kiku tsuba in iron

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kiku tsuba in iron

Postby Chris A » Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:43 pm

I needed a serious chisel project to get back quickly into the way of things after a extended lay-off, and of course to improve my skill level by practice.
In order to get my high speed steel chisels better shaped and sharpened, I did a couple of quick and somewhat vague practice pieces:
prac.jpg

the basket weave practice wasn't really what I wanted for this project so left that for another day and did the circle in square and visa versa which was more suitable for what I had in mind, which was this Boston MFA piece of a stylised Chrysanthemum

I chose this because it didn't need a lot of saw piercing and had a 32 repeated petal motif; and carving the same shape repeatedly and trying to make all very similar, I thought would be good practice.

Also I really like mon derived designs as they are uncomplicated and very strong visually. My material is pure iron 6 mm thick. Overall: 7.4 x 7.3 x 0.6 cm

Here is my drawing:
kikudrawing.jpg


this printed onto self-adhesive printing paper and then attached to pre-polished iron blank enabled marking out by cutting out the design with scalpel type blade
zmarkingz.jpg


once attached to my pitch bowl I went over my marks with a kebori 'v' chisel and the got stuck into some serious material removal using my biggest kata-kiri chisel and largest hammer, this was so much fun I probably wasn't quite as ordered or systematic as I would be if doing it again, but hindsight gained from learning is what its all about for me.
zcarved.jpg


It soon became clear that shapes of the petals would be dictated by the outer edges where they form the mimi, it was soon necessary to file some shape into these to get an idea of what was going on and how one petal was going to be aligned with the next and how the design would flow around to the the other side, which for my design is a mirror image of the other.
ztop.jpg
zsideview.jpg

This is the stage I am now at: refining surfaces and more shaping of the mimi to make pleasing, it's very difficult to see with metal reflections etc.
'If I see further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants' - Newton
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Re: kiku tsuba in iron

Postby Steve » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:55 pm

Looking good Chris. That looks the like a substantial piece of iron!
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Re: kiku tsuba in iron

Postby Chris A » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:37 am

thanks Steve: military spec!
'If I see further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants' - Newton
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Re: kiku tsuba in iron

Postby Chris S » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:16 pm

Very cool! That design certainly pops!
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Re: kiku tsuba in iron

Postby Chris A » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:09 pm

Further progress on this tsuba; I have now completed the carving stage, completed not implying it's perfect or as good as I would have liked it, but without starting again I can't attempt to achieve what I would regard as excellent.

It started out as quick carving experiment and consequently early stages (drawing and marking out issues) were rushed and latter stage faults (crispness and border of the hitsu-ana)could be improved on in hindsight and with the experience.

Having taken the surface to 600g I decided to tumble in broken crockery; this had worked well with my No.2 and then apply the patination liquid made from red clay etc.(see Japanese Patina for Iron in Technique and Tutorials); however this tumbling did not produce the silky finish that I had hoped, see pictures:

ztumbled.jpg
speckled appearance from tumbling

ztumbledx.jpg


I will continue with the red clay patination process to see if the liquid still works as it's about 18 month old now, I kept it as it split in the original jar and didn't decant it off.
'If I see further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants' - Newton
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Re: kiku tsuba in iron

Postby Mac » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:58 pm

I really like it. The texture is interesting.
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Re: kiku tsuba in iron

Postby Chris A » Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:28 am

I agree the speckled effect was nice; but not viable in the final finish. after abrading with 800 carborundum powder the speckles vanished.

Red clay patination liquid was then applied; which still worked ok; I'm fairly happy with the colour and skin texture in parts, but the recesses were not reached by the abrasive tumbling, these looking different to the exposed areas and would perhaps benefit from re-tumbling with some smaller pieces and maybe using quartz this time as apposed to broken crockery.

2017-02-18 11.46.05.jpg

chrys45.jpg


For me a worthwhile project, got to remove a lot of metal by carving, the design allowed good access from the side for getting in low with tools allowing paring away slivers of metal to obtain a smooth finish; though clearing out 64 corners, some very tight, was a challenge.

Looking now to make a more organic design with some taka-zogan.
'If I see further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants' - Newton
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Re: kiku tsuba in iron

Postby Steve » Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:39 pm

Well done, Chris! :clap: I can see there is a lot of work involved and you've done a good job. I like the colour, too.
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Re: kiku tsuba in iron

Postby Chris A » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:12 am

Steve,

Thank you for your kind words, as always any encouragement is welcome; it's very easy to fall into self-doubt mode after finishing something.

i.e. was it finished? was it worth posting?

Still at the end of the day I rate this site and posting is a way of contributing and keeping it current.
'If I see further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants' - Newton
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Re: kiku tsuba in iron

Postby cam_hardiman » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:31 pm

Chris,

Great job!

Cam

:pray1:
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Re: kiku tsuba in iron

Postby Mac » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:31 pm

That is a really effective design , well executed.
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Re: kiku tsuba in iron

Postby Chris A » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:07 am

Cam, Mac, thank you for your comments; I was pleased with the outcome; I was attracted to this design because of the pattern and rhythm; which must show especially well when worn.
'If I see further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants' - Newton
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Re: kiku tsuba in iron

Postby Albert R » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:33 am

Chris,
I think it an exceptional execution! I am amazed by your ability to carve... CARVE... all that metal off and bring an organic form to life.
The patination looks good to my under educated eye; Lorenzo is the one to comment on patination!
One thing I noticed in the original, it appears the nakago-ana or rather the sekigane are purposely askew. Which has me thinking: Why?
Two questions:
Milspec? Whatcha got there Chris?
and pure iron?
Always interested in the metallurgy!
All in all, well done!
Albert
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Re: kiku tsuba in iron

Postby Chris A » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:33 pm

Albert , thank you for the kind words,

The material is just that, elemental Fe. Well that's what I bought it as; what the advantage over mild steel is I don't know, it carves a bit softer, patination is about the same; think I was hoping for something extra from it, but not sure what.

As regards the odd angle of the sekigane mounting grooves-don't know , maybe just looked better at that angle when worn. the original is Boston MFA.
'If I see further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants' - Newton
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