Kiyomori's Ghosts' My own design. Using it as chisel work practice.
The back side after a bit if chisel, and file work.
I can't wait till my good chisels get here.
Going back to work on the front side.
Started working with my scrapers. Rounding the skulls, and cleaning up the steel.
Back in the pitch for more work.
Yes, I am bezerk!!! Another Snow flakes and gourds, tsuba from the BMA collection. This one will be an exact repo as the origional.
MANY!!! hours of drilling, and cutting!
Doing some cuts. only the snow flakes are left.
15 hours of cutting, and about 3 dozen blades.
That is about 1/2 as the last time.
In the window.
needs a bit of file work, and maybe some sekigane,and on to patina
A Daisho set I am making for a NMB member in Europe. Very nice design.
Working on the hammer texture work. Starting to look good.
Just about ready to start the patina. I love this design. Not a straight line anywhere!
Peonies. I may do some carving on this as well. still thinking on it
I raised a quick rim in one of the nice rust textured plates.
I think I will revisit the Mt Fuji Sukashi on this.
My new fuji design
my first attempt at making ana plugs. needs a redo
I am now carving steel, with my new chisels.
Fords #2 tsuba challenge
I am doing this tsuba two ways.
One with the sukashi already cut, the other just a block of Iron/steel
Chipping away on Fords challenge 2
I've been working on the back side of challenge #2
Starting to take shape now.
Still a ways to go.
The first of many dozen Amida Yasuri-me tsuba I will make
This tsuba got dropped and dented/scratched.
I will finish the rim and see what the patina will do.
My new dragonfly inspired by Rich Turner's Blog.
I have now made Shibuichi
an Alloy or 25%silver&75% copper.
It is smelted and then cast into a cloth covered mold, set in boiling water.
The two good disks I made on Thanksgiving day.
The hole in the right one was caused by the type pf cloth I used. An air bubble ubder the cloth.
the best one yet. This is a huge, 16 oz disk
with great color, and grain.
A side view of the best one.
It takes many hours of hammer forging to get this blank ready to be a tsuba.
Shibuichi is so beautiful.
It can be a wonderful gold color, or can be patined to a near black.
Three Shibuichi tsuba blanks (sunobe) I have made from scratch. This was about 50+ hours or work.
Nice big 80+ mmx 8mm chunks.
My plan for this big chunk of shibuichi.
Today I made some Shakudo. A wonderful alloy of copper and gold.
I made two good size ingots.
After a bit if hammering down one of my Shakudo ingots.
Long way to go.
This is what my shakudo ingot looks like now. I have rolled it down to 3.25mm. Deciding where it will go from here.
Some patina tests. The two lower bits are shakudo. The upper is shibuichi.
My latest batch of alloy. Two Kuro (black) shibuichi, one reg shibuichi, and a near perfect shakudo.
Two shakudo, one Kuro (black) shibuichi, and one huge 25% shibuichi. Nearing compleation of pound down.
The sizes, compaired with a 76x73mm tsuba.
A pretty shibuichi strip I have rolled down to 1mm.
A pile of shibuichi strips that I have been playing with on my new roller.
Annealing the shibuichi strips 'often'
or it likes to crack on the edges, from work hardening.
Same goes for the ingots.
The BMA's tiger that I used as my inspiration for my first 'Year of the Tiger' projects.
My Tiger project.
Made of black-shibuichi, which is made of 60% shakudo, and 40% reg. shibuichi.
I made both these alloys from scratch, cast the tsunobe (tsuba blank), and pounded it to shape, on the anvil, cold!
"It is a labor of love!"
The Blue-gray color you see on the uncut alloy was what I got from my patina test.
I was very happy.
This is the first time I have carved shibuichi. It is very wonderful.
I see why period tsuba-shi developed this great alloy.
Not only can you get a wonderful range of final color tones. From a very light gray, to near black.
"But it carves like butta"
Getting ready to flip her over.
I have been working on learning inlay. If I can get it down soon, this tiger will have flush-inlay, shakudo stripes.
I don't like the cartoon stripes of the model tsuba. Plus Sensei says it is very tough to get gold to stick to shibuichi.
I would love to do the stripes, but this will take some long practice. We shall see.
Scraped down to the detail I want before flipping.
I need to decide if I will inlay stripes before any more detail is done.
She is now flipped.
Now working on the back side.
working on the back side
My new pure Shakudo Horse design tsuba.
