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Doug Sanders

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Really like the Man-Fish Doug.. can't put my figure on what but its got something that has. I'm gonna take a print.. stick it above my desk and mull over it for a while

 

Can't tell much about the other two yet.

 

Regards

Clive

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ditto on what Phil said about the Inuit sculpture thing. That ones a keeper. That bit of roughness and the natural texture of the antler really works... or maybe I just like it contrasted with the more refined finish of the other two pieces :angry: . I've always been a fan of your satyr, and I really like that he's kind of old and crotchety. Not very likely to catch many nymphs hobeling about with a cane is he? I like the concept of the third one, but I dont think I would have known it was a fox's tail if you hadn't said so. The texture on it is really interesting, I'm willing to bet its cooler in the hand

 

Dustin

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Thanks for the comments and compliments guys. I've been thinking in terms of mythical and transformative creatures lately, so these carvings follow suit. There is an Inuit resemblance I'd say- maybe because of the material? I was reading a while back about Sedna- a fish/woman so they've definitely got that sort of a thing. I guess there are sea humans in a lot of cultures. I like Inuit work, but some of it is a little cobbled together for my taste, so I thought that given the small size of the antler piece, a lot more detail was called for. I'd say it was just the antler itself that inspired the form. sort of antler becomes fish becomes human.

 

The foxfire piece came about after reading that the phenomenon and its association with foxes was common in a couple of cultures.

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Looking at this work, which is lovely by the way, it posed an interesting question. How much do you let the material influence your work? I met a carver, who will remain nameless, but was an amazing artist in his own right, who sketched every detail of his pending work. When I visited him he showed me his sketch book and some of the pieces that were created from it. They were identical – and brilliant. But having said that, I thought it was a slight shame that the material didn't have its say in its creation. I find it very satisfying to start a piece with something in mind, then let the medium guide me to its completion.

 

I love the fact that Clive wants to print it out and 'mull' over it for a while. I guess he will be waiting for the piece to tell him what it wants to be.

 

Not getting too heavy or spiritual about this, but it's a nice thought, yeah?

 

Just wondering how you guys plan your work.

 

Cheers, Billy.

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That's a good question. Normally, I don't let the material dictate or suggest the subject matter -aside from issues like I wouldn't use striped wood for a carving of an apple, for instance or a wood with a visible pore structure-some mahoganies- for a subject that I want to be glass-smooth. It was a rare instance in this case where the material said something to me. I think this is the case more with antler than any other material- the shapes of antler are so crazy that one has to kind of find a subject to fit the available material. That can be a nice thing about antler though...it's not ivory or bone and shouldn't be carved as such. I think you have to treat each material for what it is.

 

Generally I just like uniformity and predictability in wood and other materials. I've got enough to worry about skills-wise. :angry:

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Before I saw everybody's comments I saw the fish-man and thought, "Inuit, Oosik." I really like this - basically very simple, but with the well defined face. I also like the simplicity of the curved outline of "Firefox." It contrasts well with the perpendicular reach of the ivory piece. Is that a representation of a mountain, or is it the fire? Your satyr I just love anyway and you've caught his turn well.

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I think this is the case more with antler than any other material- the shapes of antler are so crazy that one has to kind of find a subject to fit the available material. That can be a nice thing about antler though...it's not ivory or bone and shouldn't be carved as such. I think you have to treat each material for what it is.

 

Generally I just like uniformity and predictability in wood and other materials. I've got enough to worry about skills-wise. :angry:

 

Don't you just love how Ataru desribed Stag.. a "sarcastic and cunning opponent"

 

Top material in my book.. next to Umimastu.. thems proper "to climb the high mountains materials" .. big risk .. big reward!!

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Aloha Doug,

 

Thanks for posting your work. Not to demean the other two works, which are fine, I keep coming back to the "man-fish". Something about it. What?

Maybe it reminds me of the grotesques from my study journals...19th c. Maybe. I'm closer to Billy's thinking. When I look at images of "classic", older work - I ask myself,why did he/she do that? Did form/material dictate decisions or was that decided before starting? Did something change?

 

If I have my lore correct, Kokusai gathered fallen antler in the forest by day because that's all he could afford. That medium seems to command particular thought and skill. Congratulations on creating something so thought-provoking.

