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Shibuichi And Silver Chasaji (Tea-Scoop)

Jim Kelso

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Snowflakes and snow in general are a particular fascination of mine and I've wanted to use that theme in these materials for a number of years.


"How full of the creative genius is the air in which these are generated! I should hardly admire them more if real stars fell and lodged on my coat." H.D. Thoreau, Journal, 1856


The main piece is 50/50 (copper/silver) shibuichi from Phil Baldwin. Two snowflake inlays in fine (pure) silver and one small inlay of 70/30 (copper/silver) shibuichi. Also a bunch of inlayed and chased fine-silver wire bits using five sizes of wire from 22g to 30g.


This piece has been one of my most demanding both in design and technique. It's the most abstract work I've done. I decided to make the snowflakes mostly of the "plate" type as I thought that more solid form would contribute to the layering effect I wanted. Also the more feathery type of flake would be beyond my capability to render at this scale! The hexagons also had to be very convincingly symmetrical.


Although I took design hints from a silver vase by Nakagawa Joeki in the catalogue Flowers Of The Chisel from Malcolm Fairley Gallery, I had to make many decisions about materials, placement, depth etc. relating to this form. The Shadow-Master (wife Jean) was indispensable as usual, especially in the placement and size of elements.


Here is a link to more photos:



And a tutorial showing the inlaying of a silver crystal:





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This is so lovely. In the middle of the summer the thought of the bountiful snow of the past winter, and the beautiful personalities of each different snow fall is quite a nice pairing of your carved flakes and the memories.


The work appears to be flawless, which for me is calming.


Thank you for these images.



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