That is a beautiful knife. Wow! Thanks for sharing. Very cool photograph also, although I would have used buffalo's or eagles instead of the canadian maple leaf's; it being around independance day and all. Thanks for giving us a look, Seth
Really nice Barrry.
I guess I was under the assumption that the MOP would/could chip or flake if you tried to inlay it. Was this an issue? How do you handle the channel to inlay the gold in the MOP? Inquiry minds would like to know.....
Rex, I promised one of my students I wouldn't post the technique online, however I can tell you what it is and how I came up with it.
I call this " Gilded Pearl Technique"
It is an original technique that I learned myself.
It is partly inspired by work I had seen in Japan where gold is combined with pearl and other things, but the style is mine, which I developed in my work in the gun and knife business in the USA.
There are of course, many influences that you can plainly see.
As you know I was trained in the USA as an engraver in the 1970's and 1980's.
I have traveled to many places studying damascene and engraving including Japan, England, Italy, Egypt , China, Thailand, and Indonesia.
This technique is a combination of all I learned before, using special tools made solely for this purpose.
When I first imagined it I was in Japan at this traditional hotel near Sekei city: http://www.ccn2.aitai.ne.jp/~akane/tanken.html
It was early in the morning,and I was meditating in this little garden.
I had been studying the Damascene in Kobe, and visiting a father and son in Sekei who make and engrave Samurai swords.
There were all these various techniques floating around in my head.
White pearl kept popping into my mind, and the damascene doors from the Ali Hussein Mosque in Cairo, japanese damascene, arabesque leaves, All these differing images were disturbing my meditations.
Suddenly in my mind the gold appeared in the pearl, and the tools, special tools, for gilding the pearl appeared before me like they were floating in the air, like a vision.
When I arrived home weeks later, I had forgotten all about it.
Steve Lindsay soon called and asked if I would be interested in this knife job for a client of his, I said yes, and he sent me the knife.
When it arrived a few days later, I opened the package.
It had the same white pearl I had imagined.
The hair stood up on the back of my neck as everything came back to me.
I made the tools and went to work.
That was about two years ago.
All the best,
What about the "risk factor" doing the MOP? I would think that no matter what you did or how careful you were, there might be a risk of chipping/flaking. I don't know much about the material however. Are there different grades or do you just hope and pray?
Yes, hehe, I have kept this in the dark. . . .
I did this quite a while ago, I would not even have released the photo if Steve Lindsay had not asked me to, and since he referred the work to me, I agreed. Now that its in Blade and the Lindsay Forum I thought I should share it here also.
The very light touch of the Lindsay handpiece makes it a lot easier to accomplish, I did all the airwork with a Palm control, or Artisan.
As to the MOP:
It is very easy to chip, and crack, and break.
The best is white and yellow, the black lip is more difficult.
It is also the most time consuming thing I have done, the pricing reflects it.
It needs to be done perfectly, and the first time.
This work is astounding! I feel that when an artist personally develops a technique that makes his or her work unique it is quite right to keep it under wraps during their career. I hope that you will make some provision to pass it on some day which I gather you have to at least one student.
Thanks Andrew, and DD,
When a student is here, I have no secrets.
My class content is tailored to the individual, and the outline for the course is based on what they require.
I only have room for two or three each year, they seem to usually be jewelers and I have had one that wanted to learn this " Gilded Pearl" technique, we made tools and did a little practice, so its out there somewhere.
here is a link to my classes:
In regards to Jung, I believe his ideas on the individuation of the personality,that is, self fulfillment by individualization outside the collective personality to fulfill ones potential, is an excellent parallel to the fulfillment of ones artistic personality in relation to the "structure" of the Arts in which we all work, which we as engravers may refer to as developing ones own personal style, or as an artist, "listening to ones own muse"?
Rod, I would love to get back to Mendocino, the first time I was there was in '68 camping with my parents in a vw microbus.
I cant remember the last time, maybe '76 or so?
I still have some things I picked up on glass beach. . . . .
My mother used to teach Raku classes on the beach there with portable diesel fired kiln, and I would assist, we would douse the hot pots in seaweed to get the colors . . . .
What a long strange trip its been.
here are some more pics of the bolsters being engraved:
1, the Drawing
2, the acetone transfers ready to go
3, transfered and ready to cut
4, the stems being laid in
5, the leaves being laid in
6, the cavities finished
7, undercut, then sanded with paper
8, teeth are laid in, gold sheet is installed
9, gold wire is installed
10, gold is sanded
11, then relieved, stippled, sculpted, shaded
12, and finished