlier discussions peppered throughout the archives.

 

Janel

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I use ink, old fashion ink, not modern acrylic - not watercolor but ink. I use alder cones for the same dye the Japanese have used for several millinia - walnut ink - if not nutrilized will eat anything then turn black.

To find classic ink I buy my ink from International Pen in New York city, the sellection of colors are quite sufficiant for alost any needs

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I use ink, old fashion ink, not modern acrylic - not watercolor but ink. I use alder cones for the same dye the Japanese have used for several millinia - walnut ink - if not nutrilized will eat anything then turn black.

To find classic ink I buy my ink from International Pen in New York city, the sellection of colors are quite sufficiant for alost any needs

 

Thankyou both

 

Janel I did read the thread about the browning oil paint. That sounded a terrible discovery, I hope there aren't more examples rearing their head. I always dreaded the thought of customers bringing back jewelry that there is a problem (or perceived problem) with. I thought that Cornel's website mentioned a polychrome ? Do you know much about that? thanks also for the pointer about the book, i'll see if i can get hold of a copy.

 

Debbie, that sounds like it may be a solution. I was thinking of trying ink and it's good to hear you comments re the type and where you get it. Do you have to adjust how you apply it for the end grain etc as Janel mentioned - or just add more to the side grain areas to make up for the lack of absorption?

 

Thanks

Simon

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I have a link to The Art of Netsuke Carving, told by Masatoshi, by Raymond Bushell, on my Book Store page. The current price I found was not the lowest, but is is less than I paid for it years ago. Other searches for this title may help find competitive prices.

 

Perhaps the degree of dilution, tested and dried on side and endgrain samples, will be helpful.

 

Janel

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Simon...

 

The most important consideration in colouring boxwood is penetration. Obviously if you apply the colour hot then its going to penetrate more deeply than if you apply it cold, say with a brush.. which effectively just paints the surface.

 

While one might achieve accurate application with sophisticated hues and tonal values through a painterly approach the results are generally not permanent and such carvings cannot withstand much handling or ever achieve a mellow and true patina. It is for this reason that most traditional techniques involve immersing the carving into a hot colouring medium so that the colour can penetrate deep into the wood.

 

Ps.. "polychrome" simply means many coloured.

 

Regards

Clive

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Simon...

 

The most important consideration in colouring boxwood is penetration. Obviously if you apply the colour hot then its going to penetrate more deeply than if you apply it cold, say with a brush.. which effectively just paints the surface.

 

While one might achieve accurate application with sophisticated hues and tonal values through a painterly approach the results are generally not permanent and such carvings cannot withstand much handling or ever achieve a mellow and true patina. It is for this reason that most traditional techniques involve immersing the carving into a hot colouring medium so that the colour can penetrate deep into the wood.

 

Ps.. "polychrome" simply means many coloured.

 

Regards

Clive

 

Thanks Janel and Clive

 

So (without having read the book Janel has mentioned) does this mean generally that the choice is somewhat one of either a single colour that is tenacious or multi colours that are more fragile and temporary?

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Simon,

 

on end grain of wood you dillute the ink 50% or you will have an intemce coloring, I do sugest experimenting first for every piece of wood has a different absorption rate and they dry differently. It takes alot of experence with ink to get it right every time but I have found it well worth it for the value of the colors, ink seems to give everything a more realistic look with great depth.

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Fiebing Leather Dye:

 

I 've used this product on wood and it colors like nobody's business. Penetration is rapid and seems to be deep. I usually stick to dark brown or black, but it's available in many colors. I've touched a flame to it to dry the excess off, (it's VERY flammable), blow out the flame quickly to avoid burning your wood. Usually I don't do the flame method, because I like the raw color as applied. It stains your skin as well, since it is really a leather dye. Try this. It is permanent.

 

http://www.fiebing.com/newsletter.asp?id=10

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Mike,

Fiebing dye is wonderful, I have used it on leather years ago, and you are right it dyes like nobodys business, the only problem I have with it is that it is highly toxic. But you are right about dying and the color choice is outstanding, you do have to put a finish on top of it or it will wear off. I love the colors, they are brilliant.

Debbie

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