Seeing in Reverse



In grappling with making a stamped white cat there was the obvious option of carving the image in reverse so that the lines remain and the rest is carved away. It is not how I usually carve, so thinking this way is a challenge. Lines tend to become wider because extremely fine lines become unstable. That’s not entirely true. They have to be carved at an angle leaving a wider base for stability, which can be done more easily for straight lines and open areas. And some of it comes down to comfort and skill. I’ve seen plenty of negative carving, much of it Japanese, that is exquisitely done in miniature. It tends to be done with an X-acto blade. It baffles me.

I think she loses some of the delicacy and subtlety. Regardless, this was an interesting exercise. I feel a little more confident now using this technique. Practice, practice, practice. Especially those things that we fear.


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