A carved wood George and Dragon for St George’s Day

Carved wood and silver gilded George and Dragon by Norbert Stiller, my dad
‘George and Dragon’ by Norbert Stiller (my dad) carved wood and silver gilded.

 

Just a little something to share as it is St George’s Day today.

My dad, Norbert Stiller, carved this as a part of his diploma when he was, I think, 16. He said that he had an argument with his tutor about it as he didn’t want to gild it but the tutor made him. I have no idea what wood was used.

It stands about 4 feet tall to the tip of the spear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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’ .

It’s amazing what you can find at your local supermarket

robert koenig sculpture new romney
Robert Koenig sculpture celebrating 1000 years of sheep on Romney Marsh

 

I popped to my local Sainsury’s yesterday to pick up a couple of bits and was both surprised and pleased to find this wood sculpture outside the front door.

It is by Robert Koenig and has been made to commemorate over 1000 years of sheep farming on Romney Marsh. There are a lot of sheep around here!

There has been a lot of artwork appearing around the marsh recently which is due to Briony Kapoor and the IMOS Foundation.

 

Do you have any artworks by your local supermarket?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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’ .

Horse Netsuke – is finished and I have fabulous news

Finished Horse Netsuke in pear wood
Finished Horse Netsuke in pear wood

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.

Horse Netsuke offside showing my signature
Horse Netsuke offside showing my signature

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’ .

Horse Netsuke – How Big? or rather how small?

Horse Netsuke with a fifty pence piece to show its size
Horse Netsuke with a fifty pence piece to show its size

I’ve just realised that in my posts on the Horse Netsuke up till now I haven’t even mentioned its size. From the photographs I have shown it could in all honesty be any size whatsoever as there are no external size references.

It was someone asking me how big it was having seen a photograph that prompted me to take the image shown here to show the size. I have since measured it as well and it measures approx 62mm high x 37mm across x 12mm deep.

When you compare this image to the last one of the Horse Netsuke in the post before the changes in the Netsuke are starting to become more subtle.

The mane and forelock are much closer to the head and neck and more deeply carved, I think they are starting to flow a little more. The ears are now properly in place and carved in, they are still in line with the mane at the tips (though it doesn’t look like that in this image). I hope that this will give the tips the protection they need.

I have taken the muscles around the face a bit deeper and the nostrils are better carved and stand out more along with the mouth.

The body and legs are looking a lot smoother as I have started to sand them to get them ready for the final finish. Sanding is good thinking time, when I’m not quite sure how to proceed with something I can spend a bit of time sanding.

You would think that I would only need to carve the Netsuke and leave it at that, but there is an awful lot of sanding that happens after the carving has finished working through the grades of paper to make it beautifully smooth.

You may be wondering why I have posted so many posts about this Horse Netsuke one after the other, I haven’t worked on it this quickly (it has taken several months to make it). Rather there is something coming up soon and in order to be able to tell you about that I have to show you the finished Horse Netsuke.

I think its nicer to see the progress of the Netsuke rather than just the finished article, especially as I remembered to take photos all the way through! Subscribers to my newsletter will be hearing the news and seeing the finished Horse Netsuke first…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

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’ .