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Kagamibuta:Celluloid, Wood, Ivory or Other?

Discussion of different types of materials used for netsuke.
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AFNetsuke
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Re: Kagamibuta:Celluloid, Wood, Ivory or Other?

Postby AFNetsuke » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:37 pm

Clive, while I agree with you about spoonfeeding and in the past i have given tidbit clues in answering new participants' questions to put them on the right path in looking for themselves, I've also recognized that a certain amount of spoonfeeding is often needed on the forum to keep an individual interested long enough to make them want to study. Vlad was following your teaching model and that's all good as long as it doesn't frustrate the pupil. His offer to help via PM was also gracious but many read-only forum members (lurkers) may feel this is exclusionary. We value his technical details and excellent photo examples and hope his posts will appeal to the silent masses as much as they might to to more serious all-in netsuke student.
Alan

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Vlad
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Re: Kagamibuta:Celluloid, Wood, Ivory or Other?

Postby Vlad » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:47 pm

AFNetsuke wrote:Clive, while I agree with you about spoonfeeding and in the past i have given tidbit clues in answering new participants' questions to put them on the right path in looking for themselves, I've also recognized that a certain amount of spoonfeeding is often needed on the forum to keep an individual interested long enough to make them want to study. Vlad was following your teaching model and that's all good as long as it doesn't frustrate the pupil. His offer to help via PM was also gracious but many read-only forum members (lurkers) may feel this is exclusionary. We value his technical details and excellent photo examples and hope his posts will appeal to the silent masses as much as they might to to more serious all-in netsuke student.


Join the INS! 8-)

P.S. I have actually experienced and appreciated this approach long time ago, when Guido instead of reading another signature for me, just gave me the correct book calligraphy of it and said: "Go and look yourself! Learn to count the strokes!". I had all the books on Japanese calligraphy by then, but was always coming back here for a quick answer instead. Never again! If I do occasionally ask, it is for the right kanji, and not for the reading, or come at least with some suggestions (often dead wrong, I must admit :) ).
The other thing is, the exact material shouldn't really even matter for most besides the experts, who need and have to know everything there is to know. For the rest of us mortals, it shouldn't even matter. I have met many old very experienced collectors ( I am sure you did too), who have started back in the days when even the best netsuke were often not worth the material (forget the work!), they were carved from. Now those pieces are worth dozens, if not hundred of thousands and it still doesn't matter what they are carved from. It only matters to those, who really like to learn as much as there is, but then they would like to find out by themselves. That is the whole fun, isn't it! Why spoiling it? ;)

And in terms of the lurkers - could you please remind me again why am I supposed to love them to death, when they prefer giving nothing back years, after years, after years...?
Last edited by Vlad on Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

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Clive
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Re: Kagamibuta:Celluloid, Wood, Ivory or Other?

Postby Clive » Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:35 pm

Quite frankly Alan.. I always found it rather peculiar that on a forum dedicated to studying the carvings and carvers of netsuke, the principle method by which most carvers learnt their craft is regarded as not being friendly, encouraging, efficient or thorough enough for our purposes here.

Indeed, it often reminds me of the story of "an American employee of a Japanese manufacturing firm who was sent to the sister factory in Japan for training. Soon after he arrived, he was led to the factory floor, to a spot with a good vantage point to see what was going on. The Japanese person assigned to him said simply, “Stand here. Please watch.” and then disappeared.

The American was confused and insulted. He had travelled all the way to Japan, and was expecting to receive some training. But instead, he was being left alone with no explanation.. poor fellow but perhaps he should have considered what the Japanese expected of him rather than what he expected of them. Indeed, the correct explanation for being told to stand and watch was that the Japanese staff expected the American to learn by watching, in Japanese minarai.

Soaking up knowledge by observation is a traditional Japanese training technique.... and the way in which most netsuke carvers learnt their craft. The American employee was expected to be thinking carefully about what he was seeing as he looked at the workers going about their activities on the factory floor. From the traditional Japanese perspective, someone who learned this way has put more into the process and so is more likely to retain the learning. This however would generally not occur to most Westerners as an explanation of what was happening."

Similarly.. Time and time again I have attempted to teach people to identify materials on this forum and have been consistently frustrated. Even though is should be perfectly obvious that actual observation of the material is required in order to gain some insight, folks want to be told what to see rather than actually looking for themselves.

Although Vlad probably said it rather clumsily.. he was, I think right.. they either do get it or they don't.

(Bits taken from the following.. http://www.japanintercultural.com/en/ne ... ?newsID=64 )

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Kagamibuta:Celluloid, Wood, Ivory or Other?

Postby AFNetsuke » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:45 am

Okay, Clive and Vlad, I have to agree with your last two posts as I struggle to try to ensure the Lounge doesn't become a place where people are too intimidated to post or ask questions. Our old friend Stan would have taken me to the woodshed by now.
Alan

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Re: Kagamibuta:Celluloid, Wood, Ivory or Other?

Postby souldeep » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:56 am

There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
Aldous Huxley

The forum is plurality. Everyone has their own expectations.

