Basic tsuba project No:1

Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby Chris S » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:20 pm

:clap: Wonderful first effort, sir!

I'm just a rookie myself, but having undertaken this project, I'll offer some rookie level feedback;

- It seems like a cautious evolution starting from the CAD drawing for many of us just starting out. The lines in the center of your piece are very geometrically 'perfect' (for lack of a better word) and Ford actually poses the question earlier in the thread, 'should they be?' The original is much less hard lines and tight 90's and more organic/free flowing. Reading over this thread several times gave me some insightful cues to tune and tweak.

- The rim and the face do not flow into one another. Again, I did the same thing with mine; after realizing that there should not be a demarcation line, I rounded it into one flowing 'line'. A tip that helped me with this is to be methodical in cutting your bevels -- work one line all the way around, flip to the other side and repeat. Then cut the next at a slightly steeper angle, then the next, then blend them together - have a plan, work cautiously (but confidently!), be mindful of everything you do. Use the reflection of the light on the freshly filed bevel as your guide as you work the bevel around the rim.

- It looks to my eyes that the lines in the center are a bit thick/wide. Once again, I did the same thing. I think the CAD drawing leads us a bit astray in this respect; its helpful in achieving the basic shape but the focus should always be on the original photo. I put my tsuba on the Vallorbe diet after making that realization, rather than starting anew. I also suggest taking a close look at the kogai and the hitsu in the original photo, there are some sneaky little subtleties going on there...

From the Iron Brushers I talk to, it seems that most people who are serious about this 'assignment' usually make several attempts with this piece in their discovery (or if you are like me, spend an insane amount of hours filing :rolleyes: ) I hope you get the chance to take a class with Ford, you will learn so much proper technique, it will swiftly evolve the way you approach the work.

Again, great first effort!

-Christopher
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby Lucas C » Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:03 pm

Chris,
Thank you very much for taking some time examinating my tsuba and sharing your experience and critics. Those are indeed extremely valuable.
I've tryed to read most of the information on this trend, but as I said, I did it after finishing my piece.
When I rounded the rim, I used some machinist ink and marked the start of the curve, as seen on the picture. Then I rounded it all.
Unfortunately I don't have Vallorbe files yet, those are ridiculously expensive in my country :rolleyes: . But I'm planning to purchase some pretty soon.
I'm sure I have much more to learn and will be making this project again. I actually am working in another one right now.
I still find it difficult to perceive all the details of the original, specially the rounded parts that are hard to see by the picture.
I'm also working on different shapes, like one crab tsuba that I have almost finished cutting.
Again, thank you very much for your time and valuable tips.
See you
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby cam_hardiman » Sat May 27, 2017 12:30 pm

Hi all,

Before I start cutting into a 5mm thick piece of steel, I thought I'd better seek some input regarding he suitability of my seppa-dai and nakago-ana template. Comments and suggestions more than welcome.

Cam


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Seppa-dai and nakago-ana template
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby Chris A » Sun May 28, 2017 7:46 am

Does your seppa-dai have north/south symmetry? Scribing round it and flipping it and re-scribing should tell you; seems short on fullness at 7/8 0 clock.

Nakago-ana a bit stubby and in-elegant maybe? probably worth making a few from different sources; good ones will always be handy for future use.

More important is just getting on with it - more practice, less theory and the mist and mystery will start to clear. :)
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby cam_hardiman » Sun May 28, 2017 10:39 am

I see what you mean Chris with regard to the fullness at 7/8 o'clock.

As for the Nakago-ana, it seems more Lucozade than Perrier.

Cam
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby Ford » Sun May 28, 2017 11:31 am

The seppa-dai and nakago ana can seem like relatively unimportant details but in reality they can have a huge impact on the appearance of a fnished piece and significantly impact the aesthetic response the work and composition elicits.

We're only dealing with an oval and a simple 'key-hole' opening but with those only two elements it's possible to begin to grasp just how much the slightest adjustment and shift of a line and so on, can complately alter the feel of the thing. I think that a little time fussing, reflecting and reworking this basic starter template may be time well spent in terms of training your eyes and hands to make more sensitive and considered work. Learning to recognise good form in older examples is absolutely vital and by really considering these apparently minor details you can effectively develop a connoisseur's eye over time.

