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Hallo all:


This is my loved pouch. I bought it on Ebay in Japan. I like the knot in the cord and found a nearly equal one in the Tokyo National Museum.


The Ojime is of rockcristal and the netsuke is an early 19th century Hirado porcelain one.


I searched over 20 years to find such netsuke.


Janel : " How do you like this netsuke ?"


I love the kopenhagen porcelain and have some nice ones, that remind of your porcelain work.


Hope you all enjoy this pic.


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Thank you for sharing your treasure with us!


The 5 years before my switch to carving wood, I tried carving porcelain netsuke and small sculptural pieces. I also had a couple of netsuke carving friends in another part of the the US who were very deeply involved with carving porcelain netsuke, inro and ojime. The wife continues with this work, though her husband passed away some time ago. Armin Mueller, and Lynn Richardson. This link will show you her work.


For those years, I struggled with being satisfied with the outcome of the small porcelain pieces. I chose to not pursue adding color to the carved elements, leaving the celadon glaze to do the enhancements, which was not satisfactory on three-dimensional pieces. Carving damp to nearly dry porcelain in the clay state was a continuous struggle to maintain the integrity of the already carved areas of the 3-D carving. Some part was always doubling as the place to be held on to and thereby sustaining damage needing recarving and redefining. If the piece was high-fired without glaze, the sculptural quality remained a study in dark and light with light and shadow, but people hesitated to take them in their hands to hold. This stood out to me, when observing how people reached for and desired to hold wood netsuke or other wood pieces. No solution for porcelain was adequate to keep me carving it in the pursuit of carving small sculptural pieces, so the transition to wood was sudden and complete in the summer of 1995.


When looking at the wasp on the plum (I am assuming that these are the subjects) I completely recognize and remember those past struggles. I think that porcelain netsuke were never broadly popular, though they had their niche. It always amazes me that any survive the centuries if they were used and worn by their various owners. The wings and legs of the insect elevated from the surface are vulnerable yet these have survived their creation and firing, and its use as a netsuke.


The process of carving porcelain is much more direct and less time involved than carving wood, tusk, antler, etc. It is a quieter and gentler process as well. One tricky part for glazed pieces is where to put the part that has no glaze for support in the kiln, a very essential consideration since the glaze becomes liquid and will stick the porcelain to any kiln furniture during the firing.


Were the legs carved with air space between the plum and legs, or is there a clay connection left to support and strengthen them?


Thank you for sharing this piece with us. The little bag and knot are also lovely. Is the bag attached to the netsuke?



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This is truly a beautiful set. :blush:

Thank you for sharing it with us.


Janel it looks from the photo as if the legs and wings (visible wing!) are attached to the plum.

I often wondered why you changed to carving wood. Thanks for the insight.



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