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Tools for carving netsuke/okimono from boxwood and other hard, carvable materials

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Natasha
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Re: Tools for carving netsuke/okimono from boxwood and other hard, carvable materials

Postby Natasha » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:07 pm

Martyn, having little twins it is difficult to find time, there is answer for you!
Yes, I totally agree with you! Technique - a very important part about
any field, whether it is art or science ....! Each artist was looking for a
"philosopher's stone" based on the achievements of previous generations!

I would answer the words of Pablo Picasso "Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth".
but I use the words of the great Japanese dramatist Tikamatsu Monzaemon (近松門左衛門):
Art lies at the border
between truth and falsehood.
It is a lie,
and do not lie at the same time,
It is the truth and at the same time
it - is not it.
Sweet of art between the two.

With regard to electric instruments, you have seen the pseudo-netsuke carved in China power tools
from start to finish. A self-respecting artist uses electric tool only for rough handling,
it saves time and effort for the sake of having more time to create a serious work of art, to save money to You, collectors.

Hard for me to comment on your perception of art. Each sees in art something of their own, sees based on their emotions, their world view.

Only an artist can breathe a part of his soul into his work. The tool has no soul. It is difficult to say what could be considered
a modern version of netsuke, and what is not - more of a philosophical question! : Problem in my opinion - is the observance of traditions,
the Literacy! Those. carver must know exactly what he / she does. After all, not everything depends on the knowledge of where to place it
and what size himotoshi be netsuke how much work and time invested, or detailing how its absence! Sometimes observed everything,
but netsuke does not look traditionally Japanese in the execution of a European or American carver. A netsuke, by definition, should look like
the Japanese, regardless of its origin, it is a tradition! Without innate Japanese philosophy and the concept of beauty in the traditional
Japanese sense, non-Japanese carvers must understand concepts such as Wabi-sabi, mono no aware, Yugen, Shibuya, or netsuke will not be netsuke,
but simply beautiful carvings. Simply say, there is something to strive for!
Last edited by Natasha on Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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souldeep
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Re: Tools for carving netsuke/okimono from boxwood and other hard, carvable materials

Postby souldeep » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:22 pm

Natasha. Yes I know what one little three year old does to my time - times two - impossible :shock:

Thank you for sharing what makes you impart your soul into your work. It's genuinely interesting to hear these intimate artistic expressions.
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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Clive
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Re: Tools for carving netsuke/okimono from boxwood and other hard, carvable materials

Postby Clive » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:16 pm

Funnily enough Martyn.. many years ago when I was just starting out in netsuke I asked Ryushi-sensai at an function held at the LACMA in California if he thought there were significant differences between the tastes of Japanese and Western netsuke collectors... he said many collectors in the West preferred big carvings. Later that evening he was kind enough to take me aside and give me some advice; advice which I've always been very happy to share with my carving colleagues, particular those just starting out on their own netsuke journey. Ryushi-sensai told me to try as best I could to learn the traditional Japanese carving techniques and the tools used. He also strongly urged me to seek out and handle as many fine netsuke as possible, impressing on me that netsuke can only really be appreciated though handling, through experiencing their tactile qualities. I did as he suggested and feel that I've benefited enormously from his wise council for it not only helped me be a better carver and restorer but also to understand perhaps the greatest tenet in all of Japanese arts and crafts.. that precisely how something is made is of enormous significance and consequence.

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Natasha
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Re: Tools for carving netsuke/okimono from boxwood and other hard, carvable materials

Postby Natasha » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:12 pm

Luigi, thank You very much, You very accurately convey my thoughts! Yes, different contemporary tools are very usefull! I would add glasses with a magnifying glass and my stereo microscope which I use for finishing my microtools, to correct little eyes (sometimes the size of amber eyes are just 1 mm), to correct lines of face and etc.
Yes, I agree with You works of Janel Jacobson and Jim Kelso have very special feeling of light, of warth, of breath of heaven..... something miracle inside! Janel is the queen of Frogs! I think nobody else is able to repeat her frogs (either netsuke or okimono), I fall in love with her shallow relief, she create true miracles! Jim's tsuba Winter - it is something over heaven, it is something impossible, over my understanding, but I really see and feel snow, cold snow on Jim's tsuba! Miracle!
Attachments
janel's1.jpg
Janel Jacobson
post-2-1213969859.jpg
Janel Jacobson
post-2-1213970729.jpg
Janel Jacobson
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Janel Jacobson

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Natasha
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Re: Tools for carving netsuke/okimono from boxwood and other hard, carvable materials

Postby Natasha » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:20 pm

souldeep wrote:Natasha. Yes I know what one little three year old does to my time - times two - impossible :shock: ...

