Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Clark

  • Rank

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • ICQ

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Tewkesbury, England
  • Interests
    Fine small scale carving combined with gold, silver and other metals, modelling in wax in prep for carving, exploratory drawing and painting, photography and fine repousse and chasing in silver and gold.
  1. Clark

    Mammoth Ivory

    Hi Bella. Your man in Canada contacted me and is struggling to find the kind of pieces I'm looking for. The main reason for this is that the Chinese are buying up as much of the Siberian mammoth ivory as they can get their hands on so he's finding it hard to get good grade materials to sell. Apparently they'll pay up to $1000 a kilo for good, pale cream ivory. I've managed to get a couple of small pieces that will work for the new designs I'm drawing up thanks to the kindness of another member of the TCP forum.
  2. I'm coming in very late to this post on drawing but I thought I'd add something to it even at this late stage. When I was a student studying Jewellery Design we drew constantly in order to develop ideas and concepts for three dimensional pieces of work. The process of drawing and exploration through drawing was essential in order to take ideas to a stage where they were outside of the mind and into the real world. Not only this but we studied 'source' material that we could then refine into drawn forms that could then be refined further into working drawings for Jewellery/Carving/Other. The process of drawing and subsequent model making was essential in order to define the forms that could then be made. However the order in which this takes place does not necessarily have drawing as the starting point. There does not have to be a set sequence, where drawing is prioritised above modelling in wax/Plasticine etc. I think a forum devoted to drawing/design/process would be an excellent idea and I would be only too pleased to add my insights to this. I have been drawing and designing 3d pieces of work for over 30 years and would enjoy the chance to give some input into such a forum for the benefit of others and to gain further insight from others whose experience is different from mine. I can post some of my drawing and design work to this forum to start the ball rolling if this would be useful with the associated 3d work resulting from it. I think if the theme is drawing as an important part of the design process then we could get a really good forum going.
  3. Clark

    Lizard Netsuke

    Lovely piece of work Richard. I'm interested in how to get subtle staining on boxwood both dark and light colouring. I have a large stock of box stored in dry conditions for the last 25 years and i'm just getting round to carving again. It will be interesting to see how you tackle future staining on box and i'll be searching the posts here for hints and tips. It strikes me that the 'finishing' part of a carving is the most difficult and fraught with potential disaster.
  4. Clark

    Mammoth Ivory

    Thanks Bella. Really appreciate the link and the recommendation.
  5. Clark

    Netsuke Carving eBook

    I've downloaded your PDF too and really appreciate your generosity in giving away such a useful resource.
  6. Clark

    Mammoth Ivory

    Does anyone know a good supplier of small pieces of Mammoth Ivory? I'm based in the UK and bought some new elephant ivory back in the early 1980s that I never used. Obviously this will have to remain unused now due to the CITES ban and ethical issues. I have an old snooker ball that I found many years ago in a second hand shop in the UK but I'm even nervous about using that these days.
  7. Clark

    Sanding & Finishing Boxwood Carvings

    Thanks again Janel and thanks for taking the time to respond yet again so fully. I have found the Micro-Mesh online here in the UK and I've ordered some in a variety of the grades you suggest to try out. I'll check the links you suggest and do some experiments with the finishing oils. You've been a great help and I'll post images of the finished work as soon as they're complete.
  8. Clark

    Sanding & Finishing Boxwood Carvings

    Thank you for your advice and thank you Janel for such a comprehensive overview and for visual examples of both types of wood used in carvings. I will draw a lot of really useful information from that. I knew that you preferred scraping to sanding or buff wheel finishing but it is extremely useful to get this kind of detail. As I am in the UK, some of the types of sanding materials you have access to in the US may be different but I'll search around on the net to find them. I was curious about a few of the oils that you use. Could you tell me what a 'hardening oil' is. I've used Ren Wax in the past and need to buy some more. It was always recommended for wood finishing but I find it a bit difficult to get out of fine grooves and undercuts. Thanks Tony for the info on Neaploe (something i've never heard of) for bone finishing. This is something I will be using soon so I will look it up. if this is posted elsewhere on the site I will check out what's been written. Also I have never heard of 'micromesh' for final finishing. Could you tell me more about this material Janel? I am quite good at making tools and have a stock of round section silver steel and many old leather working bodkins to convert into scraping tools. I would appreciate an insight into some of the shapes that you use for scraping. If you have a link to anywhere on this site I'll check this out. I will look into the site in more depth to find out about staining and colouring boxwood so thanks for the info Ed. Again thank you all for taking the time to answer my question, it has really helped.
  9. Hi. I've just come back to carving after many years. I am starting work on some small netsuke type carvings in boxwood and also trying to finish an older carving in ebony. I wondered if anyone has recommendations for the type of finishing sandpapers and polishing compounds that they use to take a piece of carving through from final carving and scraping to a final finish ready for polishing? I'm also curious about the final polishing stages. Does anyone have recommendations about what polishing compounds or techniques they use to put a really smooth finish on boxwood/ebony? Thanks in advance.
  10. Clark

    Hello From Birmingham Uk (Or Just A Tad Outside) :)

    Excellent that you've joined. I'm based in Tewkesbury near Cheltenham in the Cotswolds so about 45 minutes travel from Brum. I know the Hockley area well as an old ex jeweller and silversmith and know the Jewellery School well also. All strength to your modelling arm on the forum. Look forward to seeing your posts in future.
  11. Clark

