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Alexa D.

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About Alexa D.

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  1. Oh goodness no, I'm no lapidary. The stone was a gift from a friend -- he makes jewelry, and had purchased a number of small cabochons that he wasn't going to use. Thanks!
  2. The quizzical tilt to his head in that second photo is delightful. What did you use for the oak leaf?
  3. That is absolutely exquisite. Consider the bar raised. Wow.
  4. Beautiful! I love the design.
  5. Some people go out and party on Friday nights. I usually curl up with a book or hang out with a friend or two. Last night, though, the carving bug bit, and hard. This is my first real attempt at inlay, too. (thumbnails; click to enlarge) It's an ivy leaf carved from a slice of tagua nut (roughed out with a jeweler's saw and dremel, refined with needle files and my little carving knife, and finished with 180, 220, and 320-grit sandpaper, veins etched last-thing with the dremel). The tigereye is set with CA glue; its socket isn't quite as closely fitting as I could hope for, but not bad for a first try. The loop of "stem" for the cord broke off while I tried to sand it -- probably should've seen that coming, given how thin it is -- and had to be repaired with more CA; another learning experience. All in all, though, I'm not displeased with it!
  6. Stick a dot on Boise, Idaho for me, please!
  7. Alexa D.

    Hello, World!

    Thanks, everyone! ...oh hello. I did not know such things existed. That is an excellent idea! Also, tagua nightlights are an exceedingly interesting prospect. I'll have to see what I can do...
  8. For what it's worth, I've always been able to find waxed nylon cord at my local craft stores. JoAnn Fabrics is a reliable source. I can't speak to its relative quality, but it's held up nicely at least for the few years I've been carving.
  9. Alexa D.

    Hello, World!

    Water plants? That's a thought. Not much of that in Idaho, though. I've been looking at the twisted shapes of gnarled juniper and sagebrush wood lately -- they are inspiring. I rough the pieces out with a jeweler's saw and a small dremel tool; refine them with smaller dremel bits, needle files, and a chip-carving knife; and finish them with several grits of sandpaper. Unfortunately, I can't really afford a rotary polisher -- nor do I have anywhere to put one -- and I've never managed any satisfactory polishing with the buffer-wheel dremel bits. I tried a felt-buffing setup at a friend's workshop a few times, though; the effect probably would've been nice with more practice, but as it was I kept getting the compound built up in ugly little deposits on the piece. :/ Never did manage to replicate what the buffers did in that first carving class.
  10. Alexa D.

    Hello, World!

    I'm a botanical technician living in Idaho. A few years back, while studying abroad in New Zealand, I took a course on Maori bonecarving; the process and results were both incredibly satisfying. Back in the US, I gathered the tools and started carving on my own. I've been working off and on (mostly off, to be honest) since 2010. I mostly work in tagua nut these days -- bone dust is harder to deal with in my three-room flat, and I can't buy the cat a dust mask, so I can only use bone or antler when it's warm enough to carve outside. Lately I've begun developing my own style and moving away from the Maori symbols that shaped my early work. (The tree silhouettes carved out of tagua slices are beautiful, fun to carve, and popular at the occasional craft sale, and they don't risk cultural appropriation.) Here are a few photos of recent pieces (they're thumbnails -- click to enlarge). All are tagua; the dimes are for scale. I'm looking forward to meeting the people of The Carving Path, learning from your experience, and maybe helping someone in turn. Can't wait to get started!
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