Nishigaki Kanshiro II utsushi

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Nishigaki Kanshiro II utsushi

Postby Ford » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:53 pm

I know this is one of Lorenzo's favourites so this is just to tease him. ;)

It's a copy of a work by the Higo artist Nishigaki Kanshiro II. It's copper with fine gold wire inlay in an arabesque pattern called kara-kusa, in Japanese. Here the pattern has been lightly engraved (chiselled) and you may just make out a few spots where the gold wire has already been inlaid. The black ink is to mark out those bits that must not be inlaid as on the original tsuba there are missing bits that were obviously deliberate and intended to be part of the overall aesthetic effect.
Hirata utsushi.JPG
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Re: Something I'm working on at the moment; Nishigaki II copy

Postby Lorenzo » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:51 pm

Droool :shock:
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Re: Something I'm working on at the moment; Nishigaki II copy

Postby Kevin » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:05 pm

Now Ford, that's just not nice.... :sneaky:

Gorgeous tsuba though, I'm really looking forward to seeing the completed kara-kusa. :)
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Re: Something I'm working on at the moment; Nishigaki II copy

Postby Lorenzo » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:08 pm

The bisquit (it resemble a senbee bisquit to me) is one of my absolute favourites. I would sell a kidney to have it Ford, but my wife would find the scar and then there's no way out.

Do you plan to make the punched marks bottom dirty as the original? Do you think that feature is deliberated as well?
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Re: Something I'm working on at the moment; Nishigaki II copy

Postby Ford » Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:58 am

Hi Kevin, Lorenzo likes being teased...he's funny that way :?

Lorenzo, you could always get a kappa to remove the kidney like they steal livers...no scaring that way :lipssealed: ;)

Yes, I will make a similar punch to replicate the kuchi-beni effect and I'll be working the ground of the plate to develop that worn/corroded look. I think all these features were very carefully considered and applied by the artist when first made. This sort of aged/worn aesthetic is very much a defining feature of much of the earlier Higo work. As you know this wabi/sabi inspired aesthetic all follows from the teachings of Sen no Rikyu (1522 - 1591) and the encouragement of the Daimyo of Higo, Tadaoki "Sansai" Hosokawa (1563 - 1645)
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Re: Something I'm working on at the moment; Nishigaki II copy

Postby Karl Wunderlich » Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:04 am

Pretty cool... I like the soft look of this tsuba. :clap: :clap:
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Re: Something I'm working on at the moment; Nishigaki II copy

Postby Ford » Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:11 am

Cheers Karl,

yes, the original piece has a lovely gentle softness to it. The final colour really adds to the effect too.
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Re: Something I'm working on at the moment; Nishigaki II copy

Postby Eduardo Fontenla » Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:09 pm

A little off topic (but maybe not)
I always loved the Koshirae with this spiral pattern, but I did not even know that this pattern was called Karakusa!
After closing my mouth product to amaze with the work of Maese Ford, I exploring and expanding the data presented in this post and I found this interesting essay:
Analysis of the Spiral Pattern Karakusa
http://www.heldermann-verlag.de/jgg/jgg01_05/jgg0504.pdf
Regards and sorry for my poor english
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Re: Something I'm working on at the moment; Nishigaki II copy

Postby Ford » Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:18 pm

Thank you for that link, Eduardo. :clap: :biggrin:

Very interesting. :cloud9:
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Re: Something I'm working on at the moment; Nishigaki II copy

Postby Kevin » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:21 pm

Neat article, thanks for posting! I've been reading a bit about organic occurrences of Fibonacci Sequences and other mathematical progressions, lately - articles like this help me "understand" these patterns better, becoming more comfortable with drawing/designing with them. :cloud9:
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Re: Something I'm working on at the moment; Nishigaki II copy

Postby Ford » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:52 pm

This has been finished for a little while now but I'd not got round to taking some decent pictures until this morning. I'm still not satisfied that the full depth of colour and tonal variation has been captured but for now these will have to do.

The patina is built up using 4 different process ( 2 of which are my own secrets :sneaky: ) but the second step is a straight forward iro-age (rokusho) patina.

You may be able to discern the crystalline structure around the top of the nakago-ana in the close up. This, larger form, is called kesho in Japanese.
Part of the total variation of the patina is helped by the finer crystal of the surface of the metal. This is what I've been after and why I've been going to all that trouble forging out water cast ingots.

The kara-kusa pattern is inlaid fine gold wire and started out as 0.2mm in diameter...and no, I am not going to explain how I managed to inlay such thin wire and still have it end up in relief. It's magic. ;)

Kanshiro utsushi light and dark.JPG

Kanshiro utsushi light and dark2.JPG

Kanshiro utsushi sunlight back.JPG

Kanshiro utsushi tonal variations in sunlight.JPG

Kesho close up.JPG
Kesho close up.JPG (77.85 KiB) Viewed 3702 times

Close up of gold kara-kusa inlay.JPG
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Re: Nishigaki Kanshiro II utsushi

Postby Kevin » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:00 pm

Gorgeous - the crystalline structure that you're able to achieve with your copper never fails to impress :)

Lorenzo must be drooling... :sneaky:
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Re: Nishigaki Kanshiro II utsushi

Postby Lorenzo » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:12 pm

00.jpg
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Re: Nishigaki Kanshiro II utsushi

Postby Kevin » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:14 pm

:roflmao:
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Re: Nishigaki Kanshiro II utsushi

Postby Karl Wunderlich » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:36 pm

ImageImageImageImage Superbly finished tsuba. Image
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