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chinese sacred animal box
By hibbary   |   Watch
169 113 16K (1 Today)
Published: January 14, 2005
© 2005 - 2019 hibbary
I made this the last day of metals class just to have something for critique. For a three hour endevour, it turned out rather well. The shapes represent the four sacred chinese animals, the dragon, the tortoise, the ki'lin, and the pheonix. It's just a little, tiny, lidless box.

Ah, before I get any more comments on this, I drew my sources for the four animals from a book. Two folk now say that the unicorn-type beast ought to be a tiger instead. I'm not saying that other people are wrong; the book could very well be. Or it could be either depending on where you are in the country or depending on the era you draw from. That's the way of culture. In anycase, if I'm totally off, I apologize, especially if I offend someone over it. I really didn't want to. I thought I could trust published material, but I guess not. On the matter of the tortoise, I know the oriental depiction is very different, but I decided on a more realistic one just out of artistic choice. I liked the large, positive space, and had it had that long neck in there, it would have a different shape than I wanted.
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Comments (113)
OceanSpiritDragon's avatar
OceanSpiritDragon|Student Traditional Artist
Nice. I like how the metal turned out to look rather old/tarnished/splotched, was that a property of the metal or something else?

Well, just my 2 cents, but there are two beast... Patheons, I guess. The ones having a gripe about the qilin/tiger thing are probably thinking of the more well-known Four Gods ((even then, white tiger gets replaced by qilin sometimes!)) rather then the "Gentleman Beasts," which seem to be depicted here. If the book mentioned constellations, then it's probably 4 Gods.
... Plus, the Vermillion Sparrow, contrary to popular belief, is NOT a phoenix.
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Alislam274's avatar
Alislam274|Student Traditional Artist
this is really cool
i recently started a metal shop class and its such an intimidating experience =/ 
may i ask how you were able to make such smooth and detailed cuts? i really want to learn how to do that 
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hibbary's avatar
hibbary|Professional General Artist
Being as this was my first big project I'm sure I just broke dozens of jewelry blades. :D    I think for this one I rolled out my metal to slightly thinner than whatever thickness  we got in the campus store and then fully annealed it for very easy sawing. The metal just cut like butter. You can harden up the metal after it's been constructed. 
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GoGo-T-W's avatar
GoGo-T-W| Traditional Artist
This is lovely. It looks like it would make a good candle votive.
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Wyrdhaven's avatar
Wyrdhaven|Professional Artisan Crafter
As a metalworker myself, I have to say that this is really good, and lovely to boot.
(Those are not always the same thing. Plenty of "good" work is ugly. This is not.)

Regardless of the theoretical accuracy of the symbolism, I feel that you got the concept across very well, and I envy your ability to work through the design (drawing the outlines) phase so quickly.

Also - For cryin' out loud, would it kill people to read either the artist comments or maybe three other posts? Yeesh. The idea that it "should have been a tiger!" is NOT new. Wow.
How do you not completely freak out at people on a regular basis?
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Myct's avatar
erm... the four sacred animal are dragon, tortoise, phoenix and " tiger ". Kylin is not one of them...
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kazminya's avatar
kazminya|Hobbyist General Artist
they look cool. put a tea light candle in 'em and boom you got nifty holders...:)
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superpower-pnut's avatar
Feh. A Ki'rin was a sacred beast in it's own right-it's said that one walked by an emperor as he meditated, compelling him to copy the markings on it's back, thus creating chinese calligraphy
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AiMeiLing's avatar
Waaa...pretty I want them haha ^^"
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Nikki9Tails's avatar
Nikki9Tails|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
But i'm usually wrong ^-^ the design is still so very stunning. love it
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Nikki9Tails's avatar
Nikki9Tails|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i thought the four animals were of the phoenix to the north, dragon of the east, tiger of the south and turtle of the west. It has something to do with the area protection...but i can't remember, And knowing me, this has already been said... :)
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dragonspeaker's avatar
dragonspeaker|Hobbyist General Artist
That is beautiful. :)
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greenfroggies's avatar
absolutely fantastic :D
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mafagafa's avatar
mafagafa|Professional Digital Artist
Oh that´s soooo coooollllll!!!i wanna one of those for me!!!
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hippogriffon's avatar
This is a great work ! I would like to have the same ;-)
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NRock's avatar
NRock|Hobbyist General Artist
it would be really cool to stick a candle in it and turn it into a center peice on a coffee table or something.

despite historical acuracy, i like it a lot. if you don't tell anyone, i doub't that they will know about the 4 animal thing.

i would buy something like that:)
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RedWinged-Blackbird's avatar
RedWinged-Blackbird|Student Digital Artist
you coul use it as a candleholder! ^_^
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entanglement's avatar
entanglement|Professional Artisan Crafter
Oooh... lovely!
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thejackbull's avatar
thejackbull|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It looks awesome to me. I cant believe anyone would object to it?
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wickedorin's avatar
wickedorin|Professional General Artist
So, so lovely. The shapes and the color are just... there' ssomething about it. Magical.
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2493's avatar
2493|Professional Photographer
Ohh~they re excellent!!! Fantastic!!
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lynne's avatar
It looks real nice! ^_^ Awesome job! And yeah, from what I've read, the four sacred animals are the Dragon, Unicorn, Phoenix, and Tortoise. That's what I got from a published book as well; so it's always been my assumption.
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feitian's avatar
feitian|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey, very nicely done. ^^
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anonymous's avatar
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