I’ve been remiss in not posting sooner as to my goings on up here at Mark Grable’s place. What can I say? Lots of interesting stuff to do, sake, and a poor cell connection (though I have internet access). Its been fascinating for me to hear a bit more about the time that Yataiki spent in Iowa teaching, how he made his aesthetic decisions, the many skills he engaged in other than saw making, including the above calligraphy.
Working on a wood floor is so very nice! With my tool box right behind me everything is generally within easy reach.
Here’s a little entryway vestibule that Mark built not that long ago, looks good on a house in Vermont.
There are some black locust trees recently felled on the opposing side of the pond from the house, leaving a stump large enough to make an usu for mochitsuki. Lots of work for me carving with a chainsaw, sucking fumes which does tend to reck that peaceful feeling of working in the woods.
Once the stump was cut free from the ground I was able to lay the usu on its side on top of a wheel barrow and carve the bowl with the tip of the chainsaw, rotating the bowl as I worked to keep the cutting action to the bottom of the chain which cut properly down the grain.
Of course, pounding delicious sweet rice into mocha requires a wooden mallet, called a kine, which I also have begun to shape out of black locust. Seriously dense stuff! I’m kinda having a love affair with this locust at the moment.
Mark’s hizumi anvils for saw work. The steel anvil on the right is from Japan, makes a very beautiful sound when struck by a hammer, seriously hard, sent by Yataiki. Evidently it belonged to a blacksmith friend of his who passed on.
Quite a gentle radius of curvature.
Curved evenly on both axis.
I needed a hatchet to split up some kindling and Mark had an un-hafted one lying around, so more black locust and a fun morning spent shaping a handle with my Gransfors Bruks 1900 series broad axe, which is small enough to use one handed as a side hatchet. Its green wood so I coated the whole thing with hot paraffin wax to prevent splitting and slow the drying.
In Mark’s shop there is stuff like this lying around.
And when you look up you see koyabari.
In addition Steve commented on an earlier post of mine about an inscription on one of my maebiki oga in Japanese, one of the most excellent and greatly appreciated blog comments of all time I should think, and entirely worth sharing.
“The song lyrics inscribed on your saw are of a folk song from Miyazaki Prefecture, in Kyushu Japan. This song would be sung by the workers using this saw. My wife is translating and researching the meaning of the lyrics for me. Old Japanese can be debated like old english as to the true meaning.
The lyrics are are a reflectlion of the the life of sawyer working in the mountain side. There is a story within the song of an older sister marrying to a sawyer, and being drawn apart from her younger sister. It seems as though there is a comparison being made to the seperating of the trees from the mountain side, as the workers remove trees belonging to the same family.
My wife (Japanese ) has trouble to understand the song, as the lyrics are from a bygone era.”
This is link to a performance of the song:
“Hyuga Kibiki Uta” (songs name)