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Mermaid work in progress - questions


nebraskarod

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I have a few minutes before the some meeting begin... I still have a little smothing to do, but I need to udnerstand a couple of finishing concepts.

 

1. I would like to get the top half of the mermaid as white as possible. I assume I can do this by bleaching the wood. Do I use regular household bleach?

 

2. I would like to get some silver color in the scale cut marks. Can I do this by painting siver and then sanding it off the tail? I would then like to get a hint of green in the tail over the silver???

 

3. I plan to carver a few small pearls as bead to compliment the kumihimo. I have originally planned to carve a small pearl in her hands above her head, but the hands fell naturally under the hair.

 

4. I am somewhat afraid to carve the face and ruin what appears at least to me perfectly nice. I think I will leave this more stylized.

 

Please feel free to comment. You will not hurt my feeling and everything said helps me to learn

 

thanks for looking - rod

 

the penny is there because I could not get the camera to focus this morning

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1.I haven't personally explored bleaching wood yet, so I can't comment on that. ;)

 

2.I would do exactly as you suggest with placing the silver paint in the cut marks. Paint overall, and then sand (or you can use a scraping tool in some applications) to retain paint only in the recesses. For the green, I would use a rag or stiff brush with very little paint and scumble on the color to the degree you're happy with. The stiff brush and/or rag will prevent the paint from being pushed into the recesses when done properly. One thing with netsuke (or any hand-sized sculpture for that matter) is to keep in mind that the piece will change with wear. The beautiful thing with pieces of this scale is that they can be handled and explored with more than just our eyes. Repeated tactile handling can result in deepening of patina (through hand oils and dirt) and abrasion to painted surfaces.

 

4. I like your stylized face idea. I'm nowhere near confident enough yet to carve a human face myself, so hat's off to your enthusiasm ;) . Perhaps just a slight dip in the surface of the face on either side to suggest a nose, and the hollows under the cheekbones would be enough.

 

-Doug

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Hi Rod, try the SEARCH function here on TCP. We discussed wood bleaching quite thoroughly a while back. There are products at wood working stores that are two part/two action applications. Read the threads on bleaching wood first, make a sanded sample piece of the same wood and try to bleach a controlled portion, to see if it is even possible to do that.

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Rod I have used wood bleach several times . Household bleach will not change the color. Wood bleach comes in 2 part some you mix both parts and some you apply part a and then apply part b . Wood bleach will soak into the wood like water, it is hard to control the flow, to get a stopping line. with the harder woods it will not spread as much. I have tried to use a sealer to stop the spread with some good results. I hope this helps. Try on some scraps first.

Ed

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Hi Rod,

 

Don't forget you can use fabric dyes to add color. It works especially well after bleaching, so the natural colors of the wood don't combine with the added dye color to form something you didn't have in mind. For example, the natural yellow of some boxwoods will combine with a weak solution of blue dye to yield a greenish tint.

 

Dyes will soak into the wood, and don't lay on the surface like paints. Dyes will probably be a little more robust resisting wear than many paints.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have completed the carving and am pretty satisfied with it. There is always room for improvement, especially when you are a newbie like me. I wish I had read about the farbric die before I started with the paints. I spray painted chrome into the scales and then removed the excess. I then tried to pain a thin shad of green over the tail section which almost made me cry. The chrome color was gone and the green looked terrible. After many hours of paint removal, I finally got it to the stage it is at now. I had better luck with the starfish where I employeed the Ukibori technique. That was really cool watching is sizzle in the boiling water and seeing the wood pop. I also completed another waterfowl and this time I carved the feather detail. I also carved a clump of reeds/grass as the bead (not sure of the word). Thanks for all the advice and encouragement.

rod

post-302-1164204814.jpg

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Nice results, Rod. I can imagine the frustration with the first color addition to the mermaid. You must have used an opaque green color.. Ouch. Now, the hint of color looks like the right choice. Thank you for sharing the images of your several pieces. You have taken on the challenges, and are now ready for new ones! What is next?

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