Friday, January 7, 2011

Horse Chestnut

For those who are familiar with my work, it is clear that I enjoy nuts as subject matter. I've done ginko nuts, hickory nuts, acorns and chestnuts. This is the second horse chestnut I've carved- the first was years ago and was sold at the 2005 International Netsuke Society Convention fund raising auction. I think it may have changed hands since then as well. The title was "Retired Conker".

Rather than letting my mind wander too much for this one, I settled on a straight-forward representational carving. If you look closely at these nuts- really close- there are enough textures and subtleties to keep one very busy and puzzled as to how to best convey such things. There's the beautiful contrast between the waxy, slightly greasy surface (not quite smooth- almost like leather) covering the bulk of the nut, and the matte, rougher area at the top.
The finished piece is in boxwood, with some subtle texturing and coloring steps added. It measures about 3.5 cm at the widest; same as the real McCoy.

No comments: