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Janel

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Everything posted by Janel

  1. Walnut for small carvings

    I found that the walnut I had was difficult to carve. I sought a smooth surface on the inside of a long, bowl like shape, and the chatoyant ripple grain was very obstinate and made hills and valleys no matter how careful I was. That said, this wood looks beautiful, and I understand why you would want to carve it. I think that wood such as this with a beautiful grain should be carved to show the wood itself, and not try to show off careful, small details. The grain will tend to hide it, in my opinion. A leaf form perhaps with an on-lay of another better-for-detail wood might make a great pendant. Janel "Collection from a summer walk" http://janeljacobson.com/carvings/394.html
  2. Cicada on leaf

    Thank you Ed, that is a fine way to share such work with friends and admirers. So much better than sitting somewhere on a shelf, waiting to be found by lookers. Is the purple heart wood a little stand created for the piece for its display? Good idea. Janel
  3. Cicada on leaf

    That is a good way to share a small carving. Is the purple heart base part of the pendant? Show us how it will actually hang? Janel
  4. Cicada on leaf

    Congratulations for carving those legs! That work is tricky to do. Well done with stylizing the characteristics of the cicada. Janel
  5. Hello from Oak Island, NC

    Hello EldoradoN, Welcome! I look forward to seeing where the above design takes you. Janel
  6. Salutations from Berkeley California

    Hi David, Good to know about the St Paul ACC show. It is not easy or a sure thing with either Smithsonian or ACC. Somehow after off again on again acceptances with Smithsonian, I was accepted three years in a row 2013-15. That third year was a zero sale event for me, and it set a different tone to the year ahead. Success with the big shows were hit or miss when I was doing them in the later years, as the audience that grew the shows has been retiring from collecting, and it sounds like this persists. If there is a wave of younger generations of shoppers, they will be shaping the shows' futures, I think. I remain hopeful for so many artists who have chosen to enter the creative way of life and income production, and dependence on the shows. I also hope that there are viable alternatives, and a nurturing and educating of new audiences. Is there a way to remind me of your coming to the St Paul ACC? We are very busy at that time of year, but we do have to deliver a stack of posters there for an event in May that we produce and participate in where we live. I'd like to meet you there. And, best wishes for a successful event! Janel
  7. Favorite Old Tools

    Hi Ed, It is a delight to see your fine tools and the self-made handles. Thank you for posting the good images of them. Have you made them so that if a blade needs replacing you can extract and replace them? Janel
  8. Salutations from Berkeley California

    Hello David, It is good to read more about you. The autumn and early winter were busy for me too with almost everything work-related but not creative. You are a busy show person! I used to have a schedule like that, but as my work became more time involved and the client base more limited I focused on Philly, Smithsonian when accepted, one in the Chicago area. I also tried the wood at an ACC show, but not the right one. Now it seems that my client pool has aged out of collecting, the shows for me were hard and expensive to do with zero return the last year I did them. This, after several years of change-over with the audience aging and not so many younger buyers, I have now no way of predicting how the best shows might be doing anymore. They were so good for so many decades, but the audiences, the jurors tastes and the maturing to greatness of the senior artists are all different stories that result in frustration for the artists and their expectations from the "best" (historically) shows that you have been attending. I am glad to read that you continue to explore and grow and look forward to watching what you might share with us. The weather? In Minnesota? Sunny, and not balmy! Yesterday a.m. was -28°F and this morning -24°. The 112 year old house and aging heating system is churning away to keep it at 53° ... the kitchen is being warmed enough with a space heater to make computing comfortable just enough. The cats like to warm their feet on my lap. Soon I will move to the studio that has a more modern heating system, radiant heat in the floor and a new heater. Balmy out there, and I am soon to scrunch my way through the snow to the warm. Thank you for asking! There are cold-hardy surfers that do Lake Superior in the winter, with wet suits. Might you be one of those sorts of folks? If you do visit Minnesota let me know and come to visit. Janel
  9. Hello from Holland

    Welcome Peter! It is good to read your interesting introduction. Regarding dust, various dust capturing systems have been presented here on the forum. It will take some searching to find them, but you might appreciate the ingenuity of the systems that draw the dust away from the carving position on the bench. I hope that you will find a wealth of information that resides on the forum from the many years of contributions by members. This month celebrates the 13th year of The Carving Path going on line. Janel
  10. Braiding jig

    Hi Sebas, Thank you for compiling all of those topics in one place! I added a notice in the Getting Started and Resources area in the event that someone uses that section to learn about things. Smiles to you, Janel
  11. Braiding and Kumihimo topic in Techniques: Sebastián Urresti compiled links to several TCP topics for kumihimo, the marudai, and braiding techniques in the topic linked to in this post.
  12. Throwback Thursday (a day late)

    Does the lector's pointer double as a magic wand? I think that the ebony/ivory rings would be very attention grabbing when used as a pointer. Very handsome. I especially like the signature inlay and engraving. Janel
  13. Throwback Thursday (a day early)

    Thank you for that information. It is good to know about the wood/cellulose to CA glue reaction. Not much time to work with it once started I guess. Janel
  14. Roughing out with power chisel

