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Tom Mehau

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About Tom Mehau

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 03/05/1959

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  • Location
    Waimea, Hawaii
  • Interests
    Carving, drawing, painting, solution-oriented people.
  1. Tom Mehau

    Na Puhi Li'ili'i

    This one is for Lachlan, who suggested to me this idea for a carving over three years ago. Carved this one recently. Mahalo Lachlan...
  2. Tom Mehau

    Mo'o Sisters

    Hi Folks! It's been a long time since I visited. Here's something I did recently...
  3. Tom Mehau

    New Boy On The Block!

    Hi Paolo and welcome to TCP! Thank you for sharing your beautiful work and for the background information of your traditions. I'm not religious but I love religious art and I hope we'll get to see more of yours. Aloha, Tom
  4. Tom Mehau

    Jade Laukolu

    I know. It makes you catch your breath for sure. Iʻm just glad it was me who broke it and not the friend that I was showing it too. Even though I know accidents happen, I donʻt know if I would have been a big enough man to be understanding about it. I know when I screw up I can learn and do things differently. And my friend is still my friend. Thanks for the link to your carvings. What is the ball that the beetles are crawling on made of?
  5. Tom Mehau

    Some New Work- Ohana, Laukolu, Puhi

    Thanks Rebecca. So those times when you make a second wax carving, you would probably only make a mold from the second one yeah? The first one would be like a rough draft, sort of? One of these days I'd like to try that process of making a mold from wax carving. Anyway, thanks again.
  6. Tom Mehau

    Some New Work- Ohana, Laukolu, Puhi

    Thanks Lachlan. I've always liked the themed series thing. I did that a lot back in my drawing days. This is actually one of three puhi designs I've carved, but the first one I've repeated. Folks seem to like them. Thanks for the two together suggestion. Whether they're fighting or just slithering together, they're so danged awsome! Could be a nice carving.
  7. Tom Mehau

    Green Python Carving

    That is a very cool piece. What is dugong? Guess I could have Googled that, but then I couldn't have mentioned what a very cool piece that is. Thanks. And for what it's worth, I agree with Billy and Janel. Later with the scales!
  8. Aloha everybody, Here are some new carvings from May. I hadn't carved anything since January and it was like these things came jumping out of the bone! This was tattooed on a man's arm and he asked me if I thought I could carve it. I photographed it, made a clean drawing, carved it, and this is how it ended up. He said it was a Celtic Whales Tail design. I saw mothers and babies so it's called 'Ohana. This one is the Laukolu design that I made before and then it broke. I used my teacher's suggestion about leaving small shoring posts, hidden in the spaces where the leaves cross over each other. Way stronger. This one is the Puhi design I carved when I was in school and I wanted to try it again. I like it better than the first one, which is pictured below. Does anybody have any opinions about carving the same design over again? I was kind of troubled for reasons I don't really understand. Something about selling out or something along those lines. You know what though? Call me a sellout if you like, but it sure felt good paying off a big chunk of my kids' tuition. A hui hou Tom
  9. Tom Mehau

    I Finally Tried It

    Stunning delicateness. You have raised the bone bar considerably for me, Janel. My teacher always told me to set the bar high but oh my goodness... Did you use any power tools? I love your work. Thanks for sharing this. Tom
  10. Tom Mehau

    Christmas Carvings

    Lucky family members. That crab is insane! I like these pieces. Thanks for sharing.
  11. Tom Mehau

    New Carving "waipi'o"

    Thanks Janel, I'm glad you had a chance to visit the website. I appreciate you taking the time and offering your nod of approval. It means a lot to me, coming from you. No kidding. In my opinion it's probably fine to start working on that piece of bone again. I guess the issue is about the longevity of the piece. This June I will have been carving for only three years. I've never owned a piece of bone jewelry (or any jewelry) before I made one myself. I don't have first hand knowledge of what effects various factors will have on bone over time. But I don't think I have to. The knowledge I have on the subject comes from my teacher and before that from his. Like this old cowboy once told me: "A smart man learns from his mistakes. A smarter man learns from others'" My teacher had us get our bones fresh from the butcher and scrape them ourselves. He said not to get the kind from the fields because the sun makes them brittle, which is too bad because around here there's no shortage of former cows lying around all over the place. We soaked them overnight in water that was just as hot as our hands could stand, but no hotter. He said that when bones are boiled that makes them brittle too. Which is also too bad because I would take home those fat shank bones every time I ordered osso bucco. I know there are those who would disagree with what he told us about the sun and the boiling. I tend to take my teacher at his word. Like the tests you described above with the dyes, a true test of these factors would have to be tightly controlled, would take years to have any meaning, and preferably would not involve a piece that I spent dozens of hours carving. I would go with that which was handed down to me. I don't need thirty years of sobriety to not drink today. I just need to do what those before me have done. That's why I think, as long as the bone wasn't boiled or found out in the pasture, you should be good. I was thinking too about what you said about the residual fats and what not. If the bone was cleaned and prepped right away from the butcher, so much the better as far as how it takes the dye when it's done carving. I don't believe it would affect its strength at all, but for sure its coloration. Anyways, I'm glad Christophe asked about the color and I'm glad you (Janel) talked about the Procion because it got me thinking about everything involved besides the carving and how much more I have to learn and how grateful I am for all the help available on this forum. Aloha, Tom
  12. Tom Mehau

