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A new member in England


Ian

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Ladies and Gentleman, what a wonderful site this is. I'm so pleased with myself for having found it.

My name is Ian Stanley, I'm a freelance Lighting Cameraman in the British TV industry and an occasional carver - very occasionally! I first got interested in netsuke in the late 1960's and managed to buy three or four over the next few years. However, by the mid 1970's there were enough wealthy Japanese aficionados willing to buy back their artistic heritage at prices way beyond my pocket. So, my first attempt at carving was a clash between economic neccessity and love of the tactile qualities of netsuke. If I couldn't afford 'em - carve 'em!

What I love about this site is the spectrum of talent represented: beginner to professional. I'll leave my peers to decide where I fit, but a clue is that I've only carved nine netsuke in all these years of my interest.

Here are two of them - both as 3D pairs. Just look at the junction between each side of a pair, then slowly go cross-eyed until you see the stereo image. It takes practice and at first feels very strange, but persist - it's worth it.

 

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Hello Ian,

 

Thanks for introducing yourself and your carvings! I replaced the huge images with appropriately sized ones for this forum. Please read the pinned topic in the Photography guidelines for pointers and what we ask members to do when posting images here. If you need help, please PM or Email me. Thanks.

 

I am curious about what the eye inlay is on the Kappa. What materials did you use for the netsuke, and what sort of staining technique did you use. Did you use ukibori for the bumps on the acorn caps?

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Janel,

Thank you both for the welcome and for re-sizing the two photos. I thought I had re-sized them in Photoshop Elements, but clearly it didn't work. I'll try harder next time.

Kappa was carved about twenty years ago and my memory has difficulty with only last week, so remembering what his eyes are made from is not easy. My wife thinks it was cow horn but I am more inclined towards a type of New Zealand amber called Kauri gum. I know I had a piece given me back then and that it is quite brittle which may account for the slight chip on his right eye. I don't think horn would chip in that way.

Yes, the acorn cups have ukibori pimples on them, and so does the cucumber Kappa is holding (not visible in this view).

Both pieces are carved from boxwood and both were stained in tea. We Brits are well known for loving a cuppa and in both cases I just popped the carving into the teapot once the tea had gone cold. Kappa, obviously had a lot longer than the oak spray. In fact I rather overdid Kappa, putting him in the pot while the tea was still hot - several times! The result was a lovely deep colour, but also three not-so-lovely cracks in the wood; one of which you can see running up his carapace. We learn by our mistakes.

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Hi Ian,

 

Ouch. That cracking is a big fear, but immersing the carving in hot stain liquid is a valid technique. Perhaps not steeping it for so long, but steep, remove to dry, steep, remove to dry, etc., might be a more cautious approach. The tea stain is a nice color. Thanks for the description.

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Hi Janel, hi Ian. Happy to see your work. What is exactly "ukibori" ? Is-it a technick to carve? My english is not so complete to understand all that you say. Is the kappa like ivory? Thank you for the answer, and wellcome, Ian, in this fantastic forum.

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Sergio,

ukibori is a technique for creating raised patterns on wood (like the bumps on the acorns in the lower photos).

Try using the SEARCH function in the forum to find more discussions on this issue.

There's been a few in the past and they talk about it in more detail.

 

The kappa is the creature that you see in the top photos.

It is a river creature in Japanese mythology, whose most notable characteristic is a little pool of water on the top of its head.

 

I hope that helps a bit.

 

-t

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And now, i know what is the kappa. Thank's a lot.

Sergio,

Kappa can be quite a dangerous creature. He lives by water and if the opportunity arises, he may drag you in and drown you! However, don't worry too much - it's not difficult to render him harmless. The indentation on the top of his head is filled with a liquid and it is that liquid which gives him his strength. Without it he is powerless. So... if you are approached by Kappa don't try and run away. Simply wait for him to get near, bow politely and, being Japanese and very polite himself, he will bow to you in return - the liquid will be spilled from the top of his head and now he has no strength left. You are safe! :D

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Sergio,

Kappa can be quite a dangerous creature. He lives by water and if the opportunity arises, he may drag you in and drown you! However, don't worry too much - it's not difficult to render him harmless. The indentation on the top of his head is filled with a liquid and it is that liquid which gives him his strength. Without it he is powerless. So... if you are approached by Kappa don't try and run away. Simply wait for him to get near, bow politely and, being Japanese and very polite himself, he will bow to you in return - the liquid will be spilled from the top of his head and now he has no strength left. You are safe! :D

 

 

Hahahahahaha brilliant. Typical british wit.

 

Welcome Ian. I'm still on the "way" towards improvement but it's nice to see other fellow Anglo---errmmm podes perhaps? (Anglopodes= perhaps animals who speak english) (and also carve although the name does not imply this).

 

Any chance of seeing other pieces of your work? for having done so few pieces (by modern conventions) I quite like the empyrical and experimental approach. As you said if you cannot buy them then carve them (of course trying to find knowledge as close to the source as possible).

 

Enough brackets for now but once more welcome aboard.

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Hi Hyllyn

 

Any chance of seeing other pieces of your work?

 

Thank you for your welcome to this site. I have got a few other carvings and once I get the hang of re-sizing them I'll post them in the Photography forum. How about you? Have you got some the rest of us could enjoy?

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Hi Hyllyn

Thank you for your welcome to this site. I have got a few other carvings and once I get the hang of re-sizing them I'll post them in the Photography forum. How about you? Have you got some the rest of us could enjoy?

 

I wish really. Most of my work at the moment is on my deviantart page (http://hyllyn.deviantart.com) However I have switched from semi-full time metal work to practicing in a new field (despite my tools still being in Britain after my move to South America), so for some time there will be nothing to show, just practice and learning.

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[quote I like your carvings very much and am looking forward to seeing more. Hope you have some works in progress as well.

Magnus

Thank you for interest, Magnus. I have posted another stereo pair of two of my carvings in the Photography section under the heading 'More Christmas Food'. It's several years now since I carved anything though I am hoping to get something done over the next couple of months, but nothing else to show at the moment.

Looking through this whole site and seeing both the quality and quantity of work people do makes me feel humbled.

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