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Mystique Series #15 : carving underway

Posted by Dave Bull at 2:49 AM, July 5, 2011 [Permalink]

Carving started this morning, on a nice piece of boxwood (laminate) that has been waiting peacefully in the storage room for somewhere north of ten years ...

I always feel a bit of a twinge when I pull out a block like that for use. I head up the stairs, pull out the box containing the blocks, select the one that seems right for this job, then put the rest back. I can't help feeling it's like a scene in a movie where a bunch of guys are on death row. Nothing happens for months/years, then one morning, they hear footsteps coming closer, keys jangling, then the door opening. Who will be the one chosen? !!

But perhaps on the other hand, they are all eagerly awaiting their turn to serve, and are disappointed when they are left behind ...

Here's a quick snapshot of the block when I came back from lunch. Next section due to be carved is one of the small poem cards (part of the kimono pattern).

It's pretty small. Here's a finger for comparison:

And that's a pinkie!

Something over an hour or so later - actually one and half programs from the BBC - we have a cute little poem in the wood (this shot has an enlargement)!

This is all 'warming up' ... and I keep looking over at the 'hair zone' nervously!


Following comment posted by: Lana on July 6, 2011 12:18 AM

I had the privilege of seeing (and handling) an old woodblock carving used for the production of a botanical studies book from the colonial period. I was amused to see it riddled with worm holes here and there and comforted by the dark patina of old ink that stained the whole. The carving was incredibly finite and when the artist had the chance to carve the veins in the leaves he took it. I recognized the handiwork of a craftsperson from some hundreds of years ago and it felt like by studying his work first hand that I was meeting that artist for a brief moment and exchanging knowing glances. I have a feeling each time you use one of these blocks (and keep it) you have the potential of touching a student's life hundreds of years in the future. The dead wood of a boxwood encases the soul and intentions of a human and with that symbiotic relationship they will both endure time. Nothing like good strong tea in the morning to get the metaphysical ramblings going...

Following comment posted by: John Becker on July 6, 2011 11:55 AM

Dave, admit it... this is the stuff you live for! You know you can swing for the fences, because you've done it before and succeeded. I'm referring to that particularly languid kuchi-e reproduction you did - you know, the one you showed me of the lady in the yellow kimono that's barely distinguishable from the original?

I'm really looking forward to this one...

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