Jump to content

Greetings from North Carolina!


DreamingDragonDesigns

Recommended Posts

Hey ya'll! I'm really not very good at typing up introductions, but here goes:

My name is LJ, I'm in North Carolina, USA, I'm female, 22 years old, I've been carving for a little over a year, and I don't seem to do the same type of carving as most of you. All my work is done with a flexshaft & steel burs, and I specialize in man made materials (such as corian and plastic), Reconstituted gemstones, bone and wood. Most of what I carve is jewelry, but I do a few walking staves and tabletop pieces. I'd like to try my hand at netsuke, but I'm wondering if it has to be ivory to sell.

From what I've seen so far on this forum, I doubt any of you are likely to be impressed by my work, but I hope to at least learn something about design while I'm here.

 

LJ

 

EDIT: fixed it so the files are the right dimension, and added descriptions for clarity.

EDIT 2: websites to see more of my work on: My Etsy My DeviantArt

________________________________________________________________________

 

This one is carved from reconstituted Jet. Chain is copper and hand made with liver of sulfur patina.

post-1843-1214893967.jpg

 

Also reconstituted Jet. Set with a 6mm baltic amber. Wish I had had some smooth edge bezels on hand. The current owner doesn't mind, however.

post-1843-1214894062.jpg

 

The first carving I did. Set with a 10mm hematite. Designed to fit in the hand as a meditation tool. Was made for my dad, who loves it.

post-1843-1214894012.jpg

 

6ga earrings. Also out of the recon Jet. Can you tell that I like working with this stuff?

post-1843-1214894086.jpg

 

A vessel carved out of a whitetail deer antler tine tip. Has a almost 1 inch deep thumb thickness cavity under the cap. Cap is carved from bone white corian, with a "jade" corian cabochon. (cab is about 3-4mm) Cap retainer chain and hanging chain are copper, hand made. The spirals carved into the antler were inspired by the stones at Newgrange.

post-1843-1214894120.jpg

 

post-1843-1214894150.jpg

 

post-1843-1214894690.jpg

 

Pendant in bone white Corian, copper bail. This is about 1 3/4" long without the bail.

post-1843-1214894181.jpg

 

Ritual knife carved from "jade" corian, with the sunken areas accented in Testor's enamel paint. Carved this piece for myself. It's not sharp, but it feels lovely in the hand.

post-1843-1214894203.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to The Carving Path forum LJ!

 

There is a lot of experience among the various members for you to learn from. You also have something to contribute when you share about your own experiences.

 

I would like to know what the bottom piece, the green one, is made from. I cannot figure it out. What did you use to make the interior contrast color?

 

Kindest regards,

 

Janel

 

PS I sent you an email about the photo size guidelines. For the other members reading this, I have just pinned a topic to the top of Who's Who regarding these guidelines, which we encourage you to use, for the comfort of those members with soda straw modems, and for the forum's storage capacity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to The Carving Path forum LJ!

 

There is a lot of experience among the various members for you to learn from. You also have something to contribute when you share about your own experiences.

 

I would like to know what the bottom piece, the green one, is made from. I cannot figure it out. What did you use to make the interior contrast color?

 

Kindest regards,

 

Janel

 

PS I sent you an email about the photo size guidelines. For the other members reading this, I have just pinned a topic to the top of Who's Who regarding these guidelines, which we encourage you to use, for the comfort of those members with soda straw modems, and for the forum's storage capacity.

 

Ooops. Sorry about the size thing. If it's possible to edit posts I'll try to fix that.

 

The bottom one is made of "jade" corian. Yes, the countertop stuff. I think the actual brand is Fountainhead, but from what I was told by the guy I got the scrap from, it's a discontinued color. The darkened parts are done in Testor's black enamel. It works because the item in question is something I made for myself, for ritual use, so there's no wear involved. I wouldn't use the Testor's on a pendant unless it was in finer recesses to provide more protection.

 

The black stuff in some of the other pics is Reconstituted Jet, and the white pendant is bone white Corian, as is the cap for the antler vessel. The cabochon on the vessel's cap is the "jade" Corian. (I really don't like doing those. They're too blasted slick and small to keep a hold on while polishing.)

 

Thanks for the welcome!

LJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi LJ,

 

Thanks for the photosize fix, it is great that you could do that! As for the topic of corian used as a material for carving, my feeling is that it is personal preference for any of us to choose to use it or not. It has some interesting attributes that natural materials do not have. The same goes for the collectors. Personal preference is what drives them to do what they do. There are so many people in the world, and so many ways of looking at things, how can there be only one way that is "the right way" for anything? It is not my place to draw the line for someone else, except for when something said or done might be hurtful to another.

 

I would like you to consider presenting a topic in the Materials area about what Jet, and what reconstituted Jet is. I did not know that delicate material came in a reconstituted form. If you know what the process is, that sort of thing I find interesting. How it works, vs how the natural Jet material works, the natural history of what Jet is, etc. I like learning about things.

 

Sure, it is fine to post more images here in the Who's Who section. New Work and Show & Tell is also a place where we post images at length.

 

Welcome!

 

Janel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of the reconstituted stones I use start out as ground up stone, and have about 1% acrylic binder added. After curing, they are uniformly solid, easy to carve, yet hard enough and fine grained enough to take fine detail. I've been told that they can be carefully heated to produce curved forms from slices, but I haven't tried it yet. I've also never carved natural jet. (I've been given some stones recently that are supposed to be jet, but I think they're WAY too light. I'm suspecting black amber. Not planning on carving them.)

 

As far as what natural jet is: the term is sometimes falsely applied to any unknown black stone (jasper, low grade onyx, the list goes on.) What true "Jet" is is a very hard black fossilized wood/coal mix. It's often found at the very bottom of coal mines. It's also often badly cracked, which makes it perfect for reconstituting. Carving the recon version is like carving a nice medium hard plastic, but without any tendency to burn or melt that I've noticed. It sands like a hard plastic, and takes a nice shine. Corian is about the same as recon Jet. And unlike wood, it never has soft spots or cracks. I'm not sure if it would be good to carve with handtools, however, as all my carving is done with a flexshaft & steel burrs.

(If you want to trade me something interesting to try carving, I could send you a couple pieces of jet and corian to try.)

 

I'll post up a couple more examples of my work in the next post.

And I'll add a couple websites where I show my work to the first post.

LJ

 

 

Hi LJ,

 

Thanks for the photosize fix, it is great that you could do that! As for the topic of corian used as a material for carving, my feeling is that it is personal preference for any of us to choose to use it or not. It has some interesting attributes that natural materials do not have. The same goes for the collectors. Personal preference is what drives them to do what they do. There are so many people in the world, and so many ways of looking at things, how can there be only one way that is "the right way" for anything? It is not my place to draw the line for someone else, except for when something said or done might be hurtful to another.

 

I would like you to consider presenting a topic in the Materials area about what Jet, and what reconstituted Jet is. I did not know that delicate material came in a reconstituted form. If you know what the process is, that sort of thing I find interesting. How it works, vs how the natural Jet material works, the natural history of what Jet is, etc. I like learning about things.

 

Sure, it is fine to post more images here in the Who's Who section. New Work and Show & Tell is also a place where we post images at length.

 

Welcome!

 

Janel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More examples of my work:

 

A fertility carving for a friend. This is one of my most recent pieces. In white corian, with a "jade" corian cabochon. Made to fit in the hand. The cab is about 2-3mm.

post-1843-1214942780.jpg

 

Earrings made from a pair of rabbit femurs. Carvings were filled with an epoxy/jet dust mix, then sanded smooth.

post-1843-1214942890.jpg

 

Flame earrings from Reconstituted Jet. Flames were designed by my partner, carved by me. Silver hoops are only 1/2". Silver accents in carving are Testor's enamel paint, to highlight the carving.

post-1843-1214942966.jpg

 

Reconstituted Jet pendant. Celtic knot is my own hand drawn variation. Pendant is 2" long. Texture continues on back. Strung with jet and silver beads.

post-1843-1214943098.jpg

 

3D carved celtic knot pendant. Strands cross over each other. In reconstituted Jet. Handmade copper chain. Was a gift for my partner.

post-1843-1214943219.jpg

 

Pendant in Stabilized California Buckeye Burlwood, with purchased 8mm turquoise cab. Lines are painted with Testor's Enamel paint for contrast. Front and back views. Bail is silver and designed for a chain.

post-1843-1214943331.jpg

post-1843-1214943483.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi LJ- the first pendant you've listed from the recon. jet is very nice. I like the contrast of surfaces- you've kept the knot tracery consistent and sharp. Nice polish too.

Do you know the work of Owen Mapp? He's a New Zealander with an aesthetic that might appeal to you. http://art-jewelery.com/ have a look-

 

-Doug

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello and Welcome LI,

 

I for one find your work to be very wonderfilled - you are carving a spiritual path and it shows! I would like to see you carve more of the natural materials found all around us,

as I feel they have a better inherent presense and I just love the feel of wood, bone, horn and stone more than resins and plastics. But that being said, once again I want to say I love your work. Thank you so much for sharing these with us here.

Blessings,

Magnus

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey LJ,

 

Nice work, nice to see one so young taking up the craft. Your design sense and texture utilization are quite good. I believe you will be able to well utilize this forum as an educational tool. I can only appreciate Netsuke, not produce it, but there are a fair number of masters associated here and Tom Sterling has just completed an e-book available for free. Farm this site!

 

I would agree with Magnus that natural materials are preferable and Doug's suggestion (thanks Doug I'd not seen