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B.K. Henderson-Winnie

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Everything posted by B.K. Henderson-Winnie

  1. Hello all, I recently agreed to do some experimental carving in a new material that we think will have the properties of glass and/or ungrogged creramic and/or jade-like stone (we'll find out!). I can't go into the details of what the material specifically is because there are proprietary info restrictions involved at this stage of development, but I'm excited to experiment with carving whatever shows up in my mailbox next week. I've not done any carving on such a substance before, but with the generously shared information here, I feel I will get a good start. Thank you all, especially Janel, for this info that is here when I need it. I'll be combing the archives to research tools and safety procedures. It is so much less intimidating knowing that this knowledge base (and personal creative support base!) exists. I haven't contributed many posts lately, but as my theater schedule lightens up a bit int he next couple of months I'll post some images of what I've been up to & catch up! With much love, Bonnie
  2. Hi Janel, I think archiving this site is a great option, and I'll be happy to contribute to the costs of that. There is just so much valuable information here that isn't readily available elsewhere it is worth preserving. Along with all the good conversations! Trying to keep a balance and have right livelihood in changing markets/environments/conditions is difficult, to put it in mildest terms. I applaud the fact that you are making your living as an artist, whatever the medium! I don't think a lot of people understand that to choose life as an artist, for most people who don't come to it with ample financial resources, is to choose a life demanding flexibility and resourcefulness, as well as sacrifice and constant assessment of the market, constant hustle. And real and constant work in striking a balance with family obligations and all else life demands outside of the studio and stage. I see it all the time with the performers here. Skill, even brilliance doesn't always guarantee success (where success = you are able to keep doing it for a living). And some success doesn't mean that it will continue, even if the work continues to be really good. I could launch off into a whole multi page tangent about craft, value, and its relationship with income. And the question "who am I making this for?". But I won't right now It is also true that if this forum ends up going into archive-only mode, any new enthusiastic carvers that come along and want to make a forum of their own and keep it active, they will. I hope if that happens down the road, that we can point them to the archive as a helpful resource. I treasure the opportunity I've had to learn from the contents of this site, and to get to know and befriend the person responsible for initially bringing me back into artmaking, and whose work continues to inspire. They say "don't meet your heroes because in real life they often disappoint", but that has been dramatically untrue in this case. I am glad to know you, and to continue to follow you work & life on facebook, Janel. I'm grateful for all you have given and continue to give. You're pretty special, too! Whatever you decide, it'll be the right thing. With gratitude, Bonnie
  3. Hello Janel and all, I am sorry to not see this post until months and months after the original posting. I am glad that you decided to keep it up and going Janel, though I completely understand wondering if it's time to shut it down due to lack of activity. I haven't been on in a long time, mostly because I've been working a lot and my carving has slowed to a crawl. I'm chipping away at that mountain called "saving a down payment for purchasing a home" which has me taking all the paying work I can. I do think I need to ease up on that, though, because too much work takes the spark right out of life. I am grateful to have so much work but it is at the expense of other important things. I am happy to say I think I've solved all my physical issues and hope the coming year will be a more open and productive year for me in regards to the carving. I'll put a check in the mail, Janel, and am happy to do it if for no other reason than to help preserve the valuable info here. I will make an effort to be a more active commenter and poster too! Thanks to you Janel, and to everyone here for all you do and have done. Bonnie
