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Henrik Y

First try on a Menuki

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Ok, this is my first try on this. I have no idea on what I'm doing but I'm still not total green on working with metal.

 

A menuki is a little thing that's fits under the cord on the handle on Japanese swords.

 

First pic.

 

antlermenuki1s.jpg

 

AntlerMenuki2s.jpg

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Henrik,

 

It is great to see you making a menuki. What are you using to trace around the image? It appears to be a liner of sorts. Traditionally the image is trace with a chisel (kibori) to allow the image to be visible while it is modeled with punches from the front alone.

 

Once traced it is removed from the pitch and then the mass of the metal is pushed out to the approx height of the highest point on the final design. A wooden punch is traditionally used for this. It is next mounted face up onto the pitch and then modeled with matt faced punches to draw the from the the perimeter of the design toward the center. This allows for deep modeled shapes that seem to pop out at you.

 

I look forward to your progress.

 

Best,

Fred

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Thanks Fred!

 

First I trace the outline with a small round punch. Then I was thinking about doing what you said. But it feels a little safer now when you've confirmed the way to do it.

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It got to large to fit good as a menuki :blush: But it didn't match the rest of the fittings so it doesn't matter, it will be an other practise piece lying around in my toolbox.

 

AntlerMenuki3s.jpg

 

AntlerMenuki4s.jpg

 

AntlerMenuki5s.jpg

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Henrik,

 

It may prove useful to complete this size since it will give you understanding of how to work the metal. Do not expect perfection on your first piece. I am writing a short tutorial explaining how I do this technique. It appears you are using a black asphaltum based pitch. This pitch is not the most ideal to work with and yet it is better to work with what you have and to learn it's limitations. If you are using Japanese pitch then you are overheating it. It is best to keep the pitch the size of what you are creating. I was taught to mold the pitch with a cold hammer head to fit the rectagular shape of the piece I was working on. It is also helpful to model the design in clay or plasticine so you understand the volumes you will be working with.

 

More later,

Fred

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