Rock Art > Carvings and Sculptures

May 2012 to August


Hallo everyone,

finally got something to show for myself again. Oh my, just realized that I'm now down to two pieces a month, yet spend more time than ever on this hobby.  dunno28 Took over 2 weeks and was a long way coming. Attempted several new things this time round.

Unknown material, Drusy face, double material and smallest seize yet (16 millimeter from tail to head for the black frog).

Got this material as an extra in a shipment last year and considered it for a lot of different things. I even got started last year with having a snake coming from behind with the head being where the frog sits now. Put it aside and a few months ago I thought of creating the head of a panther but realized after a few cuts that the overhang (over the drusy) is too low. So I put it away again.

While I was working on the last guitar, I somehow picked it up yet again and somehow got the idea of a frog sitting on a leaf.

The guitar was not yet finished (still is not, still waiting for being strung with gold-strings LOL), as I started to look at pictures of frogs. Started with the hind-legs only to realize that their position would not line up with the highest points for the head. Luckily, picked it up again and redid the hind-legs.

We had a B'day party in the house, so my usual workstation was off limits. Went upstairs and between digging I rummaged in my box of "Failures past"  Came across some pieces of pietersite I broke years ago and decided that one of them had a perfect fit for a second frog emerging from the water. It also gives a very colorful contrast to the otherwise dark appearance of the piece overall.

Shaping the base

Walk around after polish and second frog glued into the base

Closer view

I thought I'm done, but looking at the pictures now it becomes clear that more needs to be done at the level of the front legs (maybe even cutting through all together and deepen the spaced between the toes as well as smoothen out the surfaces around the frog.

In any case, no picture can really show the fascination this exudes.
Even across the room, the black frog shines (glassy, not plastic for a change) in the room-light. With every move you make a glitter (slightly bronze colored) comes from different parts of the druzy surface. And finally you see and notice that red/yellow/blue googly-eyed creature (at some angles looking more like a snake LOL) .

Its a piece that needs to be worn. Only when in movement can every facet of it be really enjoyed and noticed.

Now, its back at it and sort out the remaining issues to ensue that the pictures are showing what the eye can see. LOL   

Got really messed up in trying to find new material and got so involved that I only started a new project yesterday. 3 weeks without project; it seems that lasted forever.

Sara gave me an idea with her name-change to her darker alter-ego, and as it happens, the metal/mineral that I found recently has the perfect color to try and portray a bat.

Still don't know what it is, but.......

Lets get started and find out later.....

Rough as I broke it out of the seam/vain in the granite, and windowed down to the metal/mineral.

Color-play of the surface

And stage one as the front-wing comes to bear fruit.

Next; get the shoulder right and then the wing underneath. Should have some update by late weekend if things go my way.
Gave up fairly quickly today as I'm still unsure as to how to create the head. Want it turned slightly to the left (as seen in picture to utilize all the material), and needs to fit perfectly as this piece should be carved in the round. Will try again tomorrow.

In the meantime, redid and undercut the front-wing a bit more plus defined the shoulder.

I knew that heads and faces are problematic, but this thing is driving me nuts. One week, and all I got is a basic half head. Never realized how much a single scratch can change the whole overall appearance. Now to top it off, it looks like that I don't have enough thickness to complete the head in the round (I miss-judged it by about a millimeter). That in turn means that I will have the back either unfinished flat or, I do all the naughty bits, minus a small part of the head.

Here we go, stage 2 and 2.5

So now that the carving back and front is finally done and I know that I can realize what I planed for; here is some roundabout on the head.

And done for now

Till here for now, the back of the bat will be revealed once completely done up and once I can take pictures that can convey as to why I'm on cloud 9 right now
Its taken a bit more than 4 weeks from finding the material till wearing it today, but I think it was well worth it.
So here finally the back and everything else:

The back

Shadow and color play (first row outdoor in shadow and lower shots indoor)

Roundabout shots in the sun

Best closeup's. My picture taking is not the best, but you get the idea, plus this material drives me nuts with all those reflections.

