Tuesday 1 November 2011

Atslan Craft

With ATSLAN craft I place great importance on the raw natural materials used. The image below will give you a feel for the timeless materials that have been used for a wide range of ornate and practical crafts through the ages. I don't wish to be limited to just these materials, but at present I am still exploring their potentials whilst looking for other materials to carve.

The deer antler is from "Sika Deer" also known as Japanese deer and was picked up by a friend from the hills of Yamanashi prefecture. The large leg bone and black horn are from water buffalo, these materials I collect in Nepal. The Areca nut (commonly referred to as Betel nut) is also sourced in Nepal. Although I have worked with several different woods, the two samples in the photo are Ipe (a large tropical hardwood from South America) and Boxwood (a small native tree and possibly one of the hardest in Europe).

I am always looking for new and interesting materials to work with, not just for pendants, but also all the beads, toggles and buckles that make up important parts on bags and pouches. The image below shows simple buckle rings crafted from water buffalo bone and water buffalo horn. Wrought iron is a material that I am extremely interested in (specifically for buckles) but without the neccessary skills or access to a foundry, I will have to rely on working with other craftsmen.

Areca nut is a material that is fairly new to me in terms of craft use. It's soft woodlike texture makes it fairly easy to work with and provides a beautifully unique pattern and texture each time. Areca nut is commonly called BETEL NUT although it is neither a nut nor from the Asian evergreen climbing plant called Betel. Areca is a tropical Asian palm.

The photo below shows a range of pendants made from the selection of natural materials in the first photo. I will continue using these materials in as many new and interesting ways as possible and continue the search for further organic materials that can be added to my stash.