    New Carving "waipi'o"

    Janel as always I appreciate your thoughtful advice. I havenʻt had any adverse effects from the Procion dyes as far as my health goes, but Iʻll keep it in mind. Youʻve given me a lot to ponder regarding learning how to control and predict this very powerful product. I know the time it would take to gather the data would be worth it when I consider how much time it takes to make some of these pieces. And I know Iʻm at the lower end of the spectrum compared to the time you and others on the forum spend on your work. The information in your post above I think will serve me and others very well in future projects. Thanks again. And as far as your speculation on the fatty nature of the cow bone, Iʻve thought the same thing before also. I imagine the same systematic approach in preparing the bone should be used as that which you described in getting ready to dye it. Thereʻs so much more to all this than just carving!
  13. Tom Mehau

    Rhodonite Mobius

    Thanks for sharing this Michael. Iʻve been staring at it for a long time and it gets more beautiful. I want to touch it!
  14. Tom Mehau

    New Carving "waipi'o"

    Thanks guys, Christophe I never did use those kinds of things but only read about them here. One day soon maybe. Iʻm nervous about trying new things. My teacher Stacy Gordine used a dye called Dylon, and the color was Havana Brown. But after he went back to NZ we used up what he left us pretty quick and it seems impossible to find outside the UK. But I downloaded Tom Sterlingʻs e-book on Netsuke Carving (and speaking of which, I believe Mr. Sterling deserves much thanks) and thatʻs where I learned about a dye called Procion. I ordered the colors he recommended (theyʻre back at the shop right now and I donʻt remember their names, but there was a brown, a yellow, a red, a blue and a black) and you can mix them. The Procion is really aggressive compared to the Dylon though. With the Dylon we would completely cover the piece and then let it totally dry. We would even dab on extra if we thought it wasnʻt covered enough. Then we would run it under the tap and kind of rub it in our fingers and the areas of smooth bone would come almost clean, just a nice thin shade over the bone color. The carved or textured ares would accept and retain the brown as you might expect. But the Procion is different. It grabs on and doesnʻt seem to want to let go! The first time I used it was on a test piece and lucky I did. I let it dry like we used to do with Stacy and it was like I had painted it. Now I wash it off almost immediately and it still penetrates really fast. I got lucky on this one. It came out with a nice result but the design maybe can handle it. The last piece I posted here, the Moʻo Wahine, thereʻs no way I was going to take a chance with this stuff. Stacy told me well youʻll never know and Iʻm thinking yeah youʻre right Iʻm happy with her the way she is. The Procion has a tendency to grab on to really unexpected areas, like places that are smooth, sanded down to 12,000 grit micro mesh smooth, itʻs like a crap shoot. But the color can be really rich, and when it works itʻs very nice. Maybe I can post some examples of ones that worked well and others that, I wouldnʻt say didnʻt work well, but was definitely unexpected. Whoo boy long answer! Thanks though, fellas...
  15. Tom Mehau

    New Carving "waipi'o"

    Aloha everybody, This is something I just finished after taking too many months off from carving. It is carved from one piece of cow bone. I always wondered what it would be like to carve something with free links in it. There's a real learning curve to it. I think it's pretty sturdy. Wore it around for a couple of days. Put some mana into it. Also, to see if it would break. I didn't push any trucks out of the mud, or hug any heavy file cabinets to my chest or anything, which I don't think this piece would have lived through. But it hung in there alright. The name refers to Waipi'o Valley, a big valley on my island. The house where I was raised looks right down into the backside of it. It means "circling water", not as in a whirlpool but as in the timeless cycle of precipitation, irrigation, evaporation, condensation, and then all over again, round and round. Thanks for looking, Tom