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Floating Treasures


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Here are my latest efforts. This style of carvings I call "Floating Treasures" since the subjects are on small raised platforms that seem to be floating inside the bowls of colored hardwoods. They are loosely based on Japanese "Kagamibuta" style netsuke, altered to be more useful for pendants.






The platforms in each of the above cases are of carved and pyrographed English boxwood. The bowl of the heron pendant is purpleheart, the bowl of the cherry blossoms pendant is bloodwood, the illuminated manuscript heron bowl is mesquite. The moon and cherry blossoms are of recycled hippo tooth ivory.




Here are the components for a "Floating Treasures" pendant: a small bowl (in this case moose antler), a small platform (note undercut) with a 1/4 inch diameter tenon either turned or installed separately. A small shim disk may be necessary to raise the platform up to the correct height if your measurement guess was a little off. The platform is turned to be a close fit with the mouth of the bowl, and the tenon insures proper centering as well as indulging my penchant for mechanical holding as well as glue. The platform (and shim, if necessary) are epoxied into the bowl during final assembly - carving is done prior to installation in the bowl. The tenon is slightly longer than necessary and is trimmed flush once the epoxy has cured. Don't forget to carve the holes for the necklace cord prior to installing the platform!

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Tom,


i quite like that idea, particularly as it appears to protect the delicate carving.

I might nick it sometime, ta. ;)

I thought your little holding jig was great , ( i tend to secure everything in pitch! but that would make an awful mess of wood or ivory) I appreciated the minature engineering.


Cheers, Ford

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Cheers Ford,


Glad you like them. Feel free to use the idea, anybody. I was thinking while I was carving them how nice a little domed metal center would be, with those elegant Japanese alloy inlays. Now that I've been rubbing shoulders, so to speak, with the gods of metalworking I have a hankering to learn it. Just what I need, another rabbit to chase after. You, Don, Jim, et al, have been a bad influence on me. My wife curses your names.

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I think you've hit on a nice adaptation to the kagamibuta form, with recessing the 'mirror/disk' portion. I particularly like the second piece- the tree. Just the right amount of relief carving. The toggle clasp you use is also very handy and could lead to variations on the theme.


When the lid is recessed, it kind of transforms the piece into a display box doesn't it? These remind me of ERB's (I hope I've got the right forum member ;) ) medals. Miniature 3-dimensional scenes...

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