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Tom.N

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About Tom.N

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  1. Thank you Janelhttp://www.asianart.com/articles/ivory/ I know a little about toolmaking, and I make the tools myself. The thing is. There is lots of information out there about "modern" toolmaking, and they are good, but if we look at history, there have been a tradition for carving Ivory, bone and antler for houndreds of years. The shanks and handles is of "personal" choise", but the "bussines" end is the cutting edge is another thing. Sometimes a small new information can carry us a long way.. In the link below there is writings about a long line of Ivory carving, But as always we dont see the "business end" Sometimes a small detail in the shaping of the edge or another small detail in the carving process can carry us a mile in bether detail and brighter cuts http://www.asianart.com/articles/ivory/
  2. Scraping and finishing question

    Thank you for the link Janel :-)
  3. Scraping and finishing question

    Thank you ukjohn. To me the "tool finish" is ok on a litle larger work, but when it comes to miniature carving I think that "toolmarks" can make a big fifference. For example if we carve a human face only 15mm abross, the eyes is only 3mm wide. In this scale it is little room for toolmarks. I have looked at your carvings.Nice work :-) Thank you Janel. It looks like you manage to come to a high finish with only scrapers alone, and do the final stage with polishing :-) The "tootpick"method looks promising :-)
  4. Thank you ukjohn. When I carve wood in a little bigger scale I use ordinary woocarving chisels and gauges, and they work well, but when it comes to carving in miniature scale ( either it is metal or bone) I I usually make my own tools, (exept the v-tools that I find a little harder to produce in wery small scale.) I have tried scalpels and exacto knives, but to my experience the are to thin, and have a tendency to "bend" to side pressure, which make it difficult to make a presice cut. When It comes to carving Ivory with traditional tools, The tools for carving ivory have basically been unchanged for hundreds of years, Like you say, A cutting tool is sharpened for the material it intended to cut. If it is to thin, it wil cut, but the edge will easely brake, and if the angle is to blunt, it will not cut well. If the shape and angles is not correct, the tool wil maybe "dig inn" or be difficult to control. A fried of mine once said "If you want to copy something, then copy from the best there is" That is why I am asking if there is someone who knows a little about the old traditional carving tools for ivory. That would be a good staring point for making our own tools. so we dont have to start from scratch. If the tools worked in Ivory, they will probably be well suited for carving bone and antler
  5. Books about smale scale carving often speaks about using abrasive papers og different grit in the finishing stage . The problem ( as I see it) is that any abrasive paper also remove a little material from the carving, and when we work with small scale it is a chanse that it wil take away the "crispness" in small details. When we work with small scale in bone or antler, and maybe carve a face that is ( for exaple ) as small as 10-20 mm , the details in this face is very tiny, and it is a danger that anny abrasive paper can make a lott of truble. But is it necessary to use abrassive paper to have a good finish? If the scrapers are well made they could maybe do the work? To make a "picture" of the idea, I will refer to metal engraving. For example if we engrave silver, and the cutting edge of the graver is not perfecly smooth, any "scratches" in the cutting edge will be transfered to the metal. (It wil be like trying to smooth a surface with a Hacksaw blade teeth down) On the other hand, if the edge of the graver is well honed, it will produce a nice bright cut. Maybe the same idea will work well on scrapers used on bone and antler, and all we have to do is polishing ? I am asking this questions because I wonder if the old "masters" that made the ivory masterpieces in the 19th century use any abrasives. It would be interesting to hear your upinion and experience about this.
  6. I know there are many carversout there that use power tools for carving. They maybe speed up the carving process, but to my experience they also speed up the mistakes, so I only use them for roughout. For the carving I prefer the old facion hand tools. ( And if the "old facion" hantools used by the old masters work for ivory I think they should also work well in bone and antler) There are stunning work done in ivory in the 19th and 20th century, and to create such masterpieces, the carvers must also be spesialists in making and mentain their tools. They can have a shank and handle in any form, straight or bend, but in the end it is the cutting edge that does the work. Every cutting edge is grinded and formed after the material it is intended for. And the form and angle of the cutting edge is important to work well. Something like a razor blade will having an angle of around 12- degrees, and it's chisel-ground so that's 12-degrees total. Utility knives will have angles anywhere between 15- and 24- degrees (30-48 degrees total). A chissel for woodcarving is grinded for an angle of about 22 degrees. An axe will have something around a 30-degree angle, and for a handgraver used for cutting steel, a face angle of 45 degrees is a good starting point a.s.o. But how do we grind and sharpen a "knife" for carving bone and antler? If I understand things correctly, the ivory carvers often use the traditional method called hidariba (Japanese), literally means "left blade" or "left knife" ( If we look at an ordinary single-edged knife, the edge is on the right, but hidariba knife has the edge on the left. The hidariba is said to enable the carvers to carve precisely in thight places. But what does this knife look like, and how is the edge formed? How is it shaped? When I look at pictures it looks like the edge is not flat like the ones you find on wood chissels, but more "rounded"? And what is the best edge angle to make it cutt well? Any anformation about how to "replicate" the tool wil be of great help.
  7. At least I found a found a forum for carvers that carves in the small scale. I have carved for a while, mostly in small scale, and different mediums like metal, wood, bone and antler etc. It is lovely to look around in the forums and look at the work from so much talented people, and what goldmine of knowledge there is in all the posts. I apologize for my bad english. As you allready maybe have found out English is not my mother language, but you are free to laugh if I spell or say something teribly wrong. A good laugh newer hurts anyone. :-) Janel asked me to post some pictures of my work, so I will try to post some of my modest pieces done in diferent mediums. Looking foreward to som good conversations with my new friends:-)
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