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Natasha

The First Breath

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wow ! that is amazing. very beautiful, and full of emotion... i am blown away by the detail, but what me amazes most, is how you carved her body which is hidden behind those "ropes". it must be a nightmmare to get in these small areas ... how do you work ? with powertools, or handtools ? again, wonderful work :-)

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Guest ford hallam

Hello Natasha,

 

that is a truely remarkable piece of work, breathtaking in fact. Your ability to convey emotion through such small scale studies of the human form is wonderous. I remember reading on your web-site that you enjoy physical excercise, your sensitivity to the body is very evident.

 

Very insipiring. :) now I can return to my own studio with even more enthusiasm. Thank you.

 

very best regards, Ford ;)

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That's an amazing piece of work. I remember you asking for images of bat wings, and now to see the result is astounding. Do you have any preliminary drawings you'd like to scan and share?

 

(humble smiley)

 

Doug

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"Wow", "That's Incredible", "Oh my!", all from my men when they walked by and took a long look at the images. You are so phenomenal!

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Words like “Incredible” and “Visually Stunning” seem like understatements when I look at this piece.

 

The first thought I think when looking at it is the creation of Lucifer as the figure looks like an Angel but the bat wings suggest evil. The figure looks female, but I can't help thinking along those lines.

 

Thank you for sharing pictures of your work.

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Hello Natasha!

 

It's been quite a while since we've heard from you - - I was sure you were deep into your work on this magnificent piece. It's finished! Words fail me - thank you for sharing your soul with all of us. This work inspires me so much - I feel I must give my all to my work - every thing I've done before I realize has been like excercise - now I must put my true heart into my work, holding nothing back. Thank you Natasha.

Magnus

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Thank You all, my dear Friends! Every of your words like a balm! Especially I would like thank Janel and Peter Welsh for helping with photos of the bat wings! It was really very difficult work, the beginning was with power-tools, then everything was done with hand-tools, I used all tools which were done for the Ryusa style netsuke, such places as places under the wings and between threads of cocoon were very awul for me, but I so adapted at Ryusa, so I could carved it at last! ;)

Thank You all!

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Thank You, my dear Friends! Every word is like a balm! :)

I began to carve with the power-tool, but almost all work was done by hand-tools, there were so many small details which were not for power-tool. I'm glad that this difficult adventure was finished! I used all tools which were made for the Ryusa style netsuke, such places, as the places under wings and between threads of the cocoon were very difficult! :) So my experiment with netsuke helped me with the sculpture! :) So the next work will be one more Ryusa style netsuke!

 

Something wrong with my computer............... Sorry! ;)

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When words fail me, I might mutter "holy smokes" (rural American vernacular) under my breath as a quiet expression of awe.

 

Phenomenal work Natasha. Thank you for sharing.

 

I wondered about the subject matter "the last breath". I'm sure you could capture it with dignity, power and beauty.

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Thank You, my dear Friends! Every word is like a balm! :)

I began to carve with the power-tool, but almost all work was done by hand-tools, there were so many small details which were not for power-tool. I'm glad that this difficult adventure was finished! I used all tools which were made for the Ryusa style netsuke, such places, as the places under wings and between threads of the cocoon were very difficult! :blink: So my experiment with netsuke helped me with the sculpture! :) So the next work will be one more Ryusa style netsuke!

 

Something wrong with my computer............... Sorry! :)

 

It sure is a stunning work of art Natasha! It's beautiful! What did you use to polish all those tiny grooves? The piece looks so smooth all the way round.

 

Best regards.

ekrem.

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Thank You all! :blink:

Rex Pepper, I have spent on this "Breath" 227 hours....... among them about 100 hours for polishing! :)

Jim, I have no idea about "The last Breath" :) but thank You for so great idea! I didn't think about it yet! :)

Ekrem, tomorrow I'll have more time for writing, I'll write my secret of polishing, because to use any oil for mammoth or bone is not good idea, I'll also show some photos for the best understanding!

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Hi Natasha,

 

Thank you for helping us understand the process. I was wondering if you have any photos of this piece when it was just roughed out or blocked in. Though the finishing details must take up most of the time, it seems that the initial roughing out of the shape and composition must be very important as it dictates so much of the dynamics of the carving. Does this make sense?

