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Sturgeon


Bella Nicol

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Here in Ontario we have Lake Sturgeon, this is a White Sturgeon. White sturgeon do thrive within Canada though, and are an endangered species none the less, and have a history of being hunted for their roe. Or better known as caviar. They have larger scutes, and shorter snouts as well as a bulky body. Sturgeon are huge, prehistoric fish and I feel they deserve more respect than they seem to get.

This has taken longer than usual and so it should, the material is very special.

 

While I might have the attention of more experienced artists, as you can see the fish has no eyes...

How might I go about an inlay for the eyes? Any suggestions please?

 

Thank you for your time. Sorry about the image quality, it's the best I could do!

 

UPDATE: I've added the images with my very first attempt with eyes, the mouth and whiskers, and another sanding session 150-2000 grit, buffed, and then polished with polishing compound(which was unfortunately RED and ended up being very time consuming to remove properly). I've also updated the description to better suit the images and the motive, it was a little rushed before. :)

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Heya. One of the ways to do it is to build your eye as a rod, make a space for it in the carving, insert the rod and then gently cut off the top and dome it carefully over. I always put a drop of super glue into the socket to hold it. Then polish the top of the eye dome :)

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Heya. One of the ways to do it is to build your eye as a rod, make a space for it in the carving, insert the rod and then gently cut off the top and dome it carefully over. I always put a drop of super glue into the socket to hold it. Then polish the top of the eye dome :)

Thank you for the advice that's perfect, that is a great idea! I will try that on my next carving... For now, I have a tiny pair of glass eyes I would like to use so I think I will try them out first.

Thank you again Brian

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Here is an example of the rod method. http://ameblo.jp/rokusho-dou/image-11131680198-11726572289.html

 

By the way, I was also in love with your whale tooth! This honours the tooth, the lovely carving ;)

 

What the artist has done is carve a long rectangle rod and then using a small drill, he has drilled a hole down the center and glued in another rod that matches the hole perfectly. I am sure he matched the dark rod with the drill bit, so that it fits snugly. As well, the glue will fill in the gaps.

 

In this instance, he has chosen to cut off the eye and inlay it, but it seems that most of the netsuke artists put the rod rather deeply into the carving and then dome it.

 

This is done basically by taking your rod material (Either a solid rod, or a rod built of rods within rods ;) ) and then inserting it into the socket you made.

 

One of the advantages to this as opposed to simply putting a small eye in with glue that has a flat bottom, is that the rod will be unable to fall out. Since the rod is fairly deep into the carving, it would have to be drilled out before it falls out.

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You can also see Doug Sanders also using the same technique: http://www.followingtheironbrush.org/viewtopic.php?t=1980

 

This is fantastic! As a matter of fact I used this technique last night and it worked perfectly! For a first try anyway ;).

I appreciate the advice more than you can imagine! I will try an amber and horn inlay next.

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When using amber, domed and shined, it becomes a kind of lens that bends light. The additional treatments that you give to it, including how deep the back of the 'eye' is from the front, the choice of pupil, whether on the back of the lens or inlaid as in the Japanese example, the clear and shined amber will play a role in how the other aspects of the eye will appear.

 

In the little eyes that were made on the above Japanese link, if they were deeper, the effect would be different, I think. Experience with different treatments will help you to decide what will work with each occasion that you use inlaid eyes. I agree that the shallow eyes may be more vulnerable in a netsuke that would be used as a netsuke.

 

Another sort of eye uses gold leaf behind a black dot of sumi ink or a black paint with the amber lens intact (not inlaid). This creates an eye-that-follows. The depth and degree of dome of the amber eye must be experimented with to achieve the intended result. It needs some experimentation and patience to figure out what works and what does not.

 

Janel

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Thank you Janel, I'm excited to try this on my next carving, hopefully! Wow, what excellent feedback I've received! Thank you everyone for the input and the techniques!

The gold leaf technique is very interesting as well, I feel I should have more experience with the overall making of eyes before I try that particular one. It certainly looks beautiful and realistic though.

Thank you everyone :)

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I've been keen try this technique for a while actually. I got some black Indian water buffalo horn from a supplier here in Oz and I found it too labour intensive to carve into anything significant due to the dark hue of the horn, the scratches would be worse than stone to get out. Happy to do it for a semi-precious stone, but not for a piece of horn, lol. So I might try and use this technique for some eyes using the horn. Cheers, Billy.

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Heya. One of the ways to do it is to build your eye as a rod, make a space for it in the carving, insert the rod and then gently cut off the top and dome it carefully over. I always put a drop of super glue into the socket to hold it. Then polish the top of the eye dome :)

I've tried it out! Not too horrible at all! =)

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I've been keen try this technique for a while actually. I got some black Indian water buffalo horn from a supplier here in Oz and I found it too labour intensive to carve into anything significant due to the dark hue of the horn, the scratches would be worse than stone to get out. Happy to do it for a semi-precious stone, but not for a piece of horn, lol. So I might try and use this technique for some eyes using the horn. Cheers, Billy.

 

If you do try it out Billy, please share with us =).

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