Finished up a second Japanese whittling knife. These are sometimes called neck knives by ... certain people. Some small clean up to go, but pretty much finished.
Numome Zogan (布目象嵌), literally means cloth inlay. It consists of first engraving a flat surface with crosshatched lines with a chisel to raise a series of burrs on the entire surface and give it a texture that resembles woven cloth. Wire or metal leaf is then inlaid.
Higo Zogan is similiar to Nunome Zogan, but is based on the techniques developed in Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture. It has a simple dignified beauty and refinement, a foundation of the samurai culture. Joyce and I took a short class in Higo Zogan while traveling in Japan for the Rugby World Cup.
My last experiment was so bad that I remade my chisel and made up a new blank to work with. Spent the afternoon in the zone practicing. Still a long way to go, but the lines are more consistently spaced, more even in depth, and generally straighter. Lots more practice to go. This is mild steel being held with Japanese black pitch.
It's been a couple of years since I've tried my hand at nunome zogan with my own tools. Joyce and I took a great short class in higo zogan during our trip to Japan this summer; at that time we used all of the masters tools. Gave it another try yesterday with my own barnyard tools - lots of things wrong, but plenty to be happy about. Started out just messing with the chisel with the intent of practicing line spacing and depth. However, I couldn't resist trying to overlay some copper. This is completely unfinished; I seem to have misplaced my burnisher so things were left very raw. For those not familiar with this technique - this is pretty lousy. This is copper overlay on mild steel mounted for work in a bowl of German red pitch.
living on the edge
Finished my first knife; I guess it came out okay. Maybe it's safe to say it's not horrible. It's a simple kiridashi 切り出し, a simple Japanese utility knife commonly used by, for example, cabinetmakers to make very fine markings on wood.
File that under hot
Health issues are still nagging so I've decided to tackle some smaller projects that have been on my radar for quite some time. Over the years I've amassed a small collection of files and they are just getting knocked around under foot. Decided to take a shot at making a kiridashi. A kiridashi is a small knife used by Japanese cabinet makers for drawing very fine, very accurate lines on wood. For a variety of reasons, I have avoided forging weapons- a long, generally ugly story involving brains, guts, and other generally messy things found in splatter movies like Evil Dead or maybe one of the Tarantino classics.
Today started with a annealing a file and burying in vermiculite to slowly cool overnight.
the Mad tinker
Just an archive of projects as they progress. Nothing really to see here. Move along ...