Everything is built up from the basics. :Peace:
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby cam_hardiman » Sun May 28, 2017 12:03 pm

Ford, I can certainly see the importance off seppa-dai and nakago ana. The greatest of care can be taken in cutting and filing a tsuba design, only to be let down by an inaccurate or unbalanced seppa-dai and nakago ana. Hence my efforts for making sure I have a good template to start with. I have a few more to work on tomorrow.

I may even work on a simple round tsuba with an 'oval and key hole', if nothing else, it will be good practice. I trawl the internet and find something simple.

Cam
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby cam_hardiman » Mon May 29, 2017 11:16 am

I worked on templates today and came up with this sample. I rotated the template and used it to trace the pattern onto paper, making sure the oval shape of the seppa-dai has vertical symmetry. I also did the same in reverse.

The edges of the nakago-ana have been refined.

Thoughts?

Cam
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby Ford » Mon May 29, 2017 1:52 pm

Much better, Cam

I'd probably be inclined to bring the sides in a touch to avoid the form appearing too fat in the middle. But that is a minor thing and more of my personal preference right now.

The nakago ana is looking happier too. You could bring the bottom edge 1 - 2mm lower though.
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby cam_hardiman » Tue May 30, 2017 3:47 am

Thanks Ford.

The latest iteration of my seppa-dai and nakago ana template is on the far right. Narrowed the sides of the Seppa-dai. Bottom edge of nakago ana lowered.

Comments are more than welcome.

Cam.

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Tsuba Progress


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Tsuba Progress
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby Ford » Tue May 30, 2017 9:22 am

Cam

the l;ast one is spot on, imo. There's some furher adjustment needed on the nakago-ana. It's an issue most seem to have, due, i think, to an unclear understanding of how all of the components of the sword fit together.
I'll do some drawings to day to illustrate what we need to take in to account.
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby cam_hardiman » Tue May 30, 2017 10:56 am

Thanks Ford,

I look forward to seeing the drawings.

Cam
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby Mac » Tue May 30, 2017 11:27 am

This raises a question for me concerning nakago ana. Since blade geometries change from school to school, to smith and to period, is there a nakago ana form that suits say high shinogi Yamato blades and can you date tsuba by nakago ana shape ? For example , is a Nanbukucho nakago ana thinner than a Shin-shinto one ? And, do Seki gane change the nakago ana requirements ? I make tsuba to fit blades so it really isn't a big deal to me but as 'spec' pieces there must be some 'generalisation' that cuts down on later adjustments.
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby Ford » Tue May 30, 2017 5:58 pm

"The artist yields often to the stimuli of materials that will transmit his spirit." Odilon Redon
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby cam_hardiman » Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:15 pm

It's freezing cold in the shed and all work has ceased for now. So I thought it was time for a progress photo.

I am working towards ensuring that the intentions of the maker are maintained, keeping in the words that appear so often in this forum: seek that which the maker sought rather than what they acheived.

From what I see, there is a clear intention of the maker to use certain elements in the design:

- the slight arch in the outside edges of the diamonds;
- softened inside corners of the diamonds;
- crisp outside corners of the diamonds; and
- the fine edges of both the kogai and kozuka hitsu.

When I look at the kogai and kozuka hitsu of the original, I believe that they were made in the same proportions, and that age and possibly even damage has caused the difference. They are the same width, and the top of the arch on each of them sit the same horizontal line. It is hard to believe the maker would maintain those dimension, yet make the kogai hits a little short. I lean towards damage when comparing the all four sides of the diamond at 3 o'clock.

I also think that the tsuba design is probably a Mon, or Japanese crest (http://www.johnnytimes.com/japanese-fam ... st-symbol/ and http://hakkoryu.com/library/the-hakkoryu-meyui-mon/). As such, this Mon—four diamonds within a circle, would have had symmetry, balance and proportion. Not withstanding that the tsuba still has to be functional, and also requires mandatory elements which can conflict with the elements of a Mon (the diamonds in a Mon would not have been touching the outer circle).

Feel free to comment. Maybe this post may renew some interest in this thread, encourage a few more to try the tutorial and aim for the academy, or at least assist in my progress and further development.

Hopefully tomorrow I get the chance to shop for some new files in time for the weekend. :biggrin:


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Progress on Tsuba tutorial 1
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