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How do you sign your pieces?


Janel

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For a long while, years it seems, I struggled with my initials to make a flowing and carvable signature for my tiny carvings. One day the idea to reverse one of the j's and there it was. One j right side up and the other upside down. It is very simple, fairly easy to carve, though the tiny nature of the letters with straight and curves, does have its problems. Straights are far simpler to carve when wood grain is taken into the mix.

 

I have seen lathe turned pieces with name, date, wood species, etc. burned into its base. My work does not have room for that, and it would detract from the piece in every way. My porcelain pieces had my name carved in - Janel - and the carved lid had a tiny -Janel- carved at the place where the number ID was carved on the underside of the lid. I had begun to number pieces a long time ago to give me a way of keeping track of individual pieces when sent to galleries. When I began with wood, and even with the porcelain 3-D pieces, the numbers were inappropriate for the pieces, so the need for an elegant and simple combination of initials was needed.

 

jjsig.jpg

 

This one is very clearly added to a recent piece. I most often just do the strokes and do not isolate it in a reserve, placed in an inconspicuous place, but accessible to the tools.

 

Janel

 

 

How do you sign your work?

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Janel,

 

You have a very classy mark. As Debbie said, clean and elegant.

 

I believe most makers' marks on anything they make, maybe other than paintings where a signature works, should be small. Too many are as obtrusive as the scar on Frankenstein's monster's forehead! If a mark is overly large it detracts from the details of the art or craft. Obviously, the maker needs to mark his or her work, but it should be done in a way that doesn't interfere with that work.

 

Like Mike, I often etch my mark, a special "B", on my knives. In the second picture here http://www.david.broadwell.com/ltd.htm you can see it on the blade. The first picture shows a special edition knife that has its own mark, a stylized impala. I have carved my "B" into blades a few times as on the knife in the second picture here http://www.david.broadwell.com/dblock.htm The other two knives on this page have marks on them, but I carved them into the back spacer on the inside. The etch doesn't work well on damascus and I don't want it out to distract the person looking at the knife. For my pens I have small sterling silver buttons cast with the same "B" in them. I drill and counterbore one end of the pen and put them in with epoxy. The last pen here http://www.david.broadwell.com/engrpen.htm shows one of the buttons. I have occasionally used these buttons on some knives, sometimes inset into the blade, sometimes into the handle.

 

David

 

PS. I'm not trying to be commercial with my web pages. It was just easier to link to them.

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One point that I've mentioned before and bring up again. I personally feel that a maker's name should be part of the logo. Nobody in years to come may know who was responsible for the creation of a piece identified only by the initials of the creator. Since our work is our stab at immortality, shouldn't we let the world know beyond a shadow of a doubt who made it?

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Hi Mike,

 

Good to see you here and for adding your good opinion. A signature on larger pieces can word, and also can be an interesting addition. Wood turners have a habit of signing the pieces, adding dates, and naming the materials sometimes. It is curious for me to see this kind of information inscribed on the bottoms of turned forms. It is useful information, but for me sometimes detracts from the beauty of the base, as though the base was not an integral part of the overall form, and could be used as a place for information storage.

 

I don't have room on my pieces for a full signature. I used to sign my pots with JANEL, the year, and a stamp set for Sunrise Minnesota, on each pot. The carved porcelain boxes had JANEL on the bottom and on the carved lid, another tiny JANEL appeared on the carved surface. Just underneath on the inside was a number which placed the piece in order of being made, corresponding to a list that has been growing.

 

Now, when the work I do is so tiny, there is no room for such information. Among netsuke makers and collectors, the method of the initials is what is learned and documented. It is an accepted way to assign an identity to the small pieces.

 

Other opinions or experiences?

 

Janel

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  • 1 month later...
Hi Mike,

 

Good to see you here and for adding your good opinion. A signature on larger pieces can word, and also can be an interesting addition. Wood turners have a habit of signing the pieces, adding dates, and naming the materials sometimes. It is curious for me to see this kind of information inscribed on the bottoms of turned forms. It is useful information, but for me sometimes detracts from the beauty of the base, as though the base was not an integral part of the overall form, and could be used as a place for information storage.

 

I don't have room on my pieces for a full signature. I used to sign my pots with JANEL, the year, and a stamp set for Sunrise Minnesota, on each pot. The carved porcelain boxes had JANEL on the bottom and on the carved lid, another tiny JANEL appeared on the carved surface. Just underneath on the inside was a number which placed the piece in order of being made, corresponding to a list that has been growing.

 

Now, when the work I do is so tiny, there is no room for such information. Among netsuke makers and collectors, the method of the initials is what is learned and documented. It is an accepted way to assign an identity to the small pieces.

 

Other opinions or experiences?

 

Janel

 

I've used a small LJL, with the initials somewhat interlocked for a signature on drawings for a long time. Been thinking about trying to include it on my carvings recently. And I just completed a little project that is a bit more elaborately signed & numbered, but I don't have pics yet, so I don't want to ruin the surprise.

I'll post it on TCP when I get photos.

LJ

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Janel

Signing a small sculpture is a very real problem. I agree that if there is space it should be signed with your name and date. Nesuke doesn't have space for more than initials / logo though.

At school some 50 yrs ago I designed a logo for myself (and other class mates) that has stood the test of time and that is composed of my initials - JHPB. The accompaning photo is a section of the back of the seat of my carving stand where I have carved 2 Celtic birds flanking my logo. (will post photos as part my workbench, later) :D

Although this is in relief, I 'carve' the logo into the piece to be marked using an inverted cone No33, 35 or 37 dental carbide bur running at 20 - 30,000 rpm. The lower the number the smaller the bur and therfore the smaller th logo can be carved. Where possible the date or other identification can be added using the same technique.

When I finish jobs around the house and the workroom stops being a paint store etc I will be able to start carving again. I have in mind a bust that has been waiting faaaar tooo long. I feel like a druggie without my fix :blush:

James

post-1834-1227087262.jpg

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Thanks for the photo. My curiosity now is about how you did the background texture? It looks like stone carving texture... The logo is quite a complex combination of the four letters. Well done. It took me years to figure out how to fit two J's together in a pleasing way.

 

Janel

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Janel

 

The background is punched with homemade punches. These are made from ordinary nails filed to form 4, 6 or 9 points. The logo is +- 100mm high. The point was to show the logo. I shall see if I can show a photo of carving with the logo.

 

James

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