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Seal carving!

You may know that I am a keen Chinese Brush Painter. To finish my artwork I love to use a seal or chop.

These seals can be your name or studio name. Other seals I use have short mottos or poems.

When I saw that Worthing Museum was running a seal carving workshop I jumped at the chance.

The lovely Nao was the teacher for the session, she usually works and teaches in London.

She ran through the process with us to prepare the stone ready for carving.

First I took a fine sandpaper and ground down one end on the surface of my soapstone block, to create a smooth finish. Then I had to cover this surface with an orange ink.

While the ink is drying I got down to designing my seal. Although Nao showed me how to write my name in Japanese calligraphy I thought I would use my initials.

I tried several variations on squared paper and decided on my final image.

I then had to trace my design on to the stone so I could carve it….and it would then print the right way around!

Carving was done with a metal chisel which slowly ‘nicks’ out the design.

I decided to carve my design in Hakubun, which means carving out the lines so the letters stay white.

I then prepared the opposite end of my stone in the same way as before.

This time I carved the same design in Shubun, which means that the letters print red and the background is carved away to be white.

I still need a lot more practice getting my carving neat, but I’m really pleased with the results.

Blog you later....


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