    After years of making dust, this power chisel begins to make sense. My hand grows weary just thinking of making that many chips with a hand chisel with boxwood. Looking forward to seeing your progress. Janel
  15. Throwback Thursday

    Hi Bonnie, Thank you for the descriptions for the techniques and the observations of materials (adhesives). I was pleased to see that you know about epoxy 330. I was introduced to that at some point and learned to appreciate it. The CA glue was not always a good choice for things, but it has its uses. I was pleased also to see your "pin holes" method. It made sense to me and is a technique that I have used as well. Whether or not these techniques are close to traditional netsuke work, if it works for what we do ... The lathe was challenging for me to adapt to after having spent decades throwing pots on a wheel. Both use a revolving center to spin the material. That is about it as far as similarities, other than a sense of form relationship. The lathe is totally subtractive and the materials have a grain, so the approach to wood removal takes repetition to understand the right and wrong ways to start and follow through with the cuts. My lathe work was always slow and ponderous, being careful to establish and maintain good habits with sharp tools. I never turned enough with the lathe to have it be second nature as with making pottery, but I certainly enjoyed it. I've not turned for a while, but everything is still there and ready to go. I found a good teacher who instilled good habits. My old brain needed practice to get the sequence of steps in order, so that was/is my problem with it. I hope that you can find a good teacher if/when you choose to learn to turn. Janel
  16. Throwback Thursday (a day early)

    Hi Bonnie, It is interesting that you adhered the gold leaf first to the bone and then the amber. I had not thought of that, I guess because the surface of the inlay pocket was not made with the iris/pupil in mind, just a flattened surface. This is indeed something to ponder for a future eye solution. It could be so much simpler than the way I was doing it by applying the leaf to the amber iris. Did you carve the jet inlay for the half/half eye? What do you mean by wet jet inlay paste? Wet with an adhesive that solidifies or cures? What you did is effective. Janel
  17. Throwback Thursday

    Hi Bonnie, I appreciate the challenges to fitting the bone and wood parts together, most likely by straight carving and filing. That kind of effort inspired me to learn to use a small lathe. I had been curious about whether or not netsuke-shi used lathes in centuries past and found a reference in an old booklet on line (that I later purchased) that mentioned the use of a lathe for making the hollow and pierced ryusa netsuke. A lathe would make round forms and more easily fitted lids. Your "found" shape of the bone and the wood insert has a freshness to it. Might you be willing to describe your inlay technique? My own work did not include more than eye insertions or little dot accents, and am interested in how others accomplish inlay. Janel
  18. Clover Key Sun sashi netsuke (in progress)

    Good to see your inquisitive mind working on tools! If you can, find some 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000 wet/dry papers as well. I have found them at auto shops that supply things for body/finish repair. It costs a bit, but when cut into 80, or so, pieces (about 1" x 1.25" rectangles), it lasts a while. For organizing these small pieces of varying grits, I use little plastic divided and covered tray/boxes. One might use them for fishing tackle or small things of all sorts. I've got two just for the papers. Before cutting the long strips (cut in one direction) I draw on the assigned color code, which also follows with the toothpick sander color codes. Some are plain, single colors, some are a color with a black line, or two colors together. My range of papers includes 50-80-100-220-320-400-600-1000-1200-1500-2000-2500. The last two are rarely used, but can bring a shine to dense, resinous woods or other polishable materials. For the tools, the higher numbers will bring a gloss and very fine edge to the tools if used like a strop. With these tiny tools a strop needs to be quite stiff so that the edge does not get too rounded over. Janel
  19. damage control

    Yay! I am glad that you found some and that it is a positive tool for you. Janel
  20. damage control

    I use a carving peg with some poster putty, which is malleable and a little tacky, stuck to the end of the peg. It holds the small piece, provides protection to the carving when placed against the wood that serves as support. Other maybe "larger" pieces I use a leather bag filled with sand. Such things are used by jewelers. This is a very long ago image but it does show the carving peg that is screwed from underneath to the bench top, with the poster putty in place for use with the mammoth tusk piece that I was carving the time. The putty was a great discovery and is responsible for much relief for the "holding" hand. The piece can be stuck to it and can be removed and turned to the next position needed. When a piece is in the fine detail stages, I take a thin white glove and cover the putty so that the little bit of oils in the putty will not influence the wood surface. I will also wear those gloves, with finger tips cut out on the tool-holding hand. This image below shows the leather, sand-filled bag. The carving peg itself has been much used/abused and has rough spots that can hold a piece when pressing against the carving while carving. This discussion includes some information about carving holding and pegs: Best wishes, Janel
  21. Magnifying glasses

    Oh the things we do to be able to see the details! Those look pretty serious, and must be amazing to use. What degree of magnification to they provide? Is that adjustable? You might find some sort of padding to spread out the weight on your nose. My own solution is to wrap some cloth and then some paper tape around that part that sits on my nose. It need replacing now and then, but does the job well enough. The wire frame sits below my carving glasses, which are prescription lenses. The main part of the carving glasses is made to work for lower magnification that focuses on the carving area and the bench top, and the seamless bifocal area for focusing on the carving peg before me, that 10-12" that you mentioned. It may be a bit more flexible that those specific distances. These are Bebe Binocular loupes from 60 or more years ago, inherited from my uncle who was a dentist. They are occasionally offered on Ebay I think. With the carving prescription they offer about 10x magnification. The lenses can be positioned by the little wheel and threaded rod just underneath, to fit one's own focusing needs. Janel
  22. Clover Key Sun sashi netsuke (in progress)

