Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Barn owl in winter

Carved from a deer antler rosette (the basal portion of the antler connecting it to the skull) with horn eyes, it measures about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. There's something about using antler that, for me, seems ideal for winter subjects. The opaqueness and subtle gray streaking, coolness to the touch, and high polish evoke cold weather and barrenness. This piece was interesting to carve from a material perspective; the top portion is antler while the bottom, beneath the irregular edge, is more bone-like. Each reacted differently during carving and polishing. I'm really fond of this piece- it has a quietness about it that people seem to pick up on, but is impossible to convey in photographs.


carlysian said...

This is a really beautiful netsuke, Doug! I love how you've expertly incorporated the porosity of the material into the design and made it a beautiful feature of the piece. Gorgeous!!

I really like your blog site and look forward to seeing more of your work as you develop it.

cheers ;0)

Doug Sanders said...

Nice to hear from you Sian. The porous core did indeed work out as planned. If you've got a piece with a large porous center, in my mind it makes sense to utilize it within the design. Otherwise, I think there's a tendency to treat antler as if it were another hard white substance akin to ivory. There's also some delicate stippling and coloring to extend the darker core out and over the owl's shoulders. Not all was left to fate :)