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To 'V' or not to 'V'? 
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Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 19
Post To 'V' or not to 'V'?
Terrible title but couldn't help myself...while looking at various references after the initial cut another line is cut to create a 'v' however in the e-book this is not mentioned.

Is the creation of the 'v' then no longer absolutely necessary or personal preferences depending on the image?


Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:24 pm
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:30 pm
Posts: 194
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Post Re: To 'V' or not to 'V'?
The quick and easy answer is that the 'V' is completely unnecessary. That wood will be removed later by the aisuki as the very final stage of the cutting sequence. And when you think about it, you are actually doubling your carving time by making the 'v' cut ...

When I was doing my early experiments in this printmaking (while living in Canada) I usually did it with a 'v' (not knowing any better), but by the time I got to the stage where I was spending many hours each day at a block, I realized that this step wasn't needed. And later, when I saw more experienced craftsmen working, I saw that they too didn't use a 'v' either.

There are a few times when it is used:
- when you are in 'close quarters' and it wouldn't be so safe to start bringing in clearing chisels later
- when cutting hair, etc. where of course the 'v' is inescapable
- when making 'sute-bori' ('toss-out' cuts), in order to relieve pressure before making the 'master' cut, in those cases when your wrist angle doesn't let you get the flat side of the knife against the wood.

(Man, I have so much material for that next 'specialist' book on carving ... But don't know when I'll be able to get started ... Maybe I should take advance orders; that would put some pressure on to get started! :lol:

Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:01 am
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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:14 pm
Posts: 21
Post Re: To 'V' or not to 'V'?
I have been an habitual V-cutter for my years of carving, but after reading/watching the e-book I have resolved to give it up. Why cut twice when once will do? This one change to my working practice will save me much elbow grease and save a huge slab of time. Its tips like these that make the book so valuable to beginners who can form good habits and to others, like me, who ought to drop bad habits.

The carving e-book is now on my wish list.

Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:55 am
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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:12 pm
Posts: 4
Post Re: To 'V' or not to 'V'?
I too have made some adjustments to my carving technique since seeing the video, which revealed some things that I didn't know I didn't know. I never fully understood the fine clearing with the aisuki until I finally saw Dave doing it in the video, so I'm practicing using my aisuki more. I've also been terrible about leaving gouge ridges in the cleared areas, which I've paid for later by finding little splotches appearing toward the end of the run as the wood swells and the pigment builds up. Watching the video gave me some tips for dealing with that problem too. Thanks, Dave.

Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:34 am
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Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:52 pm
Posts: 1
Post Re: To 'V' or not to 'V'?
Glad I'm not the only one using the wrong tools... I've been doing western style relief carving for the last few years with a carving set bought for a class. It turns out I've been doing everything backwards! I almost exclusively use my smallest U tool, on rare occasion the V tool and I never use my knife or the small flat nosed chisel. :oops:

Time to re-learn my tooling all over again. :P The videos are immensely useful for watching the proper technique over and over again.

Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:34 am
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