The “face model” photos from various angles

Here are some photos taken from different angles of the work you have seen in the series of videos “From middle to finishing processes of a face model”. I hope this will help you when you carve a face.

This face is about the size of a face of an okimono (figurine) of some 20cm high, much larger than that of a netsuke. (My father made this large model so that all the parts of the face can be seen clearly.)

Such a large face is difficult to carve, unlike a netsuke, which my father was able to do because he had been trained in okimono carving. He says that, just because artists can carve a netsuke doesn’t mean they can carve a beautiful face of this size.

Incidentally, my father has aimed at making the faces of great Japanese actresses of the past, Yamada Isuzu (1917-2012) and Hanayagi Kogiku (1921-2011) when they were young. However, if an oval face like theirs were realistically reproduced in carving, the upper lip would look too long, and other parts of the face would have to be modified.

In particular, a face as small as a netsuke’s must have a short upper lip, otherwise the face will look disproportioned (with parts somewhat far apart). Also, to carve an oval face, the nose needs to be made longer, which would also result in a disproportioned face.

Moreover, not everyone likes an oval face, so my father went through many twists and turns to arrive at the kind of face he has been carving these days.

The bottom of the piece is inscribed
“mammoth tusk” in Japanese.
My father doesn’t usually carve the
name of the material on his work,
but this time he wanted to make it
clear that it was mammoth tusk
and not ivory.