Magnus

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Thank You all! :blink:

Rex Pepper, I have spent on this "Breath" 227 hours....... among them about 100 hours for polishing! :)

Jim, I have no idea about "The last Breath" :) but thank You for so great idea! I didn't think about it yet! :)

Ekrem, tomorrow I'll have more time for writing, I'll write my secret of polishing, because to use any oil for mammoth or bone is not good idea, I'll also show some photos for the best understanding!

 

Thank you very much Natasha.

 

Best regards

 

ekrem.

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A little bit about polishing and others....

I begin to pilish with sand-paper for cars, from number 600 to 2000. As a frule this process I do 4 times. The first time I polish with number 600 very easy, try to delete all needless deep places or add, if it needs. Then I wash a sculpture with solution of alcohol and water (50/50) trying to delete all dust after sanding. Then I take sand-paper number 800, again wash. The third time I use the sand-paper number 1000 or 1500, it makes the surface of mammoth almost smooth, again wash. The last time I do polishing with sand-paper number 2000, after this time the surface is brilliant! Then I carve all hairs, because dust of sand-papers is heavy deleted!!!!! The last time I wash the sculpture with alcohol and water and put it aside for the next day for drying. I cover my work (netsuke and sculptures) with the solution of paraffin, for it I take a clear desolvent and some white paraffin, I prefer very saturated solution and put much paraffin. The next day I cover the sculpture by such solution with a small brush. In two or three hours I take a white cotton cloths and do last polishing. The solution of paraffin penetrates into mammoth very deep, 1-2 mm, that's why all diffrent works with sculpture must be done before covering. The paraffin protects the suface of mammoth or bone against wetness and other small troubles, it doesn't become yellow in some time as organic oil, doesn't make the covered surface sticky or oily. The mammoth, after covering with paraffin, becomes a litlle bit darke, warmer color. So, You can compare these photos:

 

The first photo is the covered netsuke, the second was not covered yet.

 

Oh, an interesting effect of visible through.

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:blink: Be still my heart, I cannot believe the delicacy of this piece! Thank you for sharing it with us!

 

What do you use as a "clear disolvent" when making a solution of the parafin? And, is the parafin you use a solid, white wax (commonly used by people who make sweet fruit jams and preserves, to seal in the jam by melting and pouring onto the hot fruit mixture). I ask because I have heard the word parafin used to describe what I call kerosene.

 

PS Are you willing to show us photos of the tools you use to do the inside of the ryusa netsuke? You are allowed to keep secrets :)

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Hi, my dear Janel! It is so strange our languages!!!!! :blink: The kerosin can be used as a desolvent, the paraffin is often used for producing candles. I take a white candle, cut it mamy many times and put in kerosin! So, there is no tasty things! :) About my tools, it is not a secret, I forgot to do photos, the nearest days I'll do it!

 

I cannot understand what happens with my computer, I don't see my added replies! :)

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A little bit about polishing and others....

I begin to pilish with sand-paper for cars, from number 600 to 2000. As a frule this process I do 4 times. The first time I polish with number 600 very easy, try to delete all needless deep places or add, if it needs. Then I wash a sculpture with solution of alcohol and water (50/50) trying to delete all dust after sanding. Then I take sand-paper number 800, again wash. The third time I use the sand-paper number 1000 or 1500, it makes the surface of mammoth almost smooth, again wash. The last time I do polishing with sand-paper number 2000, after this time the surface is brilliant! Then I carve all hairs, because dust of sand-papers is heavy deleted!!!!! The last time I wash the sculpture with alcohol and water and put it aside for the next day for drying. I cover my work (netsuke and sculptures) with the solution of paraffin, for it I take a clear desolvent and some white paraffin, I prefer very saturated solution and put much paraffin. The next day I cover the sculpture by such solution with a small brush. In two or three hours I take a white cotton cloths and do last polishing. The solution of paraffin penetrates into mammoth very deep, 1-2 mm, that's why all diffrent works with sculpture must be done before covering. The paraffin protects the suface of mammoth or bone against wetness and other small troubles, it doesn't become yellow in some time as organic oil, doesn't make the covered surface sticky or oily. The mammoth, after covering with paraffin, becomes a litlle bit darke, warmer color. So, You can compare these photos:

 

The first photo is the covered netsuke, the second was not covered yet.

