Rock Art > Carvings and Sculptures

Carving up to April 2012

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OK, lets start as far back as the record allows.
As my work tends to be more on the carving side, I think this would be the way I would like to present myself, and will add to it as we go along.

This year started with cabbing, and repeated heavy-handed and clumsy hands leading to simple carving.

At the beginning, it was mostly simple lines to save either broken or waste pieces. Snakes eventually lead the way to a little more.

Then came a multitude of shapes and materials. Raching for the stars and sometimes getting close. LOL

But my favorites for this year must be the following

I love the simple ones, where you got a natural background and then just framing it. But I do have to admit that I mostly wear the "Giving a Hand" and the " Key"!

I just ordered some nice Indonesian coral, so I thought I should give it a try.

Nice blue color, but the color got lost along the way or at least largely faded.

During the making of the above star I got delivery of some seemingly nice Tiger Eye, so I thought I should try it out and try another star. So if the coral did not work out I would still have another in replacement and could learn from any mistake working on either one.

In the end I ended up with two viable pendants: The coral was well received and the Tiger Eye is far beyond my expectations. I thought the beads I wear since nearly 3 years are of good quality, but this chatoyancy of this piece is far better than what I had seen thus far. But then, this is the way I see it; you be the judge.

All pictures thus far are both sides and taken at the lowest ASA setting. Any higher settings and the color is nowhere close to the color I see at hand.
Each side is represented by one row of pics.

The last picture shows higher ASA setting.

For a change,  this one is ready to wear and ready for it now.

Started out as an idea of an oval, turned into something else and grew on me over time to be yet again given meaning to me, and named it again.

"Safe Tonight" I leave interpretation of that to you. But it was suggested by the person for whom I made the coral star, that it reminded her of "Mother and Child"in a very absytract way.

Here is the fantastic slab I got from Bob and 2 insets of progress along the way:

My favorite picture of the finished cab:

Again; every turn and background gives new reason to explore:

And ready to be worn. Over the weekend, I remembered having seen this pendant and I went back to the shop yesterday only to find out that it fits perfectly. At first, I was worried that running the chain behind the cab would make it tilt. But as it turns out, it barely affects the cab at all when hanging free.

So, thats it for a while. gotta concentrate on work for the next few weeks. Have to stage 3 different Christmas-plays in different schools aside of regular work.

A piece of scrap, an idea born out of fantasy, a little time and hurt fingers from long sanding are all the costs going into this Montana.

Born of fantasy, yet I was told a few days ago by a former Gurka (Nepalese Army, someone who always caries knives, yet claims to only ever draw a blade when there is blood to be let. Dont ever get into a fight with those guys. LOL), that a "Ceremonial Short-Sword" exists that looks apparently similar.

As I was on te road the past few days (as some of you know; I play Santa in shopping Malls) quite a few people saw me sanding the final stages. The remark " It looks like plastic", for once I take it as a compliment! I wish I could capture the light-play in different light-conditions. I really have to pay more attention to possible light-plays in those stones. Only then, can its full potential be realized.

From Scrap we start;

to reach the promise the stone holds for us

Details have to be getting better over time

Only to be left with the hardest choice; Which picture to choose as your favorite

Bittersweet Montana

Now there is a trouble at its best. A 3 week conundrum has finally worn out my patience. Started out with an idea of creating some beeswax and planned to create a bee later. After realizing yet again as to how poor my drawing skills are, I struggled getting a proper even seized wax-design. Once done I cut it out, and promptly the whole slab fell apart.

Picking up the pieces, I decided to try my hand at two different styles and shapes just for practice. Had a heck of a time with getting and working the negative areas. Eventually disaster struck yet again in a careless moment, and swept the drop-shape of the table onto a tile floor. Naturally in broke right through the middle.

The second shape progressed slowly (it took me more than two weeks) along the first, but at least remained in one piece.

So after considering the time already invested, I decided to give the drop a try and glued it together to see if it would be worthwhile to get the Hxtal out. Alas, the break is too easy to see, so I did not finish digging out the honey-drop running down as planned, and just finished off the cab with a reasonable finish at all positive surfaces. It would have been my favorite between those two, but now; it’s a keeper only in serving as example for future projects.

The second cab worked out reasonably well, but still could use another week of small-scale sanding to really make it presentable. Maybe some other time, have run out of patience for it and want to start something new. LOL

And finally the best shots this morning:

By the end of the day it becomes painfully  clear that the sword was a one off. I got lucky the way it worked out and the pictures where nice too. Now its catch up time, its time to really learn to produce cabs in that quality at all times. That in turn means that it is going to take substantially longer to finish every cab.


Had this one started nearly 8 months ago and got stuck fairly quickly.

This week I found it again and had a try finishing it. Got most of the fins and the body pretty much right but I'm not happy with the back-fin,... and the face,.... no need to say more. Will have to get back to that once I learned how.

My biggest nemesis thus far, heads and faces. Still have a long way to go, but first I want to continue practicing getting more movement into my work.

