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Ebony


Janel

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Scolopender? Just brought one home with the wood I imported from Formentera. Tried to hide under my bed, but I kicked him out. Four spiders I accept (in every ceiling corner one), but that was too much. They bite! ;)

I'd like to see more of it!

 

D

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Thanks for the warning Magnus. I have just done a quick Google on - ebony dust - and - ebony dust toxic- and was rewarded with good to know cautions. I will take precautions when sanding. Fortunately, most of the work is cutting scraping/or tool-planing, not sanding this time. A couple sites to learn about toxic woods:

http://www.mimf.com/archives/toxic.htm

http://www.ci.tucson.az.us/arthazards/wood2.html

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  • 2 months later...

Yesterday I built a page with roll over images to present the work to the client. Today, the beautiful weather has me outside again. Dang! So many perfect days for gardening this year! So much to catch up on from years of neglect, and the perennial area is straight out from my studio window. When it is a mess it is not very peaceful, so now when the work is mostly complete out there, it will be more of an inspiration than a drag to walk by. It is therapy from sitting and working, at bench, desk or computer. soon.....

 

OK ok... here is another excerpt: Gabon ebony centipede and branch, and the eggs are of Jet. Image is larger than life size. It is just over 4" long, or 10.4 cm.

 

409_exc.jpg

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Thanks Tassos,

 

Yes, though I had to be careful about carving in the right grain direction. I also tried different treatments, but ended with just moistening the background areas, and sanding to a polishing grade of sandpapers/emery cloths. I wanted to retain the matt areas to enhance the gloss of the insect and outside wood of the rotting branch. The jett was also interesting to carve. I remember treating it more delicately than wood, and with a little more firmness than amber. It takes a polish very nicely, as does the ebony. Thanks for asking!

 

Janel

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Thanks Greg,

 

She is not as demure as your lovely young ladies, but curvy and as feminine as she can be!

 

Sand paper to 2000 grit, and emery cloth to 8,000 or 12,000 (available from Rockler Woodworking and other places I am sure). Then I burnished with cloth, like rubbing on my clean jeans. I may have used a dry cotton wheel, cannot remember. That would be risky, so it would have been used at a relatively slow speed.

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Janel,

 

that's looking very nice, that's a lot of very demanding detail to carve. I'd be interested to know if this is a commission or something you've chosen to do.

 

The section you've posted also looks like a kozuka done in shakudo. :( You see, you're subconsciously being drawn to the left-hand path of the metal worshipper. :huh:

here's an image from the Boston museum site that shows a similar subject done in copper on a nanako, shakudo ground. It may inspire you further :)

 

 

 

regards, Ford ( surprisingly clear-headed smiley) ;)

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Both. A suggestion was made, for a potential client of a dealer, for dark wood and one or another of two insects. This is the result this time by my design. More images will be forthcoming when all is settled.

 

Yes, demanding calm patience, one leg at a time! Yes, the intrigue with the metals is still there. I wanted to do metal work at the end of high school, but the college art department did not have it and would not allow independent study... so I found pottery, which led to carving on pots, which led to carving wood, over the 40 (yikes!) years since I first experimented with silver in high school. Hmmm, I wonder if there is still time in this life?

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P.S. Ford, the centipede on nanako, shakudo ground is lovely. It must have been a supreme challenge to work all the legs into the background, and working the nanako with no break in integrity. Thanks for the image.

 

Greg, thanks and soon, I hope!

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Janel,

 

yes that kozuka is something rather special. it was made by one of the great Goto masters. I reckon they made them much bigger initially and then somehow magically shrunk them to this small size. :D . The fine nanako background was undoubtedly added by a specialist who only did that sort of work. Can you imagine, day after day? It's enough to make you blind! :angry:

 

Regards, Ford

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Hi Janel and Ford,

Janel your centipede in ebony is beautiful. The ebony and the jet contrast is subtle and very effective. The kozuka is amazing, I can't imaging sitting and doing nanako all day. Here is a centipede from the underside of my grasshopper piece. It is one and a half inches in diameter.

Dick

post-15-1181485378.jpg

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Thanks Dick and Mangus. Ebony is a nice wood to work with, I agree.

 

Interesting centipede Dick. Trying to get the legs all together must have been quite a task to accomplish! Nice little piece.

 

Ford, I have done production pottery in some decades of my life, which takes skill and patience to make 50-100 of the same thing in a day, but doing repetitive nanako would be an exercise of sublime self control and patience!

 

This evening my husband brought in a centipede which is about two inches long, very fine, very tiny. It has about 40 legs per side! It curls its antennae like the photos of the big centipede I carved, and moves them around quite a bit! I used my carving loupes to look at it. Pale in color, and itty bitty black eyes. I put a wad of moist tissue in a jar and made a cloth lid. It went for the moisture right away. I want to see it tomorrow, and if it is not too quick, to take photos of it, make notes about it. There seem to be different kinds of centipedes here in Minnesota, but I don't know much about them. I often see them while on hands and knees in the garden. They are never very large, and sometimes incredibly tiny babies are discovered.

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Most of the centipedes I've seen in the US have been small like yours, but having lived in Texas and Arizona in previous lives, I saw some really huge ones! Black, with yellow legs, fast moving and aggressive. I'm sure they were only about 8 inches, but seemed at the time like they were about three feet long! And I understand they have a nasty bite...

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Aloha Janel,

 

It looks good enough to remind me of my irrational fear of them. :o They get up to 10" around here. One wrapped itself around my foot once (I wear size 12s). And yes, they move fast and bite hard with a toxin. Shops in Chinatown keep them in bottles of liqueur in the window... to drink. :D

 

Hmmm, I wonder if there is still time in this life?

 

Nonsense. There is always time. Think of those women at Penland. Besides, you have some very talented people here who will help you along. Just ask. :)

 

Karl

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The model for the ebony centipede came from a multitude of photos from the internet, of the sort of hot climate large centipede, black or dark body, yellow/red legs, red head. I tried to do internet research for Japanese centipedes and came up with this one. I did not write the name down, at least not where I could find it this morning. Yes for the poisonous bite. I would like to see one, and lucky you Tom and Karl, you did! I am glad that they are not up here in this climate! Yet. :D

 

Karl, I've been asked to consider teaching at Penland, but with family, it has not been something that I could give so much time to do. Besides, I have never taught, but from one person to another, when you know more than I do, you are the expert and the potential for teaching and sharing is present. Maybe it could happen. A life long goal of mine is to continue to learn. And metals have interested me. I have secretly hoped to be such a student. Maybe a little step at a time will get me there.

 

TCP has been a way to share and to learn, and what fun it is to see it happening with the great appetites for the knowledge shared here on these pages!

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