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Netsuke Convention


Janel

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My computer is still ailing. It took me 45 minutes to get it to function this morning. The repair will be made this afternoon, then I will have a chance to review my photos. No pics of netsuke, just people.

 

Sorry for the ever-so-long wait. Life is full.

 

 

Janel :)

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Back in the groove!

 

On Wednesday, during the convention, The Carving Path members met for lunch at the Sushi Boat restaurant in San Francisco. We were four in number: Robert Weinstock and Tassos, Doug Sanders and me We talked about what we do, looked at Robert's photos, talked tools and materials and who knows what else. Afterwards the four of us went into the dealer's room an looked at the antique and contemporary netsuke, and the other pieces of interest which collectors seek. We looked for hours and did not see it all. Having an opportunity to talk with TCP members about netsuke and carving and materials was very interesting.

 

Netsuke, ojime, inro, bokuto, pipe cases and more, all have been carved from wood or ivory, and other inlay materials. The hands of the carvers have left their marks on the antique pieces, plus the decades of use each item sustained while in service attached to kimono have added a special patina to the small, carved pieces. Many pieces bring questions into our minds, and we try to figure out the what and how of the pieces. The collectors and dealers try to figure out the who and the when of the antique pieces.

 

What a great afternoon the four of us had!

 

 

dougs_bobw.jpg

 

Doug Sanders & Robert Weinstock looking at a knife of Robert's which is in progress.

 

 

jj_tassos.jpg

 

Janel Jacobson & Tassos with the Japanese restaurant behind us.

 

 

The next International Netsuke Society Convention will be in late January or early February 2007, in Florida. Watch http://www.netsuke.org in mid 2006 for news about the when and where of it. It would be great to meet others of you who are interested in meeting TCP members and seeing some of the world's great small carvings.

 

Janel

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I don't know about a party, but I for one had a great time, meeting TCP folks, and also looking at such great works of art. On second thought, I guess you could call it a party.

For all you metal bashers out there,(and non metal bashers as well) I've just got a great book. It's called "Lethal Elegance The art of Samurai Sword Fittings" by Joe Earle. Publisher is MFA Publications. It's from the MFA in Boston, but I got it cheaper from Powell's bookstore in Portland. It's a pretty good sampling of the Japanese metal work in their collection.

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Greetings!

 

The following is a copy of the post I just added to the International Netsuke Society Forum topic: So how was the convention? (Two of the images were posted above.)...

 

From a carver's point of view, it was a delightful week! The lectures were interesting and educational. The three workshops which I attended were enlightening and left me wishing that we could have been able to attend more than one out of the five offered each day.

 

On Tuesday, the workshop on Iwami presented by Ms. Yoshida Yukari, interpreted by Shoko Hosono, was very informative. Her presentation included images of the beautiful region where the Iwami carvers lived, the creatures whose likenesses were carved into netsuke, and the materials often used by the netsuke carvers. There were also images of Iwami netsuke as well.

 

Wednesday, I attended the Contemporary Netsuke workshop given by Jeffrey Klotz. We were able to handle and enjoy a large number of contemporary netsuke, and learned a little about each of them. (see the image of attendees around the table headed by Mr. Klotz.)

 

INS_klotz_ws.jpg

 

Thursday, Susan Wraight gave a very thoughtful and well presented insight into her process of preparing to carve her netsuke.

 

Each of these workshops was well attended, and I would hope that some of them might become articles in the journal, to be shared with the rest of the membership and the world.

 

I took a side trip to visit the (for me) new location of the Asian Arts Museum. What a beautiful building!

 

This convention, I did not bring any carvings to show to the members because of recent successful sales which depleted my inventory. Anyone could have a look at the photos I carried, but they do not carry the impact of handling the pieces. This left me free to arrange a couple of gatherings for carvers.

 

The first was a small lunch at the Sushi Boat across from the Westin St. Francis, where four members of The Carving Path Forum met one another and talked about our work. We then cruised the dealer's room for hours, talking about netsuke, carving and related topics.

 

In January, two other artists (Jim Kelso and Don Fogg) and I began hosting a forum for carvers of small things. The Carving Path Forum welcomes carvers from many disciplines, whose work involves small scale carving. We hope that this forum will provide a friendly, informative and accessible place for communication and learning. ( http://www.thecarvingpath.com/forum ) When I learned that a couple of members actually lived in San Francisco, I was eager to meet them. Those present:

 

Doug Sanders, a conservator of art at the Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis, Indiana, has been carving netsuke for a few years and attended the INS convention for his first time.

 

Robert Weinstock, currently a maker of knives who carves beautiful patterns on the blades and covers of his pieces

 

and Tassos, a young man who is very interested in learning to carve netsuke. He is just beginning to make his first tools this week!

 

I have added images of the four of us. (above)

 

The next gathering was to try to bring all of the carvers who attended the convention together for a meal. We walked to China Town and sat around two huge tables for a very interesting meal and lively conversations. Nearly half of the people present were from Japan! We missed three carvers, two were completing a tour of the region, the third joined the activities on the next day. What fun!

 

To write about the whole convention could take more time than I have. Lets hope that the International Netsuke Society Journal will fill in more about the rest of the convention!

 

Janel

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Me too! I'll get even bolder next time! Might have a better camera for the job by then as well. I do have more pictures of carvers in smaller groups, but don't yet have the time to process each of them. In time I will share them.

 

Janel

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Here are some of the carvers as we walked to China Town, in San Francisco, for dinner. Nineteen, carvers and some spouses, ate together.

 

carvers_walk_w.jpg

 

From front left, Lynn Richardson, Kehoe & wife. Middle, Chiharu & Ataru, Komada Ryushi (light blue shirt). Just behind Chiharu is Komada Makiko, and behind her head is Masami, (you'll see her later). Keeping all together at the rear is Doug Sanders. There were more, but not in this snap.

 

Janel

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