And finally, worn by my usual victim

Final words to be said: This piece could be smoother, some lines could be cleaned up, the back could be straightened, etc...... BUT, I belief its exactly those things plus the natural faults within the material, that gives this piece a character that I could not have given it intentionally. The back in particular has, because of them, the illusion of portraying movement. As you can see in the serial pictures above, the back seems to look slightly different with every single change of angle. I have to admit, this was not planed at all, but while sanding I realized what I had done and left it alone while correcting other things. This might be seen or taken as fault, but I dare to promise that it looks fantastic when at hand and the shadows move across the back as a whole.

I also had doubts about suitability of giving it (how did Sara call it ?) "A full moon over Kansas", but looking at it now, it seems rather natural than overly sensual.

Thanks for again for all the support along the way, its great to be here, Kurt

Daniels Indonesian Chrysocolla.


Day 2

Spend a lot of time on it today, and man, is this material (dark blue) hard. I used up nearly 10 pins and it seems like nothing has happen when looking at the pictures.

 I got started with the background and was able to place one foot on the bamboo-pole. Second one will have to wait till Sunday as I got other work to do for a change until then. I'm thinking of having Lizzie's front foot holding on/ reaching into the top of the pole.

The little fella at the top right corner has kept me company for the whole week. At one time giving me a scare by passing by right under my legs as I was grinding. LOL

Also finished my mice today. Needed to be done with today so I can finally clean my fingernails and keep then clean.

The main mouse turned into a virtual mirror. By the way if you where wondering; we are looking at the final seize of my average fingernail.

That one was a little trickier as it involved a tail, this one is attempt number 8. I finally got it right after shortening all my burrs by a good three quarters of an inch, to minimize any vibration.

Thanks for looking,..... now lets get sanding Lizzy to see what I gotta change, Kurt

The biggest thanks for making this piece possible has to go to our friend Daniel from Indonesia. Simply because originally, I asked him to select some special material from Indonesia, and post pictures for me to select. He did so but I choose anything but the Chrysocolla. Only after his insistence on filling out the box with it anyway I relented and agreed. The only other time I worked with this kind of material, I already broke it during cutting the basic tail-shape of my first attempt of doing the “Squid”. The Dino-bone was the second choice, so despite knowing that it can look fantastic, I was not too interested.

Lucky me, Daniels material is absolutely nothing like the other material I had/have. This material does have several different colors, each with its own hardness, and has a few pits (top of head and right front leg) that I was not able to remove completely, but is otherwise extremely solid. Not one crack developed throughout working it and nothing at all at any time crumbled away (even at the porous areas). It held up wonderfully even though at places (like the Calla head) it is cut down to a quarter of a millimeter and hence made translucent. I could imagine someone more experienced to work that material into a cup or chalice at a thickness of less than an egg-shell. 

Got lazy with taking pictures after that, so here we go to just befor the final finish.

The blue and red colors on Lizzy are so intermingled that they turn to a literal purple indoors when the ambient light is yellow (pic number 4).  Picture one and 3 where taken outdoors in the shadow and picture 2 indoors with flash. As you can see, the camera is picking up a huge color range

The back is fully formed, but as the cuts are not that deep the colors blend to well, so its hard to make out the features, but there is a thick and a thin bamboo-pole, a Calla Lilly leaf rolled up on one side and stood upon by the Lizard on the other, on the leaf there is also a caterpillar (very close to the lizards toes)

I’m quite happy with it and considering to do the ultimate “Ego” thing, by signing and numbering it.

Thanks for looking, now off to my mice in the hope to have them ready for show by next weekend. :)

So after cutting the Indonesian Tube Agate it was finally time to complete a project that was started about a month ago. And just in time (more or less) for yesterdays B'day of my older daughter.

As the agate pretty much looks like a cheese with all those tubes, all I needed, was reshaping the cab to make it more appealing,

front and back

and I needed a mouse.
done a few weeks back made of the local magnetic material found in HK. (still don't know what it is)

Had to reshape the back of the mouse to fit the Agate. As the agate is covered in sharp edges, it was impossible to make it a good solid fit. Plus, any inserting would leave an ugly black spot if worn in reverse.

Solution: take a hammer and smash up some waste-material. Splice bigger pieces between the mouse and the agate. Cover lightly in epoxy and sprinkle with agate dust.  Repeat the epoxy, agate-dust 4 times and there you have it. Now the black stone can't be seen at all and it looks like an additional druzy filling part of the cavity.

