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Engraved Heron

Jim Kelso

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I have wanted to use a heron theme for some time. Inspired by one of my favorite herons in metal by the great Shoami Katsuyoshi ,I “borrowed” his design and am applying it to a fan shaped pin in shibuichi using shishiai-bori(below-surface relief) a similar technique as the carved wood bat of recent times.


The Katsuyoshi piece is takazogan (raised inlay) on a kogo(incense container) and is a fair bit larger. This sort of borrowing of successful designs, either from other metalworks or paintings, is not frowned upon in Japan. I think that as long as full credit is given where due, it is actually a tip of the hat to the original artist. I would, of course, never presume to pull it off as successfully as Shoami Katsuyoshi.


Here is the original kogo courtesy of Kagedo Gallery in Seattle.



And here is the pin. I used shibuichi made for me by Phillip Baldwin. ShiningWave Metals

It is an alloy of 70%copper/ 30% silver. The patina is the traditional Japanese niage.

Here is a link to a work-in-progress thread at Don's Bladesmiths' Forum: WIP THREAD


The pin measures 72 mm wide.





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I agree with Mark. Stunning work.


I followed the thread in which you detailed your process on the Bladesmith's Forum. I treasure your post, bookmark them and review them over and over, year after year as I learn how to become a better carver.


Thank you for sharing,



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Again a beautyful work of your hands, I like it :)

Very interesting to see this work in progress, always a fascination !

Jesterday was H.Holzach here in my workshop, do You remember ?

the world is really small....


Thank You Jim for sharing your processes of making art !



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