The Fish Netsuke is moving along quite nicely. I think that it is starting to look a lot more like a fish than a lump of wood, although I don’t know whether thats just because I know what I’m supposed to be making it look like.
I’ve put two pictures in this post so that you will, hopefully, be able to see the fish emerging though I think this one is harder to see at this stage than the Dormouse Netsuke ever was.
The biggest problem that I pointed out in the last post was that the whole Netsuke was sitting at the wrong angle, I have solved this and I’m a lot happier with how it sits now. It took quite a while to sort out especially getting the piece to balance and now I have to remember not to carved away the bits the whole carving is resting on. I’ve also now got a very good idea where the Himotoshi (holes that the cord go through) will go, which is great.
At this stage I’m still setting in the major elements and shape and making sure that it looks right and all works together from all angles as Netsuke are supposed to be viewed all the way round not just from one side. Once I’m happy with that I can start to bring in the detail, if the detail is carved in too soon it could compromise another part of the carving.
Any undercutting is being left until as late as possible just in case I change my mind about anything as its not really something you can come back from. Although you can’t really do large amounts of undercutting in a Netsuke as by its very nature undercutting weakens the piece as it removes quite a lot of wood and can leave very thin edges. The whole point of a Netsuke is that it is there to be used not just looked at so thin edges would most probably break off when it was used or may even snag on the fabric it is worn against, both of which would be considered major disasters.
So put me out of my misery, can you see the fish or not? Please let me know in the comments, I’d really appreciate it.
Jutta M Stiller is a wood carver and sculptor specialising in Netsuke and Couture frames click here to subscribe to her newsletter ‘Tales From the Woodcarving Bench’ .