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Japanese metalwork references


Jim Kelso

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Guest ford hallam

Hallo Karl,

 

Capt Brinkley, like many authors like him with little practical "hands on" experience often cloud the issue more by confusing different process and mixing various elements.

 

 

In this instance togidashi-zogan is a term that is used to describe the graduated shaded effect achieved when part of an inlay is polished through. Obviously this is not possible with conventional inlay but works very effectively on nunome. I've mentioned previously the cloth weave effect that can be seen in this case. Togidashi means literally; to polish down. The term originally came from lacquer work but is quite a late development in metalwork, not being seen before the Meiji period.

 

Glad you enjoyed the tutorial. ;) Incidentally, the moon will be partially polished through when I've finished the piece.

 

cheers, Ford

 

I'll have a look at the Red Cross catalogue later and see what I can make out.

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Guest ford hallam
even bad technical descriptions are hard to find.

 

from here on I intend to document as much as possible and provide the clearest intructions I can. the two tutorial I've recently posted are just the beginning. Watch this space ;)

 

cheers, Ford

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from here on I intend to document as much as possible and provide the clearest intructions I can. the two tutorial I've recently posted are just the beginning. Watch this space ;)

 

cheers, Ford

Hallo,

thanks for sharing your knowlegde so generously Ford.

 

Here is a little exerpt of Brinkleys book concerning togidashi-zogan:

 

"...The most remarkable development of the process is seen in the togi-dashi-zogan (ground-out inlaying) invented by Kajima Ippu. In this exquisite and ingenious kind of work, the design appears to be growing up from the depths of the metal, and effects are produced which render it scarcely possible to believe that the picture has not been painted with the brush on some peculiarly receptive surface. As to the technique of togi-dashi-zogan, the metal — generally shibuichi — is first treated as though for nunome damascening, the principal and secondary design being carefully outlined. It is then passed through the furnace until it assumes a coppery hue, after which the design is overlaid with a thin film of ao-gin (specially prepared gold), which bites into nunome, and then with a wafer-like layer of silver. Next another equally slight coat of silver is beaten over the whole surface the result being that the design shows a faint golden hue in a silver field, the detail, however, not being discernible, and the picture looking as the the artist had roughly dashed in a rudimentary design with light-gold pigment. The next step is to hammer or punch the details of the design so as to emphasise them, and finally the expert procceds to polish the surface with strips of toishi (honing stone) bound together into a brush. The use of this peculiar instrument is tedious and demands delicate manipulation. Thus the various layers of metal are gradually ground down until the design emerge showing tints of all the metals employed — shibuichi, gold and silver. The shibuichi outlines assume the appearance of sepia drawing, and the general effect is that of a sepia picture in a silver field with a flush of gold looking out here and there. An impression of atmosphere and of water is obtained by this process with remarkable realism. Fishes appear to be swimming in silver water, some in the foreground, some in the background, and some in the middle distance, and so perfect is the illusion that the body of a fish is sometimes seen partially emerging, partially disappearing, in the silvery fluid ; flowers and Sprays appear glowing in sunlight ; birds best the air with their wings, and landscapes lie bathed in soft hazes. The process not only entails great labour, but also demands an exercise of skill which does not appear to be within reach of any of the artists of the present day except Kajima Ippu"

Brinkley vol.8 page 315-316.

 

 

 

 

This was a try in japanese methods I made almost 7 years ago, it is made of 20%Ag-Shibuchi, gubosashi, and Sterling silver- and it has nothing to do with togidashi zogan.

Schönes Wochenende (nice weekend)

Karl

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Guest ford hallam

hello Karl,

 

thanks so much for posting that excerpt. It has very special significance for me. Brinkley refers to Kashima Ippu, he's generally referred to as Kashima Ikkoku ( 2nd ), he was appointed to the court of the Meiji Emperor as Imperial Artist, Teishitsu Gigeiin. I have had the great pleasure of cleaning two panels made by him in this technique. These particular pieces, one is in in the Ashmolean museum in Oxford, England and two more in the Khallili collection, are possibly the most refined metalwork ever produced. They are truly unbelievable. I'll dig out some images which will illustrate exactly what Brinkley was describing. His description of the process, however, is a bit fanciful, to put it kindly. The process is actually not that complicated, but it is incredibly delicate and requires the highest degree of skill, not to mention sensitivity.

 

 

This is the panel that is in Oxford, it's tiny, not more than 6cm long if memory serves me right. It is set in the lid of a lacquer box.

 

 

 

here you can see a little of the technique employed, remember how much enlarged this image is. Beautifully cleaned, don't you agree? ;)

 

13 years ago I was accorded the privilege of studying directly with Kashima Ikkoku III, the grandson of the man mentioned, he was 92 at the time. I was taught this exact technique by him and his adopted son, Kazuo. I spent 2 weeks sitting cross-legged, literally at the feet of the master. :P Kashima Ikokku was designated a so called National Living Treasure, or Ningen Kokuho.

 

I'd love to see a closer view of the piece you made. Gobuzashi, 5% Au?