    Hi Bonnie, Good idea to make the hood barrier for the torch. It does offer a degree of control for the tempering, which can go very quickly. I know if a tool maker (different sort of tools, for softer wood carving) who uses a toaster oven that can be set at the tempering degree that he wishes to achieve. I don't know the details though. I am thinking about the smaller background spaces, confined by positive relief in your design ... The second from the right has the kind of idea for a tool series the might work for such spaces, for flattening/smoothing those smaller spaces: This rough tools were acquired in Japan, for ivory carving. The idea of the edge being on the end rather than the side allows it to be used differently than an edge on the long side. To be able to make your own tools opens the way for solving problems when no tool seems to work just the way you want it to. You might find something with the dental tools that might be adaptable. Janel
  23. Costs going up for the forum

    One of the members has made a generous donation towards the operating expenses for The Carving Path forum. I am filled with gratitude for this gift. Thank you.
  24. Costs going up for the forum

    Hi, As admin/owner of the forum, I am responsible for paying the fees to keep the forum on line for all viewers and participants to use and learn from. The fees are going up, mostly because of the full size images that have been posted in the past. The monthly fee has been $30, and the next step up will be $45 per month. This is making it hard for me to bear the costs alone to simply maintain the database for almost no evidence of participation by members. Are there generous souls amongst the readers and members who might help keep the forum available to all by sharing in the costs required to keep the forum on line? If yes, please PM me or email me and we can discuss options privately. Thank you, Janel PS: please when you post images, follow the guidelines that appear at the head of each forum area. Thank you.
  25. Clover Key Sun sashi netsuke (in progress)

    I found images of the two Stephen Myhre tools that were gifted to me a long time ago. The note on the image folder "Stephen Myhre tools 2008 before much wear". They are now significantly shorter/changed from years of use and sharpening, but still important choices for what they have to offer with their shapes. The elegant thinner one presents a long, shallow curve, which is what I would recommend for smoothing surfaces. Either of the curved edges on the top of the tool, or a tool made with the single leading knife edge that could be slightly curved, could sweep gently across bumpy surfaces, delicately shaving fine whisps of material off the surface until the degree of smoothness is achieved. This video was created long ago, but does show how I hold and use tools for various kinds of material removal. Just after 5 minutes a tool is being used that gently planes/shaves a surface to smooth it: Tool Use Demonstration - Stephen Myhre Style Tools & Janel Jacobson's Tools Well, that actually is a cutting stroke that later becomes a smoothing stroke, but not the fine touch of a finishing stroke that is done with a very light touch. The stroke on the convex leaf surface is being done with a straight edge. You may want to use a slightly curved edge on the flat background of the piano key ivory to flatten and smooth the surface. In the same vein, a concave surface would be smoothed with an appropriately curved sharp edge. I have a few tools from 1/16th to 3/16th inch diameters that have three equal sides with three relatively equal shallow curves. The variety of Craftsman pin punch diameters can be a handy place to start. The four to the right are such tools from 1/16" to 3/32" diameters. If you use a grinder to do the initial shaping, do not let the tip get to red hot. For the smaller diameters a honing stone can do the job, and move upwards with the grits to gain a very sharp edge and a near polished surface. These triangular small tools are superior for undercutting and creating a separation shadow that gives life to the subjects, much like when your finger is placed on a surface and you can see that it is separate from the surface it is touching. My very first tools that I made were from HSS drill bits. Awkward to hold, but better than nothing. They were very hard to shape well as I recall. Somewhere here on the forum some folks cringed when I admitted using HSS for making tools. They will do in a pinch, but there are better materials for making tools from. The non pin punch tools were fashioned from O-1 drill rod with oil quench. Somewhere here on the forum there are descriptions for making tools I believe. The 0-1 rod can be ground, filed, shaped then hardened with a bit of refining of the faces and edges before tempering to straw color. You can see an assortment of my tools on my web site: http://janeljacobson.com/toolsstudio/tools2012.html Other shorter tools might fit better the piece you are working on. This is where making multiple, slightly differently proportioned tools can be useful. I managed to do that while trying to understand the dynamics of the sides and the top in relation to one another. Eventually each extra tool became a useful one. These were some of the oddballs that actually became useful over time: I hope that some of this will be helpful as you consider smoothing the surfaces of the ivory. Sanding papers leave scratches that have to be laboriously sanded ever finer away until nonexistent. Keep the scraping tools exceedingly sharp and un-nicked and your surface will be beautifully smoothed with out sanding papers. A higher polish can be then attempted with micro mesh cloths up to 8,000 to 12,000. Very glossy surfaces on some woods and animal origin materials. Best wishes, Janel
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