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Humble Carving


JP Anderson

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The high quality of the work on this forum makes my work seem a bit rural. I suspect I'm not alone in my rudimentary skills and there are large number of fellow carvers with similar skills lurking on this fine forum. I hope this inspires you to post your work. We may never be world class carvers but I see art as participation sport.

 

post-1995-1261610563.jpg

This copper plug is now mounted to a long handle and will be used by my father-in law to burn his mark on his wood working projects.

 

post-1995-1261610622.jpg

The nickels are practice carvings and the wood handle is now part of the wood burning iron in the above image.

 

Thanks for all the inspiration,

 

John

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The high quality of the work on this forum makes my work seem a bit rural. I suspect I'm not alone in my rudimentary skills and there are large number of fellow carvers with similar skills lurking on this fine forum. I hope this inspires you to post your work. We may never be world class carvers but I see art as participation sport.

 

post-1995-1261610563.jpg

This copper plug is now mounted to a long handle and will be used by my father-in law to burn his mark on his wood working projects.

 

post-1995-1261610622.jpg

The nickels are practice carvings and the wood handle is now part of the wood burning iron in the above image.

 

Thanks for all the inspiration,

 

John

I know well your feelings, or at least I feel so. I'm a watchmaker by profession and repair antique clocks for living. After the working-hours there is only a limited time to make what one would like to do. So many plans and so few hours to spend with carving! Also I have to admit that I have never before been involved with Internet or such things, because such things are taking precious time from working with your hands. Although this is good for my English and I have to learn how to type with a machine, and I'm learning new things, I'm still aware that I'm not having yet such skills to make carvings of the quality I wish to do. Quite a dilemma. The more I'm spending time here the less I'm carving. I have to think how to have them both. Anyhow, I think that you have enough quality in your works to show them in this forum, all of us,including me, can't be those top ten artists we can watch on this site, and I don't think we need to be. I like to make small things and not to spend hundreds of hours making one thing. Lauri.

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I know well your feelings, or at least I feel so. I'm a watchmaker by profession and repair antique clocks for living. After the working-hours there is only a limited time to make what one would like to do. So many plans and so few hours to spend with carving! Also I have to admit that I have never before been involved with Internet or such things, because such things are taking precious time from working with your hands. Although this is good for my English and I have to learn how to type with a machine, and I'm learning new things, I'm still aware that I'm not having yet such skills to make carvings of the quality I wish to do. Quite a dilemma. The more I'm spending time here the less I'm carving. I have to think how to have them both. Anyhow, I think that you have enough quality in your works to show them in this forum, all of us,including me, can't be those top ten artists we can watch on this site, and I don't think we need to be. I like to make small things and not to spend hundreds of hours making one thing. Lauri.

 

Lauri, Change just a few things and I could have written that myself. I love your rock carving and hope to add that into my skills as we live in a gravel pit with jasper, agate, fossils, etc. But like you say, only so much time.

 

My current carving is mostly about building skills for larger projects. I feel it's important to gain experience and the smaller projects are a great way to try new ideas without losing to much time if doesn't work out.

 

John

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Lauri, Change just a few things and I could have written that myself. I love your rock carving and hope to add that into my skills as we live in a gravel pit with jasper, agate, fossils, etc. But like you say, only so much time.

 

My current carving is mostly about building skills for larger projects. I feel it's important to gain experience and the smaller projects are a great way to try new ideas without losing to much time if doesn't work out.

 

John

Funny, you took my words, it's the same with me. I also do make a lot of small items in order to learn for bigger things. At this very moment I'm trying to drill a 2 mm wide hole in order to learn how they made those Faberge-vases in rock-crystal. It's easy to drill a small hole but this one has to be some 35 mm deep. In a hard material as quartz it is not that easy! I have already made the "waterhole", and grinded the outside of the vase in to the final shape, now it needs the small hole for the stem of the flower. Little by little one can learn how they made those things in the books. One day I have to learn the making of the leaves for the flowers and so on. This is something one could name for copying, but sometimes you just need to take things whitch are already made and try to solve the problems in making them. Then you can use the knowledge in your own works. Besides, I have always fancied those flowers, but if I would make a flower they didn't do, it would still be copying, if you know what I mean. Happy New Year to you! Lauri.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello John,

 

I'm in the same boat as you and Lauri (and most twentyfirst century carvers probably) - so many skills to develop and so little time to spread your attention to it all. So anyway, I'm just getting around to seeing this post of your work - I like it a lot - keep posting!

 

A question - I'm working on a similar item to your "branding copper" - I'm making a design for my yoga teacher to burn into paneling on the wall of his studio. How did your copper piece work out? How did you heat it? Any photos of the process? I'll post some photos of what I'm doing as it progresses.

 

Thanks,

Magnus

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Magnus,

 

I let the finished branding tool go along with one of my nicer nickle pendants without getting pictures of either. The branding copper is mounted on a steel rod about 14" long with the wood handle from the above pictures. It's mounted with a piece of sheet steel that has 15 or so little tabs folded over to hold it bottle cap style.

 

I heated it a dull red with a small propane shop torch and it worked well. I was worried I would need more relief but it was just fine. Holds enough heat for three or four brands. I'd prefer steel but used copper because it was easy to carve. I think it will hold up well for branding wood but I warned Pam's Dad not to drop it as it is a bit fragile to bounce it off the cement. I did that and had to fix the dent. So far it's holding up well for it's intended task. I'll report back after Gary has used it for a year or so.

 

I do have some test pieces of wood I branded and will take pics this weekend. In a sense the wood brand is the art and the copper is just the tool.