  4. I like the softness of this piece. Makes me want to touch it and turn it in my hands.
  5. Thanks so much for this grouping of articles. Bookmarked!
  6. Oh wow, those are simply exquisite. I love the sense of form and formless space inside the stone. Wonderful.
  7. Hello! I made this little water spirit talisman/netsuke in 2015, "Miss Moisture" She is made from camel bone, rainbow moonstones salvaged from old jewelry, white moonstones, sterling silver. I remade the silver settings to better fit the stones. The inlay on her back is made from ground turquoise and ground freshwater pearl. The inlay was made with the paste technique I described in a previous post. 1 5/16" x 1 1/8 x 3/8" (3.3cm x 2.8cm x 1.0cm)
  8. Hi Janel, It does! Thank you The signature inlay is a carry-over from my metalworking. I have a maker's mark stamp, and I simply stamped it into a little circle of silver, then inlaid that. I ordered the custom stamp for my maker's mark from Rio Grande, and it cost about $70. B
  9. Hello all, I made this lector's pointer back in 2013. A good friend had just gotten her master's degree in archaeology. She was lecturing and teaching classes regularly, and lamented that she had no good pointer stick to use. I thought I should make her one. I put a hornet on it to help her keep all the students' attention on her lecturing- because everyone in the room pays very close attention to what's going on if there's a hornet in the space! It is 25" long with a 3/4" handle. Main shaft made of cedar, with rose cane, mammoth ivory, Siberian jet, copper, ebony, and sterling silver in the grip and other components . sketches pre-inlay mammoth section, roughed-in hornet the sections were screwed and epoxied together hornet with finished paste inlay of Siberian jet pointer tip, alternating layers of ebony and mammoth ivory maker's mark cartouche on end of handle
  10. Ed, Sounds like a delicate process. Sometimes it just goes that way I guess. Better luck with the next one! Bonnie
  11. hi Ed, Initially I put it there for scale, but decided that a dime might be a clearer object to use. Eventually I went ahead and lacquered the dollar fragment on there, though,, because I thought why not? A little material support talisman couldn't hurt
  12. Hi Raj, Nice first one- I like the little translucent area on the lip. Or is that a lighter spot on the stone? Do you have more photos with different views? Bonnie
  13. Oh yes! This fellow's work is amazing! I have him friended on facebook, and he posts a lot of process photos as well as those of finished work. Thanks for sharing, Ed! Bonnie
  14. Hi Janel, The wet paste inlay technique can be done a couple of ways, depending on the coarseness of the grind of your inlay material and the viscosity of the adhesive. For this piece, I took fine jet dust from filing a piece of jet with a fine file and mixed it with just enough epoxy to make a paste. I then used a toothpick and a needle to fill the little pupil cavity in the eye. I did the same for the little half-and-half inlaid face. Once it has cured, you can file or shave the hardened paste down to the material's surface. With this method, I try to get as much of the inlay material into the paste mix as possible, so there is a good color density and richness. If there are low spots after the first application, more layers of paste can be added, cured, and shaped until the desired surface is reached. The other way I've done it is the dry packing way. That is when I carve a channel and then pack it with the ground inlay material. Once the channel or pocket is full, a low-viscosity adhesive is introduced to the surface and is pulled down into the pocket of inlay material by capillary action. For deeper inlays, to ensure it bonds well to all internal surfaces, I will often lay it in in layers. This method works well when the inlay particles are a bit coarser than sawdust and the adhesive is very low viscosity, like low viscosity watery CA glue. This method also seems to work best with non-wood materials since the cellulose in wood sawdust catalyzes the CA glue and prevents it penetrating between the granules or particles of inlay material all the way to the bottom before hardening. I learned about that the hard way! I have used this method with materials like ground turquoise, pearl, and other similar materials, and it works well for larger granules of materials that don't contain celluose.
  15. Here's a bone oni mask from 2007, and its accompanying ojime, and owl mask/transformation. They are made of beef bone with Siberian jet paste-style inlays and an amber inlay for the oni's eye. I can't find a size listing for this set, but there is a dime in some of the images for scale. I'm also a little irritated at myself for not taking any good pictures of the back side- I didn't think I'd be wanting to show that to anyone back then! It's basically a bridge-shaped arch of bone spanning the mask from side to side that the cord passes under. I also wish I'd taken a few more views of the ojime when it was finished. Seems I only have some in-process photos, and only one that shows a little bit of the jet shading used to highlight the "feathers" on the finished bead. Oh well. I had been looking at a lot of Inuit art and was fascinated with depictions of half-and-half transformation masks. Inuit masks and carving are some of my favorite artwork to look at when I need inspiration. Oni mask: owl mask/transformation ojime: in-process: You can see just a little bit of the jet inlay between the feathers in this one, and the roughed- in mask Wet jet inlay paste filling the lowest pocket underneath where the eye inlay will go. The next step was to cover the iris area with gold leaf, then adhere the amber dome on top of that. I believe I had just read what Janel had written about how she does those gorgeous frog eye inlays and wanted to give it a try.
  16. I'd like to add that I learned a lot of useful things about inlay from reading books on making inlays for musical instruments. Larry Robinson's books on inlay, particularly "The Art of Inlay: Design & Technique for Fine Woodworking" was helpful.
