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Tsuba with inlay


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#1 Jeff Pringle

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 11:49 AM

I got some tsuba (tsubi?) at an auction, to study the chisel techniques they used - this one is nicely done -

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#2 Niko Hynninen

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 12:20 PM

Hi Jeff


Tsuba looks great, not too much details.
Snowflake´s, moon and clouds. I like the moon.

old masters are masters after all ;)

Thanks for showing.

Niko

#3 Garrett McCormack

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 09:54 PM

Jeff, nice looking tsuba. Whats the diameter? Looks like a big one, judging from the relative size of the nakago ana.
Are the snowflakes chiseled or hot punched? Good find! :)

#4 Jeff Pringle

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 12:40 AM

It is 8 cm X 8.5 cm, on the big side. The inlay and texture (and hammered rim) all look like cold work. I like this one 'cause the inlays and ground texture are done so smoothly, and it's a nice example of restraint in decoration as well, which is good for someone like me with more of a Viking art background.
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#5 Garrett McCormack

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 01:13 AM

Nice condition too. The plate looks real good. I'll bet if you pinch it in the middle and flick the rim it'll ring like a bell.
I loved the last inlay work I saw of yours on a hilt...are you getting into some Japanese style stuff??

#6 Jeff Pringle

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 01:21 AM

Ring like a bell it does, or like a gong? No, bells are held in the middle, gongs from the edge. Rings like a bell! :)

I've always been into the attention to detail and really cool eye for design of Japanese metal work, but I seldom work in a wholly nihonto style - it has nothing to do with the severed tendon I managed to aquire from this naginata a few years ago, really! :rolleyes:

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But I did recently make a blade that looks a fair amount like a wakizashi, which I'm thinking of finishing out in a traditional wak way, since I got some same and urushi collecting dust as well.

This one is less well done, which is cool 'cause you can see some process evidence (and dragonflies are cool) -
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This one is late, Tokyo Art School, the patina trashed, but the waves are nice, deeply carved, and the bird is surreal -
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#7 Guy Thomas

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 10:51 AM

Really nice waves on that one! The stylized Japanese wave is one of my favorite elements on a tsuba along with sukashi style piercings especially of botanical items like fruit tree blossoms or bamboo.
Guy Thomas

#8 Garrett McCormack

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 10:51 PM

Tendon eh?? Just a flesh wound! :P Nice naginata, some age on that one! She's been through some polishes, I'd guess.

Looks like some person got to those two tsuba, "cleaning" them. I see that a lot on meiji decorative bronzes that ended up in the West. Argh so frustrating. The bottom one might be a nice re-patination project. Great bird (sparrow?) I'm sure I've seen that in the japanese Mon family crest book.

Nice goodies!

#9 Jeff Pringle

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 09:50 AM

Nice naginata, some age on that one! She's been through some polishes, I'd guess.


Well, I’m glad it looks that way, but it hasn’t even seen one polish! I was copying a late 13th century naginata, and I wanted the hamon low - it came out a little lower than I intended, then I was out of commission for a couple months, and didn’t feel like doing more with the blade than an almost-polish to ‘get back on the horse that threw me’ as it were. <_<

Looks like some person got to those two tsuba, "cleaning" them.


Yep, the lot of tsuba I got is mostly a sorry lot, from a collectable standpoint. Most of them have had significant de-patination or oxidation, but in this case that’s alright – they were affordable, and the over-cleaned ones give a clearer view of tool marks and inlay joints and such.
There are a couple more I'll post once I get around to photographing them.
:)

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#10 Garrett McCormack

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 11:23 AM

That naginata is your work, Jeff? Real sweet! The bohi groove is real tight. How did you get the top part of it, nearest the tip? The curve of how it ends is great...did that involve chiseling or just scraping? :)

#11 Jeff Pringle

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 06:26 AM

Thanks, Garrett!
The end is chiseled in, there was a fair amount of back and forth between the chiselling and polishing with grit sticks before the curves and the blend into the lines of the groove started to look right.
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#12 Jeff Pringle

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 10:29 AM

Here's a couple more, one with the numone zogan 'cloth weave' inlay, the other with the dead fish inlay...

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It is pretty rough work, but I like the way the cuts around the relief almost look like wood carving, that's where you usually see that kind of gestural, unfinished chisel work.
The dried fish are just too cool:

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