--- Quote from: skystone on January 13, 2012, 07:44:37 PM ---The problem with that picture for Kurts Koi. The head is almost stright on. Kruts is turned to the side. Mike
--- End quote ---

That's the least of the problems. LOL Have enough imagination to turn that around.
--- Quote from: helens on January 13, 2012, 04:00:18 PM ---Kurt, did you see this? Just flip the photo, so the mouth faces left... and that's your fish:P
--- End quote ---

Helen: I cant thank you enough for that picture. I saw it this morning on my I-phone (lets me read and see, but not respond  dunno28)  on my way to work. I knew right away what I could do to improve that bugger. I'm clearly a "Monkey see monkey do" person. Give me two pages of explanation, and I'm standing there, like the proverbial bull/cow, in front of a new door. Give me a glimpse in form of a picture and I don't even have to look at it a second time (and I haven't !  yippie24)

So here is the new version, Streamlined the head, changed the eye a little, softened the transition between the head and body; but most of all, got rid of the lower lips. 

All in all, it took less than a half an hour to moove this piece from a "back-drawer piece" to contemplating on how to use it in a setting. LOLOL

Come to think of it, I don't even like to eat squid.  dunno28
But somehow I saw a tattoo of a squid on Google some time ago and had that on my my mind the past few weeks.

So as I needed some new project, plus a request from my elder daughter of something in Dino-Bone I started two projects. The first is done, the second possibly by Monday if I can figure out the last part without breaking it.

As a lot of people mentioned possible problems at working with Dino, I was basically on my toes the whole time, expecting something to break off or away. Luckily only one crystal fell out and nothing really broke off (a bit different on the other project LOL).

The biggest challenge was deciding the position of the tentacles. Literally stared at that thing for hours on end. Yet, still made one mistake by running the tentacle on the right over the Sucker (just googled the name for it LOLOL), thus making the 8th. tentacle impossible.

Here is the cutting process:

Then we got a walk-around:

Some pics with different backgrounds ( somehow the best colors where picked up by the camera as it was on an old impossible looking rug)

And last but not least; the best pictures I got today. (will try again and switch it in the future if, and when I manage)

It's not the best quality of stone, but just right for an experiment. Now two things remain: first I gotta learn how to take propper pictures to better show the actual carving. Second: Got to figure out if I should risk it and drill sideway at the tentacles or tail, or..... create a fish-hook of another material and add that as a hanging fixture (basically no drilling; just glue the pieces in place on either side at the tail-end)

Oh yeah, its 70 x 28mm in seize, so its rather large.

Here is my answer to the chicken or egg question.  lol15

Dino bone from the same slab as the squid earlier this week.
Had a lot more problems with that one as things continued to crumble and fall off, as well as cracks and folds turned up in unexpected places ( my inexperience with the material might have something to do with it too).

Was concentrating on the squid too much, so I don't have pictures of the rough or pre-shape. So here are some of the cutting stages:

Following some mishap on the front Wing, I attempted to keep the carving as shallow as possible:

In the end the difference between the top of the front wing, head and crown/horn and the inner curve of the back-wing is 1.4mm.



Meeting of destinies (found that little fella behind a flower-pot):

And finally my favorite shot (no sun today)

Lots of pictures as it is hard to get the contours. Looks fantastic at hand but pictures thus far are a bit of a letdown.

The style of cutting is new to me, but I think it should be something I will be investing more time to explore.

Cheated a little, by transferring the basic image via carbon-paper onto the stone. As you all know, I work by intuition not by planing, so its guranteed to look different in the end, but doing this original transver gives a big help in getting started.

Surprised myself by how easy it was to create the body. Then came the idea about “being on the rocks” to re-enforce the image of “fallen”. So I decided to frame the bottom with rocks. Was made a lot easier by the fact that I just recently found cup-shaped burrs.

But then the trouble really started. I thought of having a “helping hand” to the left and a demonic creature hovering to the right above. The hand was a bust and looked like one only from one specific angle. The demonic creature turned into something like a goat. Overall, it does not look so bad in the picture, but I quite hated the overall appearance of the piece at hand.

So, wasted over two days, trying to create hand and creature only to cut them out again. Simpler, but much more pleasant to the eye (and easier to wear, as its much lighter LOL). At least now, I think, someone would be actually willing to wear it.

Yipeeeeeeee, got a bonus!  ura12

During the first part of sanding, I realized that I got inadvertently two hidden creatures without even trying. The snake can only be seen backlit and the other reminds me of a stylized "Tribal tatoo" version of a horned dragon.

So after looking at the pictures yesterday and seeing the fantastic finishes in Ajo and Pete's posts it became clear that I will have to step it up. Luckyly, I posted the journey thus far and Helen saw it.  So after a quick re-cut and re-sanding all the way from 400 grid, here is the final result.

Not yet a "Graduation Piece", but I think I'm getting close

A quick fix, to give it a shot being worn by my usual victim  lol15

That brings us to 4 reasonable (for me anyway) pieces in 40 days. Unfortunately, I will have to concentrate on work the next few weeks, so I will hustle you less for your time for a while.

OK, so now after re-working several areas that I was in agreement with all the suggestions; here is the final version

Thanks for all the help, you guys/gals rock!


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