  17. Hi Janel, thanks! Yes, the fitting was all carving and filing. A lot of work! I got pretty close to a good fit all the way around, but still had to fill a couple of small areas on the perimeter with an epoxy and ebony dust mix. Thankfully it's all dark enough that it doesn't show too badly. A few fragments of bone got into the largest gap in the seam (near where the fox's front paws are), but at the time I decided I liked them there and left them, even if they do draw attention to a flaw in the craftsmanship. For inlay, and on a larger scale, fitting elements together on this piece I shaped the cavities, fitted surfaces, and inlay pieces to allow for the adhesive to give a mechanical as well as an adhesive bond. On this piece I used a combination of gel CA glue and runny CA glue. For the inlay moon, I cut a shallow groove into the surface of the narrow circumference surface all the way around. The silver moon was 18g, I think, so thick enough to allow me to make a groove with a 0/6 jeweler's saw blade. Inside the inlay pocket, I angled the walls of the pocket back under the surface of the wood a little. That way when filled with inlay and glue, the adhesive would extend into the inlay a little, as well as reach under the wood a little, preventing the piece from coming out easily even if the bond between the wood and the silver were compromised. For the main inlay glue, I used gel CA mixed with a little fine ebony dust. I discovered that with this I had to work fast as the cellulose catalyzes the CA! I had to do it twice because of this When I do it now, I use water clear epoxy 330 or amber 220. Those adhesives are much better for this! The fox sits on the surface like an applique. To help it stay on, I drilled a number of very small holes into the ebony at different angles under the surface that the fox would cover, and a number of very shallow angled holes into the back of the fox. The drill bit was pretty small, somewhere between #68-75(?) I also roughed up both surfaces with coarse sandpaper. Little "fingers" of the glue penetrate into both the ebony and the applique. I used gel CA, but I'd use epoxy now, possibly with some fine fibrous additive to give strength. Or I'd design the fox differently now to include a better mechanical bond. When I went to clean up the edges around the fox, instead of trimming straight down I shaped the glue to curve out a little and have a taper into the wood for a slightly bigger surface area of contact and for lessening the chance that something might catch on the edge of the fox during wear and pop the applique off. Unfortunately you can see it around the tail tips, but at the time I decided that was an acceptable compromise. I was not working with magnification then. Had I been, the edges would have been cleaner. For fitting the bone and ebony together, I did the same thing but on a larger scale- grooves, fingers, and undercuts, with gel CA mixed with ebony powder. Then after the first sanding back/trimming excess glue, I saturated the joints with runny CA glue to take care of any small fissures or low spots. Then final cleanup, sanding, and polishing. The bone on the mushroom side extends over the ebony like a picture frame lip so it can't slide forward and out that way. I have occasionally thought about learning to use a lathe. Making round, fitted forms and long narrow symmetrical forms is of interest to me, but I never got around to allocating the funds or the time to learn it. Not just yet. What have you liked about using a lathe? Are there things that you don't like about it? Bonnie
  18. Well, I'm a couple of days later than last week due to a very busy top of the week- we are in technical rehearsals for Mojada at work, so that means a week of those lovely 10- and 12-hour days! This is a netsuke I made in 2008. The materials are bone, ebony, and silver. The front shows a white seven-tailed kitsune (not quite mature enough for all nine tails) and full moon, while the back side is a relief carving of mushroom, the cord opening passing between the mushroom stem and background. The ojime accompanying it was simply a plain bone bead (not pictured). as a wedding gift The set was made for a dear friend and given to her as a wedding gift.
  19. Thanks for the information, Ed & Janel! I should probably take the polish up higher, for sure. I like the color coding and organizing boxes idea for the smaller pieces. Right now I have one of those shoe organizers with the plastic pockets hanging on the back of the studio room door that I keep bigger pieces in, but a smaller container for smaller pieces makes a lot of sense. I have sandpaper grades from 80 to 50,000 grit. Up to 1500 is regular wet & dry paper, 2400-12,000 is on cloth and made by 3M that I got through Micro Mark. The 50k is some stiff material used in lapidary- I got it from Rio and it's a thin round sheet of meshlike plastic with the polishing material embedded. Stropping on a block of wood makes some sense- perhaps a medium to soft semiporous wood would work nicely for that. Though I think the problem with the edge turning may be as much to do with the metal as with my (unrefined) technique. Bonnie
  20. I know that on some other social media sites, it's "Throwback Thursday", but this week, Tuesday's close enough for me Do you still have your first, or one of the first netsuke or other small carvings you made? I'm curious about what sorts of things we all began with and would love to see. I don't have the -very- first small carving I did, but I do have the second one. (The first one ended up being an offering to the Willamette river, and was pitched from the Hawthorne bridge early in a February long ago...). It was inspired by a print by William Blake from "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell". Tagua nut, carved with an x-acto knife and finished with several grades of sandpaper sometime around 1998, I think. Size-wise it's 3.3cm h x 3.1 cm w x 2.8cm d
  21. I got a little bit of time on Wednesday and converted a double-ended dental tool to a small rounded scraper on one end and a more chisel-like profile on the other. The metal is Pakistani stainless steel. They both work tolerably well, making nice shavings on some scrap. I need more work on making the angles more precise. Also the edge needs stropping fairly often, doesn't hold as firmly as a carbon steel would I think. Experimenting with these makes me want to make more profiles, though, especially some of the more triangular ones. I sharpened them on 220, 400, and 600 grit sandpaper adhered to a thick plate of glass with water, then stropped them on leather with silicon carbide powder in oil. I plan on ordering some O-1 tool steel round stock in small sizes next paycheck and see what I can make with those. Thanks as always for the info and guidance! Bonnie small chisel tip slim rounded scraper
  22. Hi Mon and Janel, I have been trying out the mounting putty that Janel suggested, and I really like it. It does help with reducing the tension of my grip, and I feel that my cuts are surer since there is a solid backing supporting the stroke instead of just my hand's strength. Bonnie
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