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A bit more progress and something that should have gone into an earlier post...

I realised this morning that I do not have a handle for the next folder, so I quickly made one. In a previous post on this thread I showed you how to make the initial bend. With the handle at orange heat I now drop it over a piece of steel the same thickness as the blade and squeeze it shut in the vise.

kozuka+friction+folder+handle+1.jpg

The handle is slipped off, reheated, dropped over the mandril and forged. I do a lot of the hammering with the blade spine on the anvil, hammering on the mandril. This ensures that the handle does not go banana-shaped. This tends to open up the handle, so a few taps on the side keeps it closed. Reheat and forge until done.

kozuka+friction+folder+handle.jpg

I also made a little rectangular punch and used it for the wings' texture, another hour and a half with the texturing punch on the background and the tail segments cut in with a small flat chisel now sees the handle ready for cleanup and patina.
I still have to decide if I am going to use the blade as is, or turn it into a wharncliffe...

Dragonfly+and+reeds+kozuka+11.jpg

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Thank you Mr van Niekerk.

 

It is done:

Dragonfly+and+reeds+kozuka+finish1.jpg

Dragonfly+and+reeds+kozuka+finish2.jpg

I brushed the handle with some baking soda mixed into a paste to remove any possible trace of acids, washed it with detergent and very hot water then dipped it in a very dilute solution of Potassium Polysulphide (available at goldsmith's supplies as "Silver blackening solution"). Rinsed, another light scrub with baking soda, dried and waxed.

I will have this knife on my table at the Brooklyn Knife Show next weekend if you wish to see it in person. (Queenspark Atrium, Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria, South Africa. 30 Nov - 1 Dec)

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Thank you Tiaan! That was so educational! It's posts like this that make living worthwhile, very inspirational! Thank you again!!!

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Hi Tiaan

 

You always amaze me with the itricate designs and carving on what ever you make, these 2 are astonishing beautifull!!

 

PS: I will be holding this knife next weekend at the knife show. I cant wait :rolleyes: !!

 

Martin

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Thank you all.

Alan, time loses its control when it is ignored. The work happens at the right tempo. It is when I start chasing the clock that I make mistakes and the work slows down.

Miles, I am glad that I could inspire you.

Martin, see you at the show.

Shawn, thank you for taking the time to look at some of my work.

 

The next one is inspired by a line from a Leonard Cohen song: 'I like to see you naked over there, especially from the back '

I will post photos and descriptions over the next couple of days.

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Awesome as usual Tiaan! Leonard Cohen hey? I call it "chew your wrist" music for when you are depressed with that glass of red wine - my favorite was always halleluiah. One of his best. But the all his stuff is good. Can't wait to see what the next "inspired" piece will look like.

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Thank you Josh.

 

The last one for this thread is a relief carving. I was listening to
Leonard Cohen and the words "I like to see you naked over there,
especially from the back" gave me the idea for this folder handle.



The first step was to find a suitable reference, one of my artist's
anatomy books has a photo of the almost perfect pose. Redrawing to size,
tracing and glueing it to the handle was the easy part. tracing the
outline with a sharp punch was not to bad, then the trouble started!



nude+relief+1.jpg



I started the carving by lowering the background. (or so I thought. Had to do it another two times!)



nude+relief+2.jpg



Carving the body with rounded and flat chisels...

nude+relief+3.jpg



After I lowered the background again

nude+relief+4.jpg



...and again. Third time lucky! Now I had enough "body" to work with. Seven hours in, and I already gave up about seven times. The worst of working on this scale is that 1/32" taken away in the wrong place turns a woman into a pubescent girl, which means I had to take away 1/16" in other places to correct it.

nude+relief+5.jpg



There is still of lot of work ahead.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

It has been slow going with this carving, November and December always plays havoc on my workshop time with all the family events. I also took a week to do some experimentation with laminated blades, but now I am back at the carving bench.

 

I had a look at the handle parts and decided the other side also need a bit of sexy. It might have been a mistake as the front is worse than the back! With the breasts as the highest point and only having about 1/16" of depth the curves have to be done very carefully to prevent an accidental hollow.

 

nude+relief+6.jpg

 

We are leaving for Cape Town the day after Christmas to visit family, and I will be spending a couple of days with Ford Hallam to learn a bit more about the Way of the Chisel. This will delay the completion of this carving by a couple of weeks.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Thank you all. It has been a while since I worked on the nude folder. I ran into trouble with it a while back, I just could not see where I had to carve, I think it might have been "visual overload". It happens sometimes when one has been working on something for too long. At the studio we prevent this by calling on the other artists to come and "help see". Today everything just fell in place, I knew where to carve and the work went very well.

 

Edit: I have learnt a lot from Ford Hallam, one of the most important being that chisels are precision tools, that to do subtle and fine work one's tools need to be subtle and fine. A chisel is not just a hardened and sharpened bit of steel, it needs to be shaped to precision else one spends too much time fighting the tool instead of doing the work.


nude+relief+7.jpg

Edited by Tiaan Burger
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She's looking just fine! I'd give almost anything to be taught by Ford...he is just amazing!

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  • 4 weeks later...

A quick recap, hopefully it will have a blade by the end of the week. The handle is wrought iron.

No power tools were harmed in the making of this handle.

 

nude+relief+1.jpg

 

nude+relief+2.jpg

 

nude+relief+3.jpg

 

nude+relief+4.jpg

 

nude+relief+5.jpgnude+relief+6.jpg

 

nude+relief+7.jpg

 

Here I started using a microscope to carve, the difference is very noticeable. nude+in+progress+1.jpg

 

Finished using only a scraper and 3M abrasive pad and ready for patination. (Maybe I'll fix those freaky eyes beforehand!

nude+in+progress+2.jpg

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  • 5 weeks later...

Finally done.

 

I decided to do some work on the blade as well. I painted the blade with white ink (Pentel W100) and traced the pattern using a thin cardboard cutout. After carving and texturing I removed the ink using acetone. I finished the flats of the blade up to 400 grit. After hardening I removed the fire scale with some HCl diluted 50/50 with water, then buffed the whole blade. The blade was then carefully sanded to 400 grit.

The handle parts were heated to bright red and air cooled. The scale was removed with the same HCl solution I used on the blade. Heating to red and pickling opens up the surface of the carving, allowing an even patina.


Assembly was a fairly simple matter. With everything in place I covered the handle with three layers of masking tape before peening the pins. This ensured that no marks from the hammer or anvil were inadvertently made on the handle.

nude+relief+finished.jpg

nude+relief+finished+handle+view.jpg

Wrought iron handle, 1070 high carbon steel blade and spacer, brass shims, bronze pinning. In the hand it looks and feels good, but I am not happy with this knife; the blade warped a tiny bit in the quench and there are slight anatomical errors in the carving.

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