79mmx74mm 6mm down to 4mm on the rim.
Still needs work, but coming allong.
I hope to use the shakudo from the sukashi (cut out part), to make the stripes on my tiger.
Maybe Akasaka? I couldn't remember what I made the drawing from?
Year of the tiger 2.0
I needed to catch up my skills with inlay to complete my other Tiger. So, it is on the back burner, while I carve this one , and practice my inlay.
Young tiger practicing his bite on some old bamboo.
A common theme in period Japanese tsuba.
My own design, inspired by a steel tsuba of the BMA.
This id Black-shibuichi
The blue black color is about the color the finished tsuba will be.
Starting to take shape.
I had some people ask about the tools I use making tsuba.
This is my jewlers saw. I use 0, 0/2,0/4 blades.
And my fave marking awl.
The only power tool I use is a drill. To start the holes for my saw blades.
These are my Japanese style chisels, that I use.
For sculpting metal, and inlay work.
The 3 tools I have used to do all the carving so far on my tiger.
Other then these tools, I use a lot of files, of many sizes.
My new Pepe Rolling machine.
I screwed to pooch on the 'free sawn' design.
The seppa area is off cntr.
Oh well, I will do it again soon. I love the design.
I will do ythe layout work next time.
May, or may not do any more on this. It may just be patina practice.
It will make a nice gift.
Dragonfly concept I'm working on.
This was just a test. But a lot of people want it.
Tear of the tiger #1
I finished the shakudo inlay on the back side.
Now moving to the front. Then a bit more detail work, and the fur. I may have it ready for pennsic display.
A new Sukashi design I saw somewhere. I want to do soon.
' Wheel & waves'
A common period Japanese design.
I finished the inlay on my Tiger.
this is some quick patina to get a look at the stripes.
When done the stripes will be black, and the tiger will be a dark gray.
There will be a fur texture on this when finished.
The end is in sight.
I cut out the wheel and wave tsuba.
With a bit of file work, and patina it should be very nice.
the crane I will do as a royal gift.
7mm thick shibuichi.
I felt I did an ok job on the cuts. It shouldn't take much file work.
It will have shakudo&gold eyes.
We shall see what the patina will do?
I think this was the first shibuichi disk I ever cast.
A bit of copper sulphate and salt to test the patina
Late summer 10
New Amida Yasurime
Back side got damaged, doing another.
late fall 10
My practice 'everything' plate.
using many punches to play with textures.
This is shibuichi, silver inlay
did some silver inlay of lotus, and moon peeking over the clouds. Tried 4 different punches to make textures in the shibuichi serface.
the other side of the practice disk.
Flush inlay grasses in shakudo.
I think I will add some silver dew drops.
That takes practice in another soft metal.
Late fall 10
Working on another tiger.
Copper with flush inlay shakudo stripes.
This tiger will have a inlay head,
giving good hight to the carving.
got started, chipping away.
I plan to do more realistic tiger stripes on this one.
that will be some challenging inlay work
late fall 10
Third heaven and earth amita yasurime with silver inlay
this one is the best so far.
here I have just finished the file work for the Buddha halo.
hammer work on the rim is done, now to the files.
I'm pretty happy with this one.
Pure shakudo 'Crane & pines'
Just finished the cuts, now to the files.
My Hisanori inspired horse.
Mild steel, in sukashi
Long way to go yet. But starting to shape up.
Being snowed in at my Moms in Ma. was good for something. I was glad I brought my pitch bowl, and tools with me.
Got a bit done on my tiger.
Home again, time to get back to work, This side is getting close on the initial carving. I will flip it soon to do the back. Then for the 100+ pieces of inlay that will be it's stripes, claws,eyes,teeth,whiskers!
Working on the back now.
This is the chisel I am using.
chipping on the back.
Shakudo inlay of stripes done on the back
Stripe inlay done on the front. Gold eyes in.
Back to the back side to finish the detail before I inlay the very delicate gold, teeth, whiskers, and shakudo eyeballs.
And then the fur.
Tamahagane, by Master Rich Chen china
Doing silver inlay for the wing veins
Back side of Tonbo
just worked the texture into the wings. I made a kinda roundish rectangle punch.
So far I like it
In some nice Natural light.
Still some work to do around the head and tail.
new dragonfly, designed by Master Ford.
I plan to carve this just a little, then heat treat it to bring out the folds.