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About Heidi

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  • Location
    Sweden, Gävle
  • Interests
    My biggest interests are history, art and handcrafting. I have sculpted in a lot of materials; clay, wax, plaster, bone, antler, silver, iron, stone, gems, amber, wool and paper. The list goes on. Right now I work with bone, mostly cow and moose.

    Since I am involved in a living history community and recreating swedish late iron age (viking era), I often make reproductions of archaeological findings.
  1. Heidi

    The Coloring Of Engraved Bone

    The bone buckles appear in different settings and eras. I based the ones above on anglosaxon finds, but here are three from sweden, medieval era. I like the fact that the pin is also bone, but there are those with metal pins as well. (Alltough the database says it's bone, I wouldn't be so sure. Bone often means "bone, ivory or antler"). There is an interesting find of a bone buckle from York that is dyed green with copper acetate. I don't know how it's done yet, but when I do I'll post the results. http://mis.historisk...653&page=2&in=1 http://mis.historisk...?fid=116347&g=1 http://mis.historisk...?fid=534080&g=1
  2. Heidi

    The Coloring Of Engraved Bone

    I used a hairdryer to heat up the bone a bit, and applied the ink about 3 times. I let it stay over night before washing it off with a toothbrush. It seems to me that the oak gall ink binds to the bone better than other types of ink, but I'm not really certain. Just a feeling, really. The buckles are quite small, just 2 cm or so. Don'f forget to post your results on the ink, Toothy!
  3. Heidi

    The Coloring Of Engraved Bone

    Update: I took your advise Janel, but instead of searching for staining of wood and metal, I went looking for natural wool dyes and found recepies for black yarn. Oak apple has been used for coloring various organic materials, and oak apple ink has worked well for my engravings. I modified a recepie from this site (no 2, boiling galls), but without adding the gum arabic. Since I wasn't gonna write with the ink it seemed pointless to add a binding agent for painting on paper. http://irongallink.org/igi_indexc33a.html The ink could be worked with a thin brush, just as I wanted. I let it rest overnight before washing the bone and scraping of access dye. I cannot yet say how the colour changes over time though, the sources on oak gall ink says that the stain can be a bit sensitive. If I get a good sample I'll post a picture later on.
  4. Heidi

    Something Old, Something New

    Thanks! Mostly, I just use these, and some fine sandpaper and steel wool. The scraper/burnisher is the kind you use for silversmithing, it is the one tool I could never work without. It solves most of my sculpting problems. The silver work is a different story, it required a multitude of tools. But I guess you were referring to the bone carving.
  5. I enjoy working with the flaws of the material instead of removing them. The cascet with a silver lid is made from elk bone, and stained with onion skin. I like the way the roughness of the bone make it look like old wood. Instead of covering or removing the hole where the blood vessels once entered the cavity, I decided to make it a part of the artwork. The celtic dog is a detail from a painting by Brian Froud. Working with bone is still a bit new to me, I am better with silver. Combining the two crafts was rewarding and fun. I don't know what to do with the new piece just yet. The bone has a sort of wierd, flat shape. I stained it with alder cones. It was difficult to photograph, since the stain is a bit glossy, i guess it is sugar from the alder sap or something like that. Maybe I'll just put a silver lid on it and put it on shelf somewhere.
  6. Heidi

    Onion Skin On Bone.

    Silver fitting finished, apart from additional sulphur oxide on the silver. It look a bit to clean.
  7. Heidi

    The Coloring Of Engraved Bone

    That sounds interesting! I took a quick look at the recipies, they seem to require fresh walnuts with their skin/shell/what-ever-you-call-it, still on. They are hard to come by in Sweden since walnut trees do'nt grow here naturally. The walnuts are imported peeled and dried, and the soft skin is gone. I'll take a look next time I visit Stockholm, they have better food stores there. The other day I tried to make colour from boiled alder cones. It was a good colour, but it only stayed on when the bone test piece was boiled in it. When fully reduced, the colour was thick and sticky, kind of like when you melt sugar to make sugar glue for your ginger bread house, or like syrup. I have had some luck using the microwave. If I heat up the bone for just a couple of seconds, and apply heated colour with a thin brush while the bone is still very warm, the colour sinks in and stays there. But it doesn't always work that well. Sometimes the technique results in a shade surrounding the engravings, that penetrates the material 0.5-2 mm deep. Maybe the microwave open up the pores to much. I have yet to try the difference between bones with a different degree of moisture, using microwave coloring.
  8. I do bone carvings. I work with different kinds of bone. In Sweden hunting season for moose is of, but I have plenty of beef bone. Two weeks ago, I got a friendly gift of bone of wild boars. Thus, the question I have concerns bone in general, but not from a specific animal. I am looking for a neet and cleen way for coloring engravings black vs brown. I mainly make different kinds of household items, such as handles and weaving tools, so I need something that can survive the everyday wear and tear. I am also a viking reenactor, so the items must fit a prehistoric environment. That means I prefer recepies with engredients i can get from nature, from modern inventions like acrylics and such. Not because it's better, but because it brings me closer to what I am trying to show with my gear. I have tried pulverised charcoal (just comes of) and applying strong solutions of tea, madder and onion peels (needs boling to stay put). I have been using acetic acid when preparing the items before coloring (24%). The problem is that I want the engraving colored WITHOUT letting the entire object soak in color. Preferably, I need something I can rub into the engravings. Any recepies, anyone? Can I secure the color with wax or something? O, and did I mention I want to be able to wash them in dishwashing liquid without the color fading? Am I asking to much now?
  9. Bone of wild boar (left) and elk bone (right), dyed with onion skin. I'm gonna put a silver fitting on the smaller bone and sell it as a needle case for viking ladys, and provide the elk bone with some sort of lid. It is surprising how you fall in love with some colours. No matter how hard I try to find alternate dyes, I keep returning to boiling all my stuff in yellow onion skin and scraping of the access colour. It's beatiful. I didn't even prepare the elk bone in any way, just put it in the pot as it was. No degreasing or anything. Final polishing was made by rubbing it through my hair.