Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Remembering Japanese wood carver Susumo Ito

Let's get ourselves culturefied for a few minutes. Thirty minutes, if you have that many to spare.

David Bull reminds Americans viewers of Bob Ross who are nevertheless impressed with his engaging story telling. I saw this video on a British site where they have no such comparison to make. My favorite part is his laughter at the end. It's cute, the things that strike him as wrongly funny. While portions I honestly wondered how he managed continuing dredging up details without breaking down in tears.

He describes these Japanese craftsmen as particularly unique kind of jerks. When the carver refused a ride in the rain I was wondering first if he was having some physical difficulty and didn't care to stink up the cab. And secondly if he sensed his time limited and wanted to be in the pouring rain.

Sometimes it feels really good to be in the wind and the rain, to feel the wind raise the hair on your arms sending chill through your bones and feel the drops hitting your skin, wish for a lightning strike to connect you directly to God.

Less so when you imagine a thousand more of them to you and would rather be warm and dry. Like everyone else in the van. Go away, go away, grumph, get out, just go already. Leave me alone.

Lastly, what a shame the old man bequeaths a few of his tools to another aging man. How long can the new guy have them to appreciate? He chanced on the perfect and persistent man to give them. Still, a bit of a shame that special someone isn't a lot younger. To have the objects longer. I guess it doesn't make any difference one way or another.

If you decide to stick with this, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do, the British site where this video is a favorite, and YouTube viewers to whom it was suggested, and against their own instincts actually liked it, and me.


Sixty Grit said...

I spent part of the afternoon sharpening tools - plane irons and chisels. The philosophy is - it doesn't matter what type of stone you use, whether you sharpen to a concave, straight or convex edge, nor how long you hone - the only thing that matters is that a sharp edge is invisible - it does not reflect light.

I am working in white oak - very hard stuff, so sharp tools are a necessity.

MamaM said...

I watched the whole thing, wondering throughout if, following the individual portrayals suggested several days ago, a composite character had been found to represent the mostly male commentariat at Lem's Levity?

ricpic said...

I think of all the print-work I love woodcuts most. So hard edged, so bold. From Durer to the great moderns Kirchner, Schmidt-Rutloff and Barlach the Germans have been particularly drawn - get it? - to the woodcut.

As to this place being mostly male, it was moi, the great ricpic, who implored the ladies to come out of the woodwork and contribute with greater frequency. Oh well, at least I tried.

Sixty Grit said...

Ya done good, RP, but it takes a woman with a forgiving nature and one who is made of stern stuff to hang amongst this crowd. Women of Lem's, I salute you. Both of you.