My twins are almost 5 years old, every day I have to answer two thousands "WHY?", "WHERE?", "HOW?"and of course they are every where at the same time, a lot of experiments, their hands take what what "must not!", their kindergarten helps a lot, but one week in the kindergarten and almost two weeks at home with flu...... these two weeks I have only a couple of hours for carving during their daily sleep.... at the evening I look as monkey on your avatar, Martyn.... then I fall in my pillow. |(

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Clive
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Re: Tools for carving netsuke/okimono from boxwood and other hard, carvable materials

Postby Clive » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:21 pm

Of course there equally great genius carvers who have a slightly different approach..
Once at a convention in the US, a panel of carvers: Susan Wraight, Lynn Richardson, Guy Shaw, Armin Müller, Bishu and one or two others including myself were asked to name a carver or carving we greatly admired.. it came as no surprise to anybody that Ikku (Isamu Kasuya) was the first choice of many.. including myself. A true giant amongst contemporary netsuke-shi.. the type of genius that comes along once in a generation. Here's are some of his great pieces..
P1020359 [14907].jpg

P1020332 [14804].jpg

image.jpg


Ikku made these famous netsuke with traditional Japanese carving tools.. and on closer inspection the evidence of his individual carving strokes covers many of their surfaces.. greatly adding to the works vitality and tactile richness.
Of course such subtle details are not that obvious merely in images but Ikku made netsuke not photographs and his fame exists in the world that extends far beyond that of the internet.

Another genius who principally uses hand tools is the great Nick Lamb..
n_ptarmigan1.jpg

NickLambPygmyOwl.jpg


While there are indeed many carvers who use both modern power carving tools and traditional carving knives there are also those who just use only one or the other or predominately one or the other. IMHO and I think born out by the above pieces.. I think it's fair to say that while everything that can be done with a power tool can be done by hand tool, but not everything that can be done by a hand tool can be done with a power tool. :)

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souldeep
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Re: Tools for carving netsuke/okimono from boxwood and other hard, carvable materials

Postby souldeep » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:03 pm

Natasha - Janel's manju is breathtaking - literally. I feel cold and warm all that same time looking at that piece. I am poorer for not having the opportunity to handle. I have admired other frogs, from afar, by Janel . I seem to recollect about 6 months back Janel shared a wonderful frog on a branch somewhere on the forum, I fail to find at this moment. As a collector I feel blessed when I get a chance to actually handle these modern work. I was recently able to handle to a frog on a branch by Clive too. It's in one form of Unimatsu. I was simply awestruck. To this day I still don't understand how it was possible to display the sensitive fragile layers of this specific Unimatsu along with the diverse colouration I witnessed in the handling of the piece. I guess you guys will all keep me in the dark on how you create these modern works of art - but I understand this must remain a trade secret ;)

And talking of handling, Clive. You may not be surprised to hear I have strong feelings towards Ikku. The photo's you share of his bat just doesn't do it justice. I handle that guy every chance I get, and can't help thinking that Kokusai would have been floored by this work. I'm lucky enough to have handled a number of Ikku works. Perhaps the most breathtaking is a ware-beast in wood. No antique carver could touch his quality, originality or soul. And on humour - would it be fair to say Nick Lamb is perhaps the most humorous of modern day carvers? I never fail to smile when I handle Nicks work. Humour is undoubtedly one of the important spirits of the original netsuke-shi - Nick gets it. I love it!

I wish, we would see more of all these modern works in an INS convention setting. The handling really helps a collector like me to appreciate the delicate skills and style you guys posses. Most of the contemporary carvers work on a commission basis - off to private collectors who rarely, if at all, open their homes to handling. This means most of us mortals never get a chance to really start to appreciate these modern works. A few of us have been discussing trying to encourage more modern carvers to the Cologne convention and Trudel has been networking hard with the Japanese contingent to encourage a specialised contemporary event this coming convention. Fingers crossed :)

Thanks for sharing :love:
Last edited by Oishii on Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Martyn's remark on umimatsu lead to an interesting discussion here :http://forums.netsuke.org/viewtopic.php?f=494783&t=5567245&start=40


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