 

I'm also pleased to learn of your obvious appreciation and enjoyment of these particular arts, as they say in your neck of the woods; "geteilte Freude ist doppelte Freude" B) and no Flemish this time :) .

 

cheers, Ford B)

 

p.s. Sorry Janel, I know these images are a bit on the big side but I thought I risk it, as they are rather special. I thought it important to retain the detail to show the subtlety.

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[i'd love to see a closer view of the piece you made. Gobuzashi, 5% Au?

 

 

Hello Ford,

 

thank you for your post. Mmm, so delicate work. It is the first time I see an example of this technique in colour. Its looks like Ukiyo-e made of metal and it is nice to read the personal relations you got

Yes, gobuzashi= 5% Au Shakudo.

 

You mentioned similarities of lacquering and metalwork.

This guy is publishing very fine books concerning urushi and tosogu. nihon art publisher

 

Is it possible to send a phote via pm? If so, I`ll post you a bigger view of the pendant.

 

regards

Karl

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Guest ford hallam

morning all,

 

it is a pretty remarkable piece of work, isn't it? ;)

 

Tom,

the first step in the creation of this kind of work is to apply a sheet of fine silver to a shibuichi plate. The leaves are created by having the outline cut through the silver sheet and then unwanted silver is peeled off, like a stencil. The texturing is the after-effect of the ground cutting, remember, the panel is only about 5.5cm long so this a a very much enlarged view. :) In the larger image you can see the light reflection on the edges of the silver sheet in quite a few places. The gold areas are also stripped of the silver first, then gold sheet is applied, and then polished through as required. Simple! really :rolleyes:

 

Hi Karl,

Nihon Publishers do produce some wonderful books, the one on Urushi is at the top of my shopping list, it's stunning. I'm hoping to do something along those lines for metalwork but with more "how to" instruction. I don't know if you know but Günther Heckmann ( notice the umlaut fellas :D ) is a very skillful lacquer restorer himself. He was taught by Tomizo Saratani. By all means please pm that image, I'd love to see it. Thanks

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By all means please pm that image, I'd love to see it. Thanks

 

Hi Ford

I cant manage it to send this photo via pm.

The file size is bigger than allowed, but I try... :rolleyes:

 

 

 

The engraving on the little panel on left is a rabbit, my zodiac.

The shibuichi plate is 1mm thick; the pendant is 10cm long- just a try in taka zogan.

 

 

Grüsse

Karl

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Guest ford hallam

hey Karl,

 

thats a pretty impressive first attempt. I notice the attention to detail too, the silver edging to the panel, the eyelets, and the curve to the plate, all very nice touches. Your training as a goldsmith is evident. ;) You're colouring seems fairly accurate too, what method did you follow?

 

thanks for the image, good to see :rolleyes:

 

Ford

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Hallo all,

 

a reference work which refers to sukashi tsuba is:

 

"Sukashi Tsuba in europäischen Sammlungen" by Eckhard Kremers

 

it is written in German and english. Kremers teacher was Sasano Masyuki.

 

The Book has a little section on iron and steel and some production techniques as well. :rolleyes:

 

Regards

Karl

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You can download Brinkley's book (volume seven and some of the others) from google books, though you might need a google ID to do so...lots of other interesting technical works from the late 1800s are getting digitized over there.

 

http://books.google.com/books?vid=0LDgsOTS...+japan#PPP15,M1

 

I agree that the descriptions of the techniques are not enough to learn from, but it is an interesting read none the less - he goes on at length about netsuke and sword furniture.

:D

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Guest ford hallam
he goes on at length about netsuke and sword furniture.
....don't we all? :):D

 

Hi Jeff,

 

thanks for that link, as you say; they do make very interesting reading. Sometimes you come across the odd little piece of information that fits into the puzzle. :)

 

cheers, Ford

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Aloha

 

Been meaning to post a thanks for Jim's recommendation re: Silverwork and Jewellry by H. Wilson way back at the beginning of this thread. It's good supplemental reference material and well worth the price. Just make sure that you get the correct edition.

Phil's recommendation, Lethal Elegance by Joe Earle, is another excellent text.

KC

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  • 10 months later...
Hi,

I just received the book that Ford mentioned "KINKO DENTO GIHO" (Traditional Soft-Metal worker's Techniques) by KATORI Masahiko, IO Toshio and IBUSE Keisuke yesterday from Amazon Japan. It is an excellent book. It covers many types of metal work such as lost-wax casting, sand casting, raising a bowl and teapot, chasing, inlay plus other techniques. It shows the tools used for each technique. The illustrations are all small and in black and white and the book is in Japanese but it does show everything step by step. It was $30.00 (however, shipping was $30.00). I just ordered "Silverwork and Jewellery" by H. Wilson and Unno Bise with the Japanese section. Jim, thanks for the information.

Dick

 

I have looked in Amazon.jp for the book and it doesn't throw any results. I wrote to you Dick to see if the link I had come across was the right one but maybe you haven't seen the message?

 

Would it be too much to ask for a link anyone to this book? I really would like to acquire a copy of it.

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