 

Oh, an interesting effect of visible through.

 

Thank you very much Natasha. You have sent exactly the information I needed.

 

Best regards.

 

ekrem.

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Natasha, Did you click the GO button instead of the ADD REPLY button?

 

I see that the ryusa images moved to below my post. I hope that you did not have too much trouble! Tell you computer to stop that!

 

I find myself wondering how you orient the piece to be carved, to the grain or length of the tusk. Is there a preferable way to place a carving, uh, I do not know how to say it, sorry. I know that there is a pattern when looking at a cross section cut. This might enter into the decision, to show it or to not show it, but are there other reasons to orient the carving into the length or crosswise cut?

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Hi Janel! Sorry, my English is not so good. :( I didn't understand what did You mean?

I have a big piece of mammoth tusk, it was about 23 kg, now it is less! :) The grain of mammoth doesn't change within all length, I cut a piece and look at it thinking about cracks, size. Recently I've written to Brad how a mammoth tusk must be dried:

the tusks are found in the Permafrost, the temperature

of it is very low, about -10 or -15 within summer, as soon as the tusk

is found, it must be put in the low temperature for 2-3 years, the

refrigerator can be a solution, during this time some needless wetnes goes away very slowly! Then the tusk put in a place where the temperature is a little bit higher, about zero, then it put in another place with the temperature is about +5 - +10, in year the temperature can be +15 or +20. Only after such drying procedure the mammoth tusk can be used by carvers. After sawing, the pieces are covered with a

wax or dye, or paper with glue, or something else which will keep these pieces from cracks. The temperature and the wetness must be constant, the temperature is about +20 degrees, the wetness is about

60 % (+/- 10%), keep them away from any wind in your home. I don't cover my pieces with tradition glue or wax, I use Super Glue (Ciacrine), it keeps my pieces very good, I can always control the surface, the Super Glue is deleted very well! If I see a crack I cover it with this glue, it stops the crack and fills all empty space in the crack.

So if You decide to buy a piece of mammoth tusk You should buy that piece which was dryed about 5-7 years. Only such pieces won't give You a bad surprise as a crack after carving. Never buy 1-2 years dried!!!! It is big problem! As a rule, the sawed surface covered with white glue and paper, that's why You cannot see any cracks, the second problem, You must dry it for 2-3 years before carving. So, the piece of mammoth tusk must be dried very well! Better to buy those pieces which have diameter minimum 4 inches and has no more than 1 crack (which looks like a diameter). So, if You have any question I'll be glad to answer! :)

 

Grrrrr! What happens with my replies???????? Again trouble!

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Guest DFogg

Ah Natasha, the work is so beautiful and the explanations are wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing.

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Hi Natasha,

 

I have sent you an email with some of my answers, but here is what you might be asking about:

 

About the mammoth tusk question. The tusk is basically a cylindrical shape. You cut the piece and have a disk that is round with two flat faces. These faces have end grain (as with wood), and you can see the arc patterns around the outer portion that are characteristic of tusk/ivory. Elephant ivory has a different degree/angle than mammoth, the basic way to determine which is which.

 

When you cut the disk in half or other sized portion, the cut parallel to the outside of the tusk, the newly cut face is side-grain or with the grain (again as with wood).

 

My question is in regards to how and why you orient the carving across or with the grain of the tusk. Do you give any consideration to which way it fits into the tusk? Thoughts about where you might want to see the arc pattern, or not see it, in certain areas of the carving?

 

Thank you so much for the detailed information about the nurturing of mammoth tusk. The piece I use was found in sand and gravel, and has a lovely uncracked portion. The broken end is cracked and very weathered, so I take material from the end towards the tip (though the tip was not included with it) The diameter is nearly four inches, and was described as from a female mammoth.

 

(Lets write in email about the posting problem. Each time you post in this topic, the ryusa images move to the new message you post. I am very curious about how this is occurring. Normally the images remain in the original post they appeared in.)

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