Jump to content

more iron carving


Guest ford hallam

Recommended Posts

Guest ford hallam

Finally got a few images of some recent exercises, my photography is, sadly not up to the general quality seen on this forum, but if I can`t hit it with a hammer I can`t really get it to work for me. :D

 

Both pieces are in iron and carved using tiny little chisels and a little dinky hammer. The bearded fellow is Shoki, the demon qweller and is my interpretation of an old piece that caught my eye. I wanted to explore this way of rendering an image, that is, using bold line and very minimal modelling.

 

The other piece is of Shakyamuni, the Buddha, after his period of austerities. With this one I was trying to convey subtle and ambiguous human states. :)

 

Please feel free to tell me what you REALLY think, I`m not overly attached to these as they were undertaken as studies. Any thoughtful critique will be most appreciated.

 

Ford

 

p.s. apologies for the lack of verticallity in the images, I`m all over the place today

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ford hallam

details, so sorry, Eyes and earing inlayed in gold. The patina is rust thats been boiled in tea. :) no, really.

sadly, my Buddha nature is a lot harder to percieve. :D

and no offence was even noted.

 

ford

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ONLY studies? Then how about some images of what you consider to be good work! These are awesome, Ford!

 

Also, how about a better description of how this is done, stepwise, and photos of the tools. This would make a wonderful tutorial.

 

Thanks for sharing...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the Shoki better- seems like a much more confident piece to me. Drapery (on Shakyamuni) must be very difficult to model well in such low relief. :(

 

The cat-scratch texture on the verso of Shoki is a nice compliment to Shoki's job of 'demon quelling' - adds a lot of vividness. The contrasting metal at the top of the kozuka picks up his eyes nicely. Your calligraphy is beautifully fluid.

 

How's that for what I REALLY think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest DFogg

I love that patina and the folds on the cloth are wonderful, whiskers. Thanks, I am going to have to study these.

 

post-1-1122997777.gifpost-1-1122997777.gif[attachment=427:attachment

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shoki appears to be ready to engage me in a conversation, head cocked and foot ready to step closer, with the eyes hold me, unmoving.

 

What lovely work!

 

And, You seem to have the hang of the camera! Well done. Isn't it a fun camera?

 

I do like to look at your work! Thank you for sharing.

 

Janel

 

 

PS Don Fogg-where did you get that smilie? It is great!

 

Janel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest DFogg

It is a not worthy smilie and I just had it reinstalled on the bladesforum. Dan Gentile did it for me and I will find out how he did it.

 

post-1-1123010826.gif

 

I have been enjoying Ford and others verbal smilies here though. (humble, self-effacing smilie)

Don

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First off I love the patina. Can I get that finish to take on pure iron?

I am going to point out a couple of things that catch my eye (Humbly) since you asked.

I like the Buddha Hair, How it fades into the background. It conveys a unique feeling of depth to me.

The cheek bones draw my eye. The left showing the contour of the face and the right balancing the perspective with scale and location. The right side is very sharp and high and looks curious to my eye. It’s not really the cheek bone, but the sharp fold over it. The bag under the right eye. It extends around the face back to the ear and feels odd.

Shoki is great. My first impression is he wouldn't be a good demon killer because he has a "wandering eye", But so many Shoki renditions look like this I am sure it was intentional. It is that crazy warrior look. He looks rather calm here so the crazy eyes make me wonder if he need to see an optometrist :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm intrigued Ford. You mention little, dinky hammers, similar to jewellers hammers?

And tiny little chisles. So are these lines graved out so to speak, rather than form and image being achieved by small punches compressing and moving the metal?

I know very little about iron other than it's relatively soft and mallable. Relative to stone that is. Has my mind wandering around possibilities. If memory serves correct much of the ornamental details on old flintlock metals were worked in this fashion?

 

Any tool pics coming up for an eye opener...... no pun intended.

 

Good to see. Thanks for posting.

 

Donn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ford hallam

Firstly, apologies for the delay in responding to all your very kind comments, I`d just written up a lengthy reply to most of your queries when the site went down, so, once more with feeling....Wow, If this is the kind of response they get then i`ll go and make some more stuff. Perhaps I should get one of those "I`m not worthy " smilies from Don. I`ll reply to your questions in the order they were posted.

 

Tom, thanks for your appreciation. When I say these are studies I don`t mean to imply that I just knocked them out but just that I was focussing on very specific aspects, because of that I try to resist any urge to explore beyond what I`m looking for, I feel that I`d get sidetracked too easily that way. It`s also too easy to revert to pre-existing modes of expression. I will actually put together some sort of metal carving "how to" and post images of my tools, bench etc. Soon. :)

 

Doug, your comments are quite perceptive, the Shoki was completed in 2 afternoons and was a really easy piece to do, that`s not to suggest that its absolutely right yet. The Shakyamuni on the other hand was more of a challenge, I tried to approach it as a portrait sculpture, I wanted to create more than just a little face, if you know what I mean. The cat scratch reverse is a minor variation on a pretty standard finish, I introduced a curve to the marks and added a few bands of tiny beads, I call the effect "kusa no tsuyu" , dew on the grass. One thing I was trying to work out was getting the head of the Shakyamuni, which is very slightly raised, to become part of the background. If you have a look at the Daruma tsuba I posted some time ago you`ll note that his head appears very much to be stuck on as an after thought. I think this approach is more convincing.

 

Kathleen, self portrait? well, I suppose when I`m draw to attempt a representation of something I probably am responding to some aspect that reflects some internal condition or state. So in a way all my work is auto-biographical, is`nt all genuine work? :o But more specifically, the image of the Buddha after this extreme period of austerities possibly refects a moment i might have experienced. Thats all you`re getting. :( As for a more explicit expression of work, well you`ve had a sneak pre-view of a piece in progress, you`ll just have to be patient. Childbirth can`t be rushed. B)

 

Glad you like, Don. The drapery was quite enjoyable to do, I intend to do a lot of it in a rather ambitious piece sometime in the future. Perhaps I`ll drag my show over to the roughnecks on the blade forum, they like their steel, don`t they?

 

Hi there Jim, yes, the grounds are different, I`ll explain the processes I use when next we speak on the phone, It would be a rather lengthy and I dare say boring technical bit of writing to post here, although, if the matal bashers want I could post a detailed description of my method in a more appropriate topic. And, yes I do use smoke and mirrors, but only in the bathroom, as you well know. ;) btw, You are absolutely right about the cheeks btw, of course.

 

Ah!, I see that the penny has finally dropped for Kathleen, about time. :D

 

 

Hey Janel, Glad you`ve enjoyed. I am a little concerned however, at your response to Shoki, he`s only supposed to have that effect on Oni, those semi-naked mischievous little devils. Hmmm... :huh: .AS for the camera, We`re starting to get along, I suppose it would be easier if i read the manual but being a bloke that would be like admitting defeat.

Kathleen, NO, I won`t elaborate on subtle and ambiguous matters, they would`nt be such any more if I did. You`ll just have to learn to accept the mystery.

 

 

:P

 

Morning Patrick, yes That patinae (both ) can be created on iron. I`m glad you`ve looked closely at the Shakyamuni as I`d not said much about where I started from. The classical image of the Buddha at this moment in his search is often ( as with all images of the Buddha ) very stylised, one very striking point being those very sunken eye sockets and the very sharp cheekbones. I wanted to blur the destinction between that image and a more human face. The hair and the way it receeds was another echo of the stone carvings of this figure. Glad you enjoyed the Shoki, i`ve always liked their depictions. Again there may be an element of the self there, what with that roving eye! ;) and it`s probably me that needs to see an optometrist, at my age! :(

 

thanks again to you all,

 

your humble ( OK, so I lied ) servant, Ford

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ford hallam

I'm intrigued Ford. You mention little, dinky hammers, similar to jewellers hammers?

And tiny little chisles. So are these lines graved out so to speak, rather than form and image being achieved by small punches compressing and moving the metal?

I know very little about iron other than it's relatively soft and mallable. Relative to stone that is. Has my mind wandering around possibilities. If memory serves correct much of the ornamental details on old flintlock metals were worked in this fashion?

 

 

 

Hi there Donn,

 

the hammers I use for this kind of work are a bit smaller than standard jewellers ones. I`ll post some images later today, of some chisels etc. Iron and steel, and naturally the softer metals are very easily manipulated with punches etc, but with delicate forms I prefer, and my studies of old pieces reveal the same tendancy, to rely on removing metal and defining form in a more sculptural way. When I first started trying to emulate the kinds of shaping I`d admired on older pieces I did use punches, ultimately though it just can`t yeild the crispness nor the smoothness that chisels can. Addmittedly, it takes a little longer to master the tool, but in the long run it`s worth the effort. I reckon you`d be supprised to see how quickly the carving can progress, if you`re clear on what you are trying to do.

 

cheers, Ford

btw, enjoying the book :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the thorough response to the many questions and comments! Yes, even our non-metal-bashers are interested in your techniques and tools. Post away with what ever you are willing to share with us, please!

 

Tip for the long winded...upon realization that a long message is in progress, select all/copy while in progress, or better yet open a different word processing software (I use a blank email message with spellcheck) , copy and paste the firsts part of the lengthening message to it and complete the writing there. One might even go off line (the TCP message inprogress window still open on the forum) if you need the phone. Copy the completed dissertation and paste it into the text writing window of TCP you are working on. Go back on line, if necessary, click within the text box, paste the treatise and move forward. Add images at this point if desired, then complete the process. If all worked well then the email "scratch pad" can be deleted or saved.

 

End of lesson from the been there done that school of hard knocks.

 

"he`s only supposed to have that effect on Oni" ... I've lived a long life, don't speak to my family, one might discover ...

 

Unintentional haiku. Better finish the tea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ford,

Your pieces are beautiful and exquisitely carved. You asked for comments… I think that Shoki is by far the better piece. My reasoning is that it has a freedom and style that looks like a drawing of brushed ink on paper. The katakiri-bori style is my favorite so I may be prejudice. You said that it was the faster of the two to create. That is what gives it the spontaneity that makes it a wonderful carving. The Buddha while beautifully carved looks forced. The modeling of the drapery, face and hair is so well done looks like it was modeled in clay. Quite a feat carving in steel. What does the reverse of Shoki look like? What does boiling in tea do to the surface? I marvel at you being able to carve in the traditional Japanese manner with a chasing hammer and chisels. Many, many hours of practice. I should draw a smiley with a tiny hammer and chisel. Thanks.

Dick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ford hallam

Morning Dick,

 

thank you for your kind remarks, It would appear that the consensus is that the Shoki is the more appealing of the 2 images. that`s very enlightening. The reverse of the Shoki is in fact the gilt cat scratch posted alongside the image of Shakyamuni. The Shakyamuni is made solely from iron, I wanted to emphasise the austere qualities of the subject. The Shoki is an altogether more jolly expression.

You mention an appreciation of kata-kiri work, I have to agree, it can be remarkably expressive in skilled hands. When I first went to Japan, my teacher ( Izumi Koshiro Sensei ) made clear the importance of becoming fluent in the use of the brush, this is a prerequisite to producing good kata-kiri, i think.

 

I boil my rusty work in tea `cos thats how I like my tea :o

just kidding, the tannin in the tea converts red rust (anhydrous ferric oxide, which is unstable ) into black rust ( magnetite,which is a lot more stable ). Yes, i could use a little yellow chiseller, ha ha ha, but you just can`t get the staff nowadays :(

 

regards, Ford

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest DFogg

Ford,

 

I was wondering how thick the iron sheet was that you started with and if you used a combination of repousse and chasing or it it was all done from the front?

 

I have recently put together an engraving station, but what I really like is this kind of bold work. Anything you can share about the process will be most welcome.

 

Thanks,

 

Don

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ford hallam

Hi Don,

 

The basic material used in constructing the kozuka is 1mm, the Shoki was simply cut into that, the deepest cuts being probably about 2 /3 rds of that. The Shakyamuni was also cut into the metal but the actual head was inlyed. It stood about 1mm proud initially.

 

Here are a few images which might explain more. The copper panel is 1mm thick and the depth of the carving is about half that. . It measures 5cm across. You`ll notice the size of the hammer and be able to see for yourself the types of chisels I use. i`ll be happy to send you more detailed cutting face angle specs etc. I also use a series of scrapers to further refine form, followed by polishing with water of Ayre stones. I assume you`re familiar with them. The scrapers I made myself based on the Japanese pattern and are not particularly complicated. A couple of photos and some dimentions, angles etc and you`ll be away.

 

Hope the images are illuminating, and apologies for not having bothered to shave.

 

Ford

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ford hallam

just to to add, I`m working on the Shoki in the image above and the colour on the copper panel is a bit washed out, as a result, I think of the image being slightly over exposed. My patinae on soft metals are much clearer and more destinct that that! :(

 

Ford

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...