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Japanese patinas


Dick Bonham

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I just received the book “Japanese Patinas†by Eitoqu Sugimori which was recommended to me by Jim Kelso. Thank you Jim for making that suggestion. What a great book. I have been looking for information on Japanese metal working techniques and have found that there is very little published on the subject. This book fills a large gap. It not only covers patinas but also metal working techniques, alloys and Japanese aesthetics. If any one has an interest in Japanese metalworking, here is an excellent book for your studio.

Dick

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  • 8 months later...

Speaking of patinas, I was hoping those in the forum with knowledge of Japanese metalsmithing might shed some light on a term I came across yesterday:

In an auction catalog, an Edo period iron tsuba is mentioned as having SAHARI inlay. From the photo it looked as if it might be silver they're talking about.

 

Any help out there is appreciated.

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Ford replied off-list (something about being knackered). I'll copy in his text:

 

"As to Sahari or sawari, it is an high tin content copper alloy, about 30% Sn. There may be other trace elements depending on the age of the piece.

It is applied in a similar fashion to chempleve` enamel. ie, a cavity is chiselled or etched into the ground, always iron or steel, into which the alloy is melted. Once cool the surface is polished flat. The invariable pitting etc that is visible is often erroniously described as rotting or corrosion, it is in fact simply the result of the initial charge of filler material being insufficient to fill the cavity fully. The Japanese eye appreciates these little "faults" and so they are not remedied. The patinae develops naturally.

Tsuba dispaying this form of decoration if signed tend to bear the "mei" Hazama or Kunitomo."

 

Thanks everyone on-list and off- I consider myself a graduate of Sahari 101 now.

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Guest ford hallam

Just to add to the post above,

I have in fact seen a couple of tsuba bearing sahari inlay which were copper. I suppose I should`nt be surprised to find an exception in this field. So much for absolutes.

 

regards, Ford :)

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Guest ford hallam

Hello all,

 

sorry for being so reclusive of late, the well is rather empty right now. :lol:

 

the new avatar is in honour of all the fish that gave up their lives to provide me with sushi, hav`nt figured out how to honour the rice juice as yet! :lol:

 

You may want to have a look at what Patrick got up to while he was over here. He`s got some images in his new gallery here : http://bladefittings.com/Gallery1/CFgallery1/CF1.htm

 

I`m sure he will come out of his cave sometime soon....., poor lad, i reckon he`s "knackered too" :D

 

well, back to the front,

 

Ford

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I am not sure exactly what "knackered" means, but hope I don't get it.

 

Wow, the gallery of new work by Patrick is amazing. You lit a fire under him. Are you offering classes? :lol:

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Patrick, you wore poor Ford out, but it looks like it paid off big-time. Lovely carving. Spot-on patinas. Great to see this.  :lol:

 

 

Hi Guys,

My Trip to Fords shop was a bit over budget, so I have been busy trying to revive my checkbook. I was waiting to post anything until I had the Shakudo piece lighting improved. Its a bugger to get shiny black metal to give up its color and detail to the camera.

The trip was totally worth it. Ford, Joe, and Joel are great people who put up with my redneck ways for three weeks. I am not always a picnic to be around ya know :lol: Each of the Tsuba was done under the gun so to speak. Not allot of practice with the new tools just dive right in the pressure is on... Well as stressful as that was, it turned out to be a good approach. If I had a choice I would do it the same way.

What to say about working with Ford? (The whip marks are healing nicely :D) no really What can you say about a fellow that would invite a total stranger from another country to spend so much time in his home right along side his wife and child. He asked nothing from me save for a respect of the Art. What he shared with me blew me away. I had a huge list of incomplete concepts and questions without answers. There is nothing more satisfying than having them all answered appropriately as fast as you can ask. I made it clear that I was willing to set down the Baldwins patina, Gravermax, and accept the classical techniques as the self-contained art it is. After that was established 20 years of distilled experienced was freely shared. I have to say I was touched by the generosity of his and his family.

Ford is not quite as you may conclude from his online writing. In person he is funny, Light hearted, passionate, very concerned about others well being, and unfortunately (English) just kidding J. The passion combined with vast amounts of qualitative experience can be quite intense, but in person you can see how it’s really meant. Online I think it’s much too easy to draw the wrong conclusions as casual writing is so dry and devoid of the spirit you see in person.

I am going to digest what I have learned apply it and practice. Much work to do.

Cheers,

patrick

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Patrick, I'm just an armchair metalwork enthusiast so I can't comment on technical ascpects, but those new tsuba are beautiful. I especially like the surface finish on the bamboo themed one, and the harmonious colors, composition and crispness of the leaf-themed haiku.

Great work all-around.

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