 

 

aloha

Karl

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Freda- The ivory part of Foxfire is a peg with a flaming jewel on top- it doesn't show up very well on the photo, I'm afraid. it's got a peg attachment himotoshi. I'll have some other shots on my blog soon and it'll make sense.

 

Clive- I hadn't caught that description of antler from Ataru. Not bad. How's 'irrascible and resilient'? I really am beginning to like the stuff. And then of course each type of deer has different qualities to the antler. Have you worked much with the translucent aspect when held up to light? I also discovered when I was polishing the more degraded area and you get to a glassy finish there's a strange optical effect where the antler looks like it's coated in something clear, like acrylic and you're looking through it to the antler underneath. Can't explain it well, but I think I saw it in a piece of yours you brought to the 2005 INS.

 

Karl and Jim- thanks for the comments. I can see the trapped aspect. I think I had in mind a struggle to transform, which if you think about it is how transformation normally happens :angry: It seems like I've had a small achievement here with the man-fish piece, in bringing some visceral feelings to people, which makes me happy. I'll spend some more time walking up that path.

 

Magnus- have a look at my blog www.dougsanders.blogspot.com and there are some more pictures of the satyr.

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Karl and Jim- thanks for the comments. I can see the trapped aspect. I think I had in mind a struggle to transform, which if you think about it is how transformation normally happens :angry: It seems like I've had a small achievement here with the man-fish piece, in bringing some visceral feelings to people, which makes me happy. I'll spend some more time walking up that path.

 

 

So that is why Kafka came to mind when you put the man fish piece up... I recall dad telling me he felt pretty much that way after his implant surgery on his back... a bit as if he had grown a turtle shell he was having trouble getting accustomed to and felt entrapped by it, so in a way I suppose it bears a similarity to those struggles. Maybe people too often think about butterflies when they think of transformation but I wonder if they could speak if they would tell horrifying tales of struggle during the transformation.

 

Ataru told me to try my hand at antler... then again I remember he did so with a sadistic glee that could be read in his e-mail. hahahaha.

 

What's the patina on the satyr Doug? I have always liked the subject and this is no exception

 

I'm afraid I can't comment further on the foxfire as I cannot make out its entirety, I really would like to see a bigger photo or other views tho.

 

Thanks for sharing :)

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Clive- I hadn't caught that description of antler from Ataru. Not bad. How's 'irrascible and resilient'? I really am beginning to like the stuff. And then of course each type of deer has different qualities to the antler. Have you worked much with the translucent aspect when held up to light? I also discovered when I was polishing the more degraded area and you get to a glassy finish there's a strange optical effect where the antler looks like it's coated in something clear, like acrylic and you're looking through it to the antler underneath. Can't explain it well, but I think I saw it in a piece of yours you brought to the 2005 INS.

 

I know precisely the translucent quality you describe... when I was working almost exclusively in stag I really tried to exploit that quality.. and found that you could enhance it with shark oil.. sometimes I'd literally immerse the raw roughed out pieces of stag in warmed oil for a few days, then wipe off as much as possible.. somethings I'd actually give it a good wash in washing up liquid, counter intuitive I know, but the deeper penetated oil later migrates to the surface.. then leave in the sun for a couple of months.. strange and mysterious effects possible...even colours not previously seen..emerge. It changes its cutting and scraping characteristics as well.. in a way making it more pleasurable to work.

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Clive, you listing Umimatsu made me run a search for it as I had not heard about it before. Is it the same black coral that is sometimes used around in jewellery?

 

If it is the same I had lots of the stuff but knowing the divers who often offered it to me I knew they were wrecking the local reef so I stopped using it in my work. As we speak I'm holding a 45cm long piece and I'm wondering if to ask more careful divers for more in the future.

 

Sorry about the OT

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Hyllyn, the satyr is colored with an acid bath- it oxidizes the surface and sort of prematurely ages it. You can get a nice range of colors from school-bus yellow, to reds and deep warm browns. Ko has a lot of luck with it too, I think.

 

You think right Doug, I use acid too for coloring boxwood.

 

Very nice carvings, I like the man-fish best.

 

Ko

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