Now finally we need another piece of cheese for the mouse to snack on,  and we got the finished pendant

And worn by my usual victim

Thanks for looking, any suggestions for other solutions in the future would be highly welcome as I'm likely to run into problems like that more often......

Looking out the window, into a drab landscape, planning and scheming my revenge for this unabashed mouse eating my cheese. Plans come and go, but when the time is right I will get yah. LOL

Still needs sanding and polish, plus I need to find a way to hide that one connection that did not connect properly.

This one drove me nuts and I needed nearly the whole day to get it close to right.

So now it took nearly 3 weeks, but I finally got there.

"Fantasies of youth" is finally done.

Opalized Agate Wood for the girl 44 x 38 mm
Stone Canyon frame with Obsidian background 66 x 55 mm at maximum points.

Its the biggest seize I have done thus far.

The beginning and some stages

Some more stages with the picture on the right showing the lines of face and hair better just before going at it with 50K diamond-paste. Thought that might give a better idea, just in case I can't get a picture showing the lines later.

The frame

And finally the whole composition finished up. I like the contrast in the picture to the right best (hence my avatar) as she seems to smile from that angle and she really seems ready to jump out. But unfortunately, I was not able to frame her with the background.

So here is the best shot with the intended background

Got desperate on the face, but even more so about finally finishing something, so my patience wore out. I know it could take at least another couple of days to improve her. But I got a whole month before I have to get her ready for groove wrapping and as a b'day present for my son, so by then I suppose I will have forgotten about the things that could be done and moved on to something else. Temptress 2 is already in my mind for a week. :) :) :) Yet first, I gotta finish another B'day present for my younger one the "Revenge for my cheese" piece. LOL

Finally; A special thanks to all who have endured all the lamenting over the duration of this project.  hugs23 Its been a long road, yet I understand that it will only get longer still yet. saved11

OK now, thats gonna be a rather lenghty one. LOL

Frame 56 x 42 mm , Owl 50 x40 mm, Mouse 16 x 8mm, Overall composition 65 x 50mm

Started the Owl first as an engravure and then worked it slowly into a 2D object.
I also envisioned the owl without considering legs and talons. Then, well into the project, I saw by chance a picture of an owl in the last moment of flight. Wow, I never realized that an owl consists of nothing more than wings, head and legs. That threw all the plans into disarray. Luckily, I had not yet started the tail, so I still had some room to move. Set me basically back by a week (until then, the owl was ahead of the girl).

The biggest mental problem here turned out to be the position of the tail. Technically, the biggest challenge yet, where the talons. 3 x 3mm with a depth of 4mm for 4 talons is certainly the smallest thing that I have attempted thus far. The tail-feathers are now also down to an average of about a millimeter or less in thickness in order to allow an “S” wave starting with at the highest point on the left and ending just above the background on the right.

The frame was relatively easy and consist of Biggs as frame and Wood for the background.
The background idea came because all 4 materials (also for the girl) where thin slabs that I otherwise would have no use for and came as extras from various sellers. Even though the frame is of relative easy construction, I still was not able to fit as tightly as I would have liked it. But the natural lines of the Biggs helped to hide the fact. 

The mouse is again of the unknown local magnetic material. I had one left from last month, but turning the frame meant now that the mouse is too big. So I had to make a new one. I started out with having the mouse run along the frame, but the twisted tail would have had to go over the frame for more effect. This would have meant an extremely thin twist. So in the end I decided to try a recommendation received last time for the Indonesian Tube Agate of having just a butt and tail. The frame and background does not give a lot of depth, so I thought it would be better to have everything except the head and twist it a little. It took 7 attempts to get it right, but at least it’s the right seize now in correlation to frame and owl.

So from here on tail, talons and mouse where the crux of fail or success. So I made sure not to touch them with the dremel and finished them by hand with sandpaper to 5000grid

The original idea included that the setting would be in a frame, but I envisioned it length-wise not standing the frame up. So I envisioned of having only one wing going over the frame and the other within. As I did the frame and owl without really putting them together the eventual setting came about.

Here are some angles of the final piece

And the best shot of the day

Best regards and have a great weekend,..... Kurt


[0] Message Index

Go to full version