 

John

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Nice John

I would not call it humble ....... you ought to see my stuff, .... they are what you would call humble ha ha.

 

However, I'm only new to this and finding it great fun. I reckon that's what's it's all about as well as learning the ropes from great hearted people.

Cheers

Mike.

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  • 3 weeks later...
...I have always fancied those flowers, but if I would make a flower they didn't do, it would still be copying, if you know what I mean. ...

 

 

Seriously... no way. Not everyone who puts a single small flower in a transparent vase must be copying the old Faberge, are they? [perhaps, except the latest incarnation of the firm, who is only too proud of claiming they are doing just that :blink: ]

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Seriously... no way. Not everyone who puts a single small flower in a transparent vase must be copying the old Faberge, are they? [perhaps, except the latest incarnation of the firm, who is only too proud of claiming they are doing just that :blink: ]

Hei Ana! I did not mean to say that making something that people have already made long time ago is copying, but if I'm making a similar item that the house of Faberge did, will anyone who sees it say that it looks the same as their items. Some things became synonyms to those who made them. Faberge was not the first but he was the most famous with flowers among another things. Still, I love those flowers! Lauri.

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... will anyone who sees it say that it looks the same as their items.

 

A compliment? :blink:

 

There is an assumption I am guessing between the lines of your questions: that the ownership of a model somehow survives the maker. I know this is a no-brainer for legal statements of intellectual property that separate the 'right to make' from the maker, for better [often] or worse [ -//- ]. But those tend to falter these days in so many ways, there's Q&A running in almost every field...

 

Why not! If no one 'copies' Faberge's idea now, then there will be no more 'Faberge flowers' but those already made. There seems to be room for quite a few more - and variations.

 

 

[Hint: they never made a closed dandelion seed head, I believe, but did marvelous experiments with fibrous minerals and feathers for the impossibly light fluffy seeds in a few pieces of jewelry. I do not know if the botanical challenge had been initiated by someone working for Faberge, but the model has been taken as a yardstick for technical innovation by nearly each fine jewelry house then and since. There is a glorious trail of these illusions of lightness in all the best places. Ripe for a sequel? I can't get that idea out of my head! No that I can do much about it, unlike... ]

 

 

 

 

 

 

If an Econ. rant might be excused...

 

A couple of very LASTING ways of enforcing the right to signature in traditional arts fascinate me: the seals awarded to Japanese clans, the European and Middle-eastern practice of signing only the best work [ie. the hardest to copy and/or 'match' even in the eye of dull clients] and the way Chinese registries of old collections describe some fine pieces of various crafts as 'improbable to have been made by men' [ i.e. impossible to duplicate, should anyone dare to presume themselves worthy!]. Before the enlightened era of Faberge, the locals also had a way of enforcing IP in the arts as the right of the buyer/owner to exclusivity however - never mind that one... There must be many more such stories out there. I would be only too happy to find them all.

 

The fascinating part is that all these archaic ways seem very much alive, as much as I hear - in a harsh way something makes them work, law or no law. The 'problem' of ownership over ideas seems to have been around since shell beads [which are said to proceed the development of speech, for reference]. By contrast, few 'solutions' last much at all - a few make history [literally]. All due respect to intellectual property laws - they sure are facing a pretty big task out there.

 

I understand the usefulness of IP for Faberge Inc. of today, at least broadly. They now have the right to copy [including to copy badly, if they ever felt the need] the old catalogues of sketches preserved by worshiping collectors in Finland, London... No law prevents them from placing their seal on anything, now that they got it - a few failed reincarnations of the Faberge name are pretty good proof of that bit. It's a brand, now. I say, that alone is good reason to keep making flowers.

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I'm sorry, but after using a dictionary and spending some time with hard thinking, I don't really see your point. No offence, but you are reminding my elder sister. She is a lawyer and has a curious way to tell things to those less intellectual ones. We do not have many conversations, actually none. I like the situation as it is. You got my point? Good.

All I am trying to say is that I am having a hobby to carve stone, I do not sell any items and I am willing to learn how to make items with the quality of ancient days. I am fully aware that I don't have the time and I may lack the skills to become a master, but it's only a hobby, I don't take it nor myself too seriously, I hope. Anyhow I am feeling copying when carving something I have seen in a book with the title : Faberge flowers. You can sue me if you can. That's it. Lauri.

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I study/draw old masters art on regular basis to help my art skills. So did Rembrandt so I'm in good company. Reproduction is a way to learn. It's not the same as trying to pass off a reproduction as an original for profit.

 

I suspect we're all trying to say the same thing.

 

Hope that helps to clarify things,

 

John

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I don't really see your point.

 

the point was to answer your question: 'if I'm making a similar item that the house of Faberge did, will anyone who sees it say that it looks the same as their items.'

 

in short: Yes, I'd bet they will. So what!

 

 

the previous post describes the 'so what', as far as I get it. Sorry for the bad writing... I found your question very interesting, can't help it, sometimes.

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Forums/email/letters are a poor substitute for face to face communication. Without the body language and other nuances of communication we can write with one meaning and it is read with another. It's all worth it though to bring the world to my remote doorstep.

 

Thanks for looking at my work and words,

 

John

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Forums/email/letters are a poor substitute for face to face communication. Without the body language and other nuances of communication we can write with one meaning and it is read with another. It's all worth it though to bring the world to my remote doorstep.

 

Thanks for looking at my work and words,

 

John

Nice to know that somebody seems to understand what I'm trying to say. Send more photos of your works, we can make a completely new mess. Lauri.

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