The new "Gilded Pearl" technique by Barry Lee Hands

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This S.R. Johnson fighter appears in "Blade " this month, the ornament is a new thing I dreamed up recently.
I hope you enjoy it.



All the best,
 
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Weldon47

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Barry,

Like I stated over on Steve's forum, I always enjoy your wonderful work.....this one is particularly elegant.

WL
 

eastslope

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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
 

fegarex

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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.....
Thanks,
Rex
 
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Thanks guys,
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.
Thanks again.
All the best,
 
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fegarex

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Sure...
Keep us in the dark...
:)
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?
 
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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.
 
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ddushane

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Barry, I got my copy of Blade last week and saw it, I was amazed. Your work is flawless. Beautiful in every aspect. Thanks for the awesome closeup as well.

Dwayne
 

Roger Bleile

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Barry,

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 for sharing the story and pictures,

Roger
 
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Thanks Andrew, and DD,
and Roger,
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:

http://www.handengravingclasses.com/#Barry Lee Hands Engraving Studios

here is a work in progress, please excuse the taped up blade:



wishing you all the best,
 
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Thanks guys,
Rod posted this somewhere else, and I couldn't resist bringing it and my reply over here:

rod said:
Barry,

This work is stunning in every way, and very inspiring! Your photography is always a match for the quality of the piece, so we can get deeply into it as viewers.

You have the 'warrior' instinct in a Jungian sense, and a wonderful balance of creative artistry, fearlessness, and speed.

...and, oh yeah, good picker on the guitar!

Let me know if you ever plan to get back to the Mendocino Coast?

best

Rod
Thanks Rod,
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











 
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sam

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Quality design and quality cutting. This is a real showpiece, Barry. Congratulations! Stunning work.
 

KCSteve

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Thanks for the work in progress pictures!

I'm struck by how clean and smooth your cuts are in the early pictures. Not that it's unexpected, just that the picture captured it so well.

Glad to hear that your technique is documented and won't be lost. Keeping the fruits of your labor yours is quite sensible, but it's good to ensure it's survival.
 
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It is a shame that the best thing about a secret is that they are always forgotten.
True ... but then there is the excitement of re-living history when the lost art is re-discovered.

Here's a hint .... the sticks in hand held fans and antique oriental chop sticks. Both have exhibited gold inlay in ivory that I am certain of.


Great work again Barry. A fantastic work of art and thank-you for posting some in progress picks. A kudos on both forums is certainly not re-redundant.

Chris
 
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