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This is a project I have been on over the past seven months and finally completed today. According to my job card it took about 50 hours.

 

It is an "utsushi", a faithful copy, of this tsuba: http://www.shibuiswords.com/haynesTsu10.htm. The aim, as it should be with any copy, was to "not to do what the maker did, but to seek what the maker sought". It is a very dynamic design, and I was about halfway through when I realised exactly how the original maker managed to portray the movement of the leaves.
My only deviation from the original was the use of mild steel. All the other processes and tools are period correct.

 

utsushi%2Bfin4.jpg

 

utsushi%2Bfin3.jpg

 

utsushi%2Bfin2.jpg

 

utsushi%2Bfin1.jpg

 

Questions and comments welcome!

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Oh WOW...I can't even hold a pencil any more and this work is simple, clean and GORGEOUS!!

 

Rust blued or Japanned??

 

Geeze...just WOW...

 

JPH

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Thank you gentlemen.

JPH, I used a rust blueing process, then sealed the surface with two extremely thin coats of urushi lacquer. I apply a liberal amount of urushi to make sure it goes into all the crevasses, then wipe off as much as I possibly can. The tsuba is then heated to the point where the urushi starts smoking, and allowed to cool. This is then repeated once more. For folding knife handles and work that will see frequent handling and abuse I apply a third layer.

Matt, I used annealled mild steel.

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darn good. the lines, and apparent movement, are really impressive. This sort of work is sooooooo far over my head, but I love to see it. You have done a tremendous job.

 

thanks for sharing it with us.

kc

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A worthy effort Tiann.

 

Can you describe more about this?

 

"It is a very dynamic design, and I was about halfway through when I realised exactly how the original maker managed to portray the movement of the leaves."

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Thank you Jim. The two frontal photographs I worked from does not portray the depth of the carving very well, and the oblique photo shows severe distortion, so I did not trust it at first.

Even though I had all the shapes in place my work felt "dead" in comparison to the photographs. A careful study of the shadows and highlights revealed that the original made full use of the thickness of the plate in certain areas, the curves (concave and convex) were much more pronounced than on my carving.

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If this were for sale, what would you price it at? I would love to dress one of my swords with work of this quality.

 

Steve, I don't know the rules for posting prices here, so I send you a PM.

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Held this piece in my hand yesterday and was amazed at how alive something made from steel can feel. Although not one of your most complex pieces of work mr Burger I do believe that the execution of this beauty took your skill set to new places :blink:

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Very nicely done, and now I have a heretical idea!

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