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

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

Postby AFNetsuke » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:05 pm

Thank you! Many will find this useful. Never tried the newspaper strop before.
Alan

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

Postby Clive » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:53 am

My pleasure Alan.. if you get yourself some of those stones then PM me and I'll talk you through some tips for sharpening your knives.

Also given that the spark types was interesting to a few folks.. I checked and found this very insightful video on the subject. The sort of steel I generally use for my carving knives is what's referred to as 1095 and 01. The spark testing starts around 2:20 in the video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=parpu3fPF2Q

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

Postby AFNetsuke » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:21 am

Thanks, Clive. I've had a number of sharpening stones and some Lansky and diamond E-Z lap sharpeners and a 60 year old Arkansas bench stone but will order your recommended one. I once nearly ruined my 12 inch chef's knife with an expensive electric sharpener I was given as a gift. Never again.
Alan

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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 1:20 pm

Clive wrote:... Unfortunately many of the old tool making ways are being lost.. these days everything seems to be about quick and easy convenience.. fast and noisy high speed electric power tools for carvers to quickly shape material.. the downside IMHO however is a great loss of scale, sensitivity, richness and ultimately "soul". :(


The old ways are lost, but new ones appear. Nothing is eternal under the Moon.
Strangely enough, the artists usually take pride in their works, not tools.

For to be the right netsuke-shi, you need to be Japanese, to speak Japanese, to live in Japan, to think in Japanese and perfectly know the traditions and culture of Japan, and be a netsuke-shi in the 2nd generation of (at least), have your own distinctive style and have recognition in Japan, awards.

Every artist is special and unique, has own style and features, that's why every artist makes own tools for his\her specific tasks. Each artist leaves behind a legacy, his\her fantasy, special vision, performance art, dreams, thoughts and feelings which are reflecting his \ her world, it's create a masterpiece that later generations admired.

The Tools - this is not an end in itself but only a means the way of self-expression. The main thing - is the result of the work of the artist, than what tools used.

The artist must reflect his time, with all the nuances from morals to scientific advances, NOT imitate antiques, there is a real antiques.
High speed electric power tools is very fast, yes!

In old Japane top-artist didn't sawed and did other rough works, there were simple workers.
Today top-artists use electric tools instead of simple workers, it is economize time, which is appreciated very expensive!
Last edited by souldeep on Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:38 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Reason: Moderated ad hominem remarks. It is encouraged to debate with an individuals point, but not to make it personal.

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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 1:21 pm

Ryushi Komada - netsuke-shi in the 5th generation, learned carving from his father, a Japanese, living in Japan and speak Japanese, thinks in Japanese, he knows the culture, art and traditions of Japan. His work is recognized and he has awards in Japan, his beauties are incredibly wonderful, elegant, full of perfection, he has his own distinctive style, school, students, he makes his own instruments, he also has rotary power tools.

Has his creations "a great loss of scale, sensitivity, richness and ultimately "soul"..." ?
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Ryushi-Komada-300x150.jpg
Last edited by Natasha on Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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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 1:22 pm

Workshop of Ryushi Komada
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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 1:23 pm

Let's look at the upper right corner of the photo. There are three electric power tools, something like Foredom....
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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 2:15 pm

Natasha wrote:The old ways are lost, but new ones appear. Nothing is eternal under the Moon.

Poetic. I imagine that the conditions under which old techniques are recreated today, are so different, it would be make little sense to compare like for like. That being said - it does not mean that old ways hold any less importance than the new. Evolution is a natural process, but it also remembers the past.

Natasha - you raise a valid point. Art is full of subjective elements.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems uncontroversial that many modern carvers use a combination of power tools and hand tools (e.g. why carve down a big block of ivory to a basic starting shape with a hand tool). I also suspect that hand tools may allow finer expression in the end result?

As a collector of carvings, over different generations and centuries of technical ability, I find myself acquiring differing levels of technical fineness in the works. I may be moving into the realms of the metaphysical, but I have experienced spirit in a work, apparently independent of it's fineness. My intuition appeals, telling me there may be a deeper presence at work here.

What fascinates me in this debate is what imparts spirit (or as discussed here, soul) into these modern works of art. Is it right or fair to say the tools define the spirit, or instead, the artist themselves?

My ignorance in carving experience means I have little, to nothing, useful to participate. As a collector of these pieces of Art, I would genuinely love to hear from other carvers that can help provide us with insight into those different perspectives, and what the "spirit/soul" of work means to you?
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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LUBlub
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Re: Tools for carving netsuke/okimono from boxwood and other hard, carvable materials

Postby LUBlub » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:30 pm

Martyn, right your question about the soul ...
I think that the tools are just that, tools to service of 'artist, the soul of a work of art is not the brush but the painting or netsuke that you can handle, the physical tools have no soul, just follow the hand of the artistic and creative genius of man... we observe the creativity and inspiration in the subject and obtained result, not in the instruments ...
We can increase our admiration if the artist has reached very high levels in its work knowing that he had to use traditional/primitive tools but beyond this admiration exists toward the primary result...
The example cited by Natasha in the case of Ryushi, traditional plus modern tools, and he is not the only one, is the evidence that explains well the quality of this netsuke carver...and I'm sure same evidence in the works of Mrs Popova and
Mrs Janel and Mr Jim Kelso...

I fully agree to invite many other recognized netsukeshis to intervene with his opinions and collaborate showing their work where they used both tools: those modern and traditional ... because in the end the result counts ...
I can not answer the question whether the instruments define the spirit of the artist, probably only his perspiration, but not his inspiration.
What we know collectors is that every single netsuke brings what is called AJI ... Aji with no relationship with the quality of the piece, but with our individual perception… you can feel the Aji having that piece in hand, modern or not , because there is always the soul of who did it.
Excellence in netsuke art don't need signature or pedigree, or age, only quality, aesthetics, beauty.

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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 5:53 pm

LUBlub wrote:The example cited by Natasha in the case of Ryushi, traditional plus modern tools, and he is not the only one, is the evidence that explains well the quality of this netsuke carver...and I'm sure same evidence in the works of Mrs Popova and
Mrs Janel and Mr Jim Kelso...


And Mr Clive Hallam and many others.. The use of both power tools and more traditional hand tools if very common Luigi. Perhaps I didn't express myself clearly enough earlier so please allow me to elaborate.. the opinion I shared was that when the use of power tools is principally motivated by quick and easy convenience, the downside is often in my opinion a great loss of scale, sensitivity, richness and ultimately "soul".

That is all. :)
Last edited by Clive on Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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