    Hi from Cheltenham UK

    Thanks for the Link Janel and thanks Freda for reminding me that you can really carve just about anywhere when you want to. I was very heartened by seeing so many different ways of working and so many different types of tools in use. I used to use a 1960's rotary dental drill which was cantilevered to take the weight off your hand while 'drilling'. I bought several different hand pieces for it and I'll add an image of this remarkable bit of engineering when I get a chance to set it up again, along with the current tools in my arsenal. Thanks again Janel for your encouragement and kind words before I joined the forum Colin.
  12. Clark

    Hi from Cheltenham UK

    Thanks for the welcome Phil. I'll certainly post images of any new work as it progresses and when pieces are finished if both are of interest. I was hunting around for images of my more interesting jewellery/boxes and it may be interesting for members to see some of those images to know what I used to do in terms of metalwork. Obviously a lot has changed since I made them so perhaps it would be better to focus on new work. Colin.
  13. Clark

    Hi from Cheltenham UK

    Thanks Freda. I'm glad to be in touch with another UK based carver. I've had a very warm welcome and i'm starting to construct a small work area. I don't know about you but when I started pulling my tools together I was amazed I ever found room to have them all out and ready for use in my old workshop. Out of interest, how do you lay out your workspace and what kind of space do you need for your own carving work? Regards, Colin.
  14. Clark

    Hi from Cheltenham UK

    Thanks Jim and Janel. I look forward to getting cracking again and putting my old skills back together and learning new ones. I was very keen on Japanese metalwork chasing, colouring and inlay as a student but only had a limited amount of time to pursue any of these elements. I enjoyed your website very much Jim and I've spent a little time viewing your tutorial section. Lots to learn from there and the segment on inlaying the owl into shibuichi was extremely enlightening as it was a technique I used simply in the past but did not get the chance to experiment with to any degree. I look forward to learning more about Shibuichi & Shakudo alloying and patinating. As a chance to share information the TCP site is wonderful and I feel very welcome and inspired. Thanks Colin.
  15. Clark

    Hi from Cheltenham UK

    Hello to everyone at The Carving Path. My name is Colin Clark and I was very excited when I stumbled upon Janel's website and found the link to TCP. I began carving while at college during the early 1980's and stopped in the late 80's due to finding it financially impossible to make a living just from carving and the objects I made. So I haven't carved for 20years! I was however, greatly inspired by Janel's site and images of her work and dusted off my tools and boxes of materials. I trained as a Goldsmith and made jewellery (teaching jewellery making for 15 years too) but stopped making jewellery in 1998 as I grew dissatisfied with living hand to mouth for so long. My real love was carving and fine repousse in silver & gold but there was little scope for that while I needed to earn a living. I took some close up photos of my old work to put up onto the site. The round brooch is boxwood with silver fittings on the reverse and the other, an unfinished piece made from an ivory Victorian button blank found in a box of half finished buttons at auction. I would never use Ivory again unless mammoth and I doubt if this small carving will ever become a finished work. The pieces are however over twenty years old but there is a work in progress in the box that I never finished. I'll start work on this again and put some images of it onto the 'show and tell' area as it progresses. I must say, it's very exciting to be in touch with other carvers. For many years in the UK - especially in the Cotswolds in England where I'm from - I was really the only one apart from Guy Shaw, Michael Webb and Sue Wraight who carved small netsuke like forms. I wrote about her work while writing my thesis on the influence of Japanese art & craft work on British craft design. In the 80's there were two major exhibitions of Japanese art & craft work at the Royal Academy in London both called The Great Japan Exhibition, and it was here that I encountered my first Netsuke carvings. After this I bought and borrowed every book I could find on Netsuke & Ojime carving. Several students in the year previous to mine were into carving and fine repousse work so I had a good backdrop against which to develop my interest. I collected and procured a lot of materials during this time and when I left college this 'magpie' like tendency continued until I had filled any spare space with boxwood, African Blackwood and other exotic hardwoods even cannibalising my family's collection of ebony elephants in order to have materials to carve. Most of this wood is still with me and now seasoned for at least the last 15 to 20 years in dry storage. In the early days after college when I was starting up my business I also bought a lathe and learned to do some small scale turning producing what I called 'spinning top boxes'. The first ones proved that it could be done and I carved the outsides of these to look like seed pods or whirling tornadoes. Unfortunately they were hard to sell or produce in any quantity. Ten years ago I swopped my larger woodturning lathe for a small watchmakers lathe but have not had time or space to set this up now that I no longer have a workshop. While working as a Goldsmith I became interested in hard stone carving but never had the opportunity or time to do anything with this although collected some diamond burrs and files to have a go. Now that my eyesight isn't what it used to be I hope I can still work in the detail that I used to! I'm glad there are so many 'visual aids' out there and any suggestions in this regard would be appreciated from those who may be in the same boat as me with regard to eyesight. It's a great pleasure to be able to join this forum and I hope to contribute regularly now that I’ve resurrected my passion. Regards to you all, Colin Clark. Brooch in Boxwood with Silver Fittings (2.75inches diam) Carved from an Ivory Victorian button blank (1.4 inches wide X 1/8 inch thick)