For the new forum launch, the general consensus was that the community wanted to be able to control their historical content. The integrity of conversation can therefore no longer be guaranteed. It is really then, no more than a community meeting place, in which we choose to share or not, experience, with those that ask.

Reinhard made a suggestion in the consultation process. He suggested that the forum content could draw parallels to the tradition of the Ise Jingu temple, rebuilt every 20 years in Japan. This approach, if implemented on the forum, would create an impermanence of new content. Perhaps too, it would help move us all towards a unified view - the impermanence of our action, when we choose to impart knowledge on the forum.

Reinhard's suggestion is already functionally ready, but not yet activated. There exists a second part to the jigsaw, which allows the community to collectively decide to preserve text considered educationally sacred, off forum. To piece the jigsaw into one, as always, requires my time.

For the Moderating team the challenge we face is navigating those different expectations and perceptions. It is difficult. The forum has become an increasingly welcoming environment, and that is thanks to all that participate. The patience, and the generous contributions of the whole community, is deeply appreciated.
Piglet: "Pooh?" Pooh: "Yes, Piglet?" Piglet: "I've been thinking..." Pooh: "That's a very good habit to get into to, Piglet." - A.A. Milne.

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Re: Kagamibuta:Celluloid, Wood, Ivory or Other?

Postby jbjtennyo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:26 pm

In all art forms, it seems to me that there are three categories that "followers" loosely fall into -

The first group Appreciate - enjoy the look of art (or the sound of it) without any deep knowledge of what it stands for or how it was created.
The second group Understand - having many different levels of knowledge regarding the subject matter and how it was created, and the medium used to create it.
The third group Creators - those who have a deep understanding of their medium, their subject matter, and an inner passion to communicate through an art form.

In these groups are students and teachers alike, all at different levels in the world of art. There is appreciation at all levels, but I think a percentage don't navigate to the other categories.

It seems to me this forum is a platform that addresses all levels. We cannot expect everyone to have the same degree of knowledge or passion or even desire to learn - That doesn't mean we should stop showing or teaching or learning- what we know, we throw out into the world- our reward is that every now and then, someone really "gets it".
Judy

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Vlad
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Re: Kagamibuta:Celluloid, Wood, Ivory or Other?

Postby Vlad » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:01 pm

Perfect summary, as always, Judy, particularly coming from an artist and a thorough scholar. But how do we, and more importantly new members, just beginning collectors tell the difference between the "teacher" and the "student" in each of the groups, if the latter start expressing strong opinions and "consulting" those joining only a month later after hardly reading more than 2-3 basic books on the subject?

Aren't we turning this Forum into a social gathering defeating the whole purpose of education? The latest discussion in this very thread serves as a perfect example of this. So, where do we draw the line? Don't we need some sort of a commitment from the newcomers in the form of joining the INS ($125/year - really?!) first? I would also add the requirement of reading the archive materials before even asking questions, but that may indeed be not for everybody...
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

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Re: Kagamibuta:Celluloid, Wood, Ivory or Other?

Postby jbjtennyo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:32 pm

It is always our hope I guess, as a not for profit organization, funding the publication of a quarterly journal, along with many other benefits to our members, that collectors who come to the forum and see its value will choose to support the work here and become a member of the INS. But a membership in itself, is not a sign of teacher or student-- there are many of both among our membership.

Those of us who have been collecting for a longer while try to catch bad information when it is posted by a new collector--as you, Vlad, just did in a few instances. There are new collectors that respond out of their excitement of discovery, and have not yet really learned enough to be advising others. That happens, and is to be expected in an open forum, I think.
The forum, I hope, is not an elitist group, and is open to all who have an interest, even if they are not members of the INS. If posters are not members, the color coding of their avatar name gives them away. 8-) I would think that would be a first good indicator that they are newbies, at least to this site (and also a very good reason if you are a serious collector to join the INS so that you are taken seriously by other supporting INS member collectors here)
Judy

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Vlad
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Re: Kagamibuta:Celluloid, Wood, Ivory or Other?

Postby Vlad » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:58 pm

jbjtennyo wrote: The forum, I hope, is not an elitist group, and is open to all who have an interest, even if they are not members of the INS.

I know you did not mean to imply that the INS itself is an elitist group by any means, Judy, but it might've been interpreted this way, I am afraid. ;)

I would still prefer keeping certain things to the members area, so if we happen to accidentally teach what we know to the potential new forgery makers, they at least pay for it! 8-)
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

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Clive
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Re: Kagamibuta:Celluloid, Wood, Ivory or Other?

Postby Clive » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:47 pm

jbjtennyo wrote: The forum, I hope, is not an elitist group, and is open to all who have an interest, even if they are not members of the INS.


Well Judy.. it really depends on what you mean by elitist. If you mean being open and welcoming to everyone no matter what their level of experience is then fair enough.. but lets not kid ourselves, once newbies come to us we are all trying to encourage them to
acquire an appreciation of genuine collectors netsuke. That knowledge and our ability to recognise it defines us as being an elite group.

We are a group dedicated the study and appreciation of genuine collectors netsuke.. lets not forget that and lets take pride in our doing precisely that. There are plenty of groups now on platforms like Facebook that cater perfectly well for the other sort of "netsuke" interest.

:geek:


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