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Something I am working on, using a bit of African inspiration and Japanese technique.

 

Copper, shibuichi and sterling silver.
I am still thinking about the blade material and shape. It will either be a traditional kogatana blade using 1070 or W2, or a damascus blade.

 

lioness+kozuka.jpg

 

Comments welcome!

Edited by Tiaan Burger

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Looking very cool!

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This is very nice Tiaan. I always look for your work and maybe one day(?)

 

Thank you, GT

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Thank you Miles and GT.

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Very nice.

 

Do you plan fur on the lion?

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Very natural pose for the cat and it fits just right with the background.

Using images that are close to you as inspiration certainly works for you.

Can't wait to see it after the patina, Tiaan.

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Very nice.

 

Do you plan fur on the lion?

 

Thank you Mark. No, I don't trust myself to tap so many small and very shallow lines all the same. If it looks too shiny I will first do a practise run on a piece of scrap before attempting any fur.

 

Very natural pose for the cat and it fits just right with the background.

Using images that are close to you as inspiration certainly works for you.

Can't wait to see it after the patina, Tiaan.

 

Thank you Jesus. Yes, I find working with Japanese themes to be a strain, maybe it will become easier when I learn more about the culture and symbology. The old adage "write what you know" also applies to carving.

The patina is going to be a challenge, as it will be my first attempt at using rokosho.

 

I have made some progress, the handle is now at the finishing stages, lots of work with scraper, stones and charcoal in my immediate future:

lioness+kozuka.jpg

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Your best work to date IMO. Agree with the pose looking very natural and it seems that you are finding your place in this art you have chosen. There is enough inspiration close to home that though the skills came from the east you yourself are from Africa and that combined with the skills makes an attractive and interesting combination.

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ok - I hope you don't mind if I comment on things I don't really know - that looks quite nice. I think the scene is very natural in appearance and therefore I like it. What I don't know anything about are Japanese patinas. So, it looks good to me, but I could be missing something technical.

 

you are cultivating your talent very well. I think you should stick with idioms and scenes you know rather than trying to emulate Japanese culture. You pay homage to those that came before by using their techniques and their technical language. I think we (all of us) do more to respect the Old Masters by adding to their lineage and continuing the creative thread that they were part of (or began) rather than just imitating or copying their work. That said, imitation and even copying are both outstanding technical exercises and probably important for overall artistic development for each of us. I just think we shouldn't have an end-goal of imitation.

 

Of course, you probably shouldn't have a final goal of listening to me, either, but of listening to yourself.

 

great work. forgive the unsolicited philosophy.

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I was fortunate enough to be present during the patination process of this amazing piece of work today.

What a joy to behold, I'll let Tiaan post his own photos when he's ready... :rolleyes:



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It has been slow going with this little folder as I have to work on some orders as well. I eventually decided on a traditional "higonokami" shaped blade.

 

Tim, Kevin and Tiaan, thanks for the kind words.

Kevin, I don't mind unsolicited philosophy, as these questions are a constant part of any artist's journey.

 

As Tiaan said, I did a test run on with the rokosho patina today. Here is an indication of what the finished knife will look like:

 

lioness+folding+knife+kozuka.jpg

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I really like it and am always interested to see what you are making and how it turns out.

I would love to get you over here to the next forge in which may be 2015 or 2016.

looking good all the best Owen

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Thank you all.

Finally done and sold. With Ford Hallam's advice I was able to redo the patina without getting a yellow stain on the silver. I am quite happy with the way this little knife turned out.

The back of the handle has a filed finish. I always thought a filed finish is pure lazyness until I tried it myself. The slightest burr stuck on the file means starting over, eventually I checked the filed and cleaned it after each stroke. Another problem was to follow the curve of the handle consistently to prevent flat spots. After an hour or so I decided that it is good enough.

I added an end cap to the handle. I cut a recess in the plate for the cap prior to folding the handle closed, the cap was hard soldered in place.

I also raised the tab on the blade, so the blade and handle spine forms an even line. This allows the blade to fold away completely.

 

Bohler Uddeholm's "Saben silver steel" blade, copper handle with shibuichi and sterling silver inlay.

 

lioness+kozuka+folder+fin1.jpg

 

lioness+kozuka+folder+fin2.jpg

 

lioness+kozuka+folder+fin.jpg

 

Questions and comments welcome!

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Nice work Tiaan!

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Stunning Tiaan! Your best IMHO.

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Man, that really turned out nice. Beautiful work Tiaan

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this is beautiful.... what a treasure.

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Wonderful!

 

Nice patina. Great job.

Be brave, next time go with fur. :)

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Thank you gentlemen, your comments are all appreciated.

 

I did not do much work since I finished this knife, I cleaned my workspace, read two books about Japanese aesthetics and craftsmanship, made some drawings and thought long and hard about the road forward.

I think this knife has become a signpost in my search for an idiom that is uniquely me but also firmly grounded in a tradition of craftsmanship and artistry that is restrictive in discipline but open to expression.

Inner drive and ambition can only lead one to so far. To go further one has to surrender to what Yanagi in 'The Unknown Craftsman' calls 'grace' or 'Other Power'- the tradition or discipline within which work is done.

By repetition within a tradition one comes to a place of 'doing, not thinking' where it is no longer the 'I' that does the work. The 'I' becomes free as it no longer has to guide the tool or material.

I am a long way from this ideal but am finding more instances where the work happens without me interfering.

Seen in this light the best parts of this knife are the back of the handle with its filed finish and the range of hills in the background. The lion could as easily have been an impala or guinea fowl, as the sky, hills and water is the eternal, the animal is just a moment. I had to work on the animal, the temporary in the picture, the rest that provides context came to be by itself.

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Fine result Tiaan. It expresses a kind of lonely vastness.

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