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Janel

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I finished up this ginko nut ojime this weekend. It's made of ivory. Since the International Netsuke Society conference, I wanted to do a few small pieces to begin putting into action some things I've learned through this forum as well as the convention.

I've put to use some scrapers I made, as well as following tips on dyeing ivory from previous threads on this list.

I'll have a number of new pieces in the upcoming weeks- several are coming to completion around the same time.

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You got it on the third try! :lol: Thanks! And, yes it is! The Macassar Ebony was a lovely block of wood when the carving started, and ended up being a piece that is nice to hold and move fingers across. I liked the way it looked while carving, rather dry and lighter in color, darker where handled or rubbed. Sanding took away that contrast, and oiling made it permanent, but added another quality to the appearance.

 

There are also the newest but sold pieces to see in the Archives 2005 area of my web site.

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post-10-1131996954.jpgpost-10-1131996807.jpg

I finished up this ginko nut ojime this weekend.  It's made of ivory.  Since the International Netsuke Society conference, I wanted to do a few small pieces to begin putting into action some things I've learned through this forum as well as the convention.

I've put to use some scrapers I made, as well as following tips on dyeing ivory from previous threads on this list.

I'll have a number of new pieces in the upcoming weeks- several are coming to completion around the same time.

 

Hi Doug,

 

That piece of "ginko nut" is beautiful. How big is it?, and what kind of ivory?

Best regards - ekrem.

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Hello Ekrem, It's the same size as a real ginko nut, so I suppose about 18mm or so. The ivory is elephant- estate purchased.  I bought some ivory scraps about a year ago that were sourced pre-ban, in the early 1970's.

 

Hello Doug,

 

Have you tried inlaying pure gold or pure silver on one of your ivory carvings?

 

Just wondered if it could be possible, due to the cemistry of ivory.

 

Best regards,

 

dagistanli.

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No, I haven't. This was the first tenative piece I've done in ivory. In the past, I've only used pieces of it to inlay into wooden carvings. I don't know much about the use of metals, especially in conjunction with ivory. Many carvers use a small inlaid gold plaque with their initials to 'sign' their work. I've wondered myself if the pocket is carved in the ivory and the gold is poured in, in a molten state <_< .

 

Sorry I can't help :(

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Guest ford hallam

Hi there Doug,

 

I doubt that anybody would pour molten gold into a cavity in ivory. Firstly the heat would scorch the ivory and even possibly cause localised cracking, dependant on the amount of heat released of course, and secondly as metal cools it does tend to shrink slightly, not to mention the fact that such a small amount would simply remain as a droplet due to surface tension.

 

The plaques could be simply cut out of sheet using a jewellers saw, refined with a fine needle file and once engraved, glued in place.

 

hope this sheds some light on the mystical and arcane ways of goldsmiths.

 

cheers, Ford <_<

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:( And here I thought it was all fire and brimstone! Shrinkage eh? Well, I guess there aren't many mysteries out there that can't be solved. I woulda just tried to inlay the sucker myself, seeing as how I'm short on crucibles and blow torches at the moment... <_<

 

btw. am I the only one who likes the smell of ivory being worked? Reminds me of the dentist. Must be a masochist.

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Guest ford hallam

There is still a fair bit of "fire and brimstone" involved not to mention the obligatory sacrifices of the odd virgin. <_<

 

As for the smell of burning ivory, I reckon you`re on your own on that one. After you`ve BBQ`ed as many elephants :( as I have it tends to get a bit much.

 

Ford

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Hi there Doug,

 

I doubt that anybody would pour molten gold into a cavity in ivory. Firstly the heat would scorch the ivory and even possibly cause localised cracking, dependant on the amount of heat released of course, and secondly as metal cools it does tend to shrink slightly, not to mention the fact that such a small amount would simply remain as a droplet due to surface tension.

 

The plaques could be simply cut out of sheet using a jewellers saw, refined with a fine needle file and once engraved, glued in place.

 

hope this sheds some light on the mystical and arcane ways of goldsmiths.

 

cheers, Ford <_<

 

Hello Ford Hallam,

 

It actually isn't an arcane way of goldsimiths, many things are not arcane as before. The system of engraving you have mentioned is mainly used by wooden based items like guitars, furniture, boxes etc. producers or in some forms of art where they cut mother of pearl, ivory, gold, silver and such, and some times carve what they cut, make pockets on wood and inlay by a mixture of same type of wood dust and glue.

 

The reason I raised that question was, dentists use gold in teeth, so evidently it doesn't react with ivory, what would happen if you use dead soft silver?

 

I was just thinking, if you can carve a piece of ivory in such a way that you were carving metal for an inlay, you may be able to stuff it with small rolls of pure gold without the use of glue, just pounding it in. I think ivory as thick as Mr. DFoggs ivory "ginko nut" could stand the pound of a tiny hammer to place that really soft roll of pure gold in. It was just a thought though.

 

Best regards

 

 

dagistanli

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Dagistanli,

 

practically everything I do in my studio is arcane :( and goldsmiths have been putting gold on and in all sorts of materials for centuries. Two examples that spring to mind are ancient Greek Ivory work with gold inlay and perhaps more well known, the gold inlayed gems of the Moghul and Ottoman empires, many fine examples of the latter I imagine you may see in your Topkapi palace museum.

 

I believe one could in theory inlay gold or pure silver wire into prepared undercut channels in ivory, the obviously delicate undercut edge is all you`d have to be careful with. I suppose it`s simply a matter of skill. <_<

 

Incidentally, human teeth are not ivory, and the fillings that are set into teeth ( as opposed to crowns that are basically glued on ) still contain a lot of murcury to allow them to be manipulated etc, at least here in the UK. :o

 

regards, Ford

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Hi Ford,

 

I think what Dagistanli is refering to is an older method of gold tooth restoration. Rather than using gold amalgam with mercury, the dentist cut an undercut cavity and pounded in layers of gold foil. Each layer would "weld" to the previous layers (I'm not completely understanding how that works, but gold apparently works in mysterious ways!).

 

I did a little of this when a dentist friend lent me his powered hammer machinery from dental school. I inlaid gold foil eyes in a silver octopus netsuke I had cast. Worked fine, and I don't see why this wouldn't work in ivory if you were careful around the ivory edges. The little hammer device was slightly more powerful than an engraving vibrator - not a jackhammer by any means. A small nail with the end ground flat/polished and an engraver's hammer would work fine. Finding the gold foil might be a problem. The stuff my friend gave me seemed a little thicker than aluminum foil. I suppose dental suppliers might still be able to come up with some. Don't know if fine silver foil would work.

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