Netsuke - Wood Bird with Inlaid Eyes

Sketching & Transferring Bird Image to Woodblock

 

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Carving Bird

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Dampening Paper & Printing Bird

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Journey or Destination?

I constantly remind myself that the journey is more important than the destination but I still haven't learnt the lesson to slow down and really be in the present, with each moment. A distraction and a slip of the knife changes the direction of a cut resulting in a mis-shaped ridge on the body of the bird. The more simple the shape, the harder it is to hide the mistakes. To understand the contours of the bird, I need to focus, slow down, breathe and stop rushing to get to my destination.

 

 Original netsuke 'Bird' from the V&A museum. Unsigned. Made 18th or 19th century - Japan.   

Original netsuke 'Bird' from the V&A museum. Unsigned. Made 18th or 19th century - Japan.

 

A craftsperson’s job is half meditation, half creation. It takes creativity to design whatever you are working on, but it takes meditation to do it right.
— Andy Couturier - A Different Kind of Luxury: Japanese Lessons in Simple Living and Inner Abundance
According to Democritus, we have learned many of our abilities from animals: the spider to weave and sew, the swallow bird to build, the swan and the nightingale to sing (one genuinely wonders if birds had not existed, man would never imagined that he could fly.)
— Saul Frampton - When I am Playing with my Cat, how do I know she is not Playing with me? Montaigne And Being in Touch with Life.