For a while now I have been working on a new netsuke. I decided to try my hand at a manju netsuke and do a bit of relief carving. I also wanted to try doing some inlay work, juxtaposing the dark cloudy ebony with silvery mother of pearl.
The photos here show the piece as it currently stands. The basic form is complete and the clouds have been carved so that the inlay could be fitted. I spent a long time deliberating over how the clouds should be represented and sketching different forms. In the end I took inspiration from Manju netsuke attributed to Ryûsa and others by Kou which can be seen here.
The next stage will be to add the critter I’m planning in the bottom right. I’m carving it into the wood to start to see how it looks. If it isn’t defined enough I might try inlaying it in a dark material, possible jet of black horn. The background will require more texture to give more depth and then the base of the manju will be textured to make it more interesting. How long I expect this to take me isn’t clear. I’m working full time in a new job so I don’t expect it to be finished before Christmas really. Once it is it will be posted here, and may be for sale!