Dragon Netsuke

Every now and then I am asked to make a carving that reproduces an existing piece – a challenge within itself, but, never the more so when the sculpture in question is the work of a master…….

…..such was the case with the Dragon Netsuke.

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Already a well known piece within the genre, this example of netsuke carving is deeply embedded within the cultural traditions of the Japanese people. Showing the sinuous form of a dragon curled around a hollow tree, this creature has a character filled with elemental energy and mischievous, knowing wit.

As close to the original in size and form as possible the carving is only 9cm long and is filled with detail that strongly brings out the form, flow and character of the dragon…….without wishing to use ivory, as the original artist had, I turned to an especially bright and solid tine of Pere David antler – luckily, the hardness of this particular tine allowed for the detail and form to marry naturally with the material.

It was the perfect challenge, and, as it turned out, very satisfying to make. Infact it was a joy – I will let the carving tell you the rest of its story……..

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