I am really pleased to say that not only is the Horse Netsuke now finished, but she, yes she, has a name. She is called ‘Trouble’, I have no idea where that name came from but as soon as the thought arrived it seemed right and so has stuck.
Getting this Netsuke finished was a lot more stressful than I hoped it would be, not because of the piece itself but rather external circumstances that had nothing to do with it. Also I had a deadline to work to which I have been working towards for a few months now, more on that later.
The main thing that needed to be done following on from where I left off in the last Horse Netsuke post was the sanding and finishing as all the shapes and places of things were locked in already. The mane and tail needed a little work too just to finish them off.
Working on such a small scale the finish (the look of the surface) is incredibly important, each piece gets minutely scrutanised by the people who look at it and the person who, hopefully, buys it. That person will spend a long, long time looking at it and admiring it.
I always forget how long the sanding takes as there are not only quite a few grades of sandpaper to work through to get a lovely sheen, but also technical difficulties in getting the sandpaper into the places you need it to go!
Actually I find it a very calming thing to do, it is so nice to handle the piece as it gets smoother and smoother.
Once I am happy with it one of the last things to do is to apply some Danish oil, to give it a protective coating but also to bring out all the sheen you have been working towards with the sanding.
It wasn’t until I was taking some final photos of the horse that I realised I had forgotten to sign it! That was soon rectified as you can see.
My signature has changed a little since I started carving Netsuke, at first I tried to include curves but I soon realised that it was too difficult so I’ve now got a trimmed down all straight line version.
And the fabulous news? If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed that I was in London at the National Gallery the other Sunday. The National Gallery wasn’t the reason for my trip, it was an added bonus, I was there to submit the Horse Netsuke for possible selection for the Royal Society of Miniatures Annual Exhibition. That was also the deadline I was working towards.
I didn’t find out until last Friday but I am so pleased to say that she has been accepted for the exhibition (yes there was dancing and much happiness when I found out the news!).
The exhibition is being held at The Mall Galleries, The Mall, London and believe it or not it opens tomorrow 16th October (2pm – 8pm), I know its short notice! The official opening is at 3pm on 17th and it carries on until 28th October 2012 10am – 5pm each day though on the last day it closes at 1pm.
I must say that I am really pleased with this Netsuke and I have learned a lot through making her, actually it was quite hard to leave her at the selection committee when she was so newly finished. I hope she enjoys her time being admired at the exhibition.
If you’re in London and like miniature work go have a look, if you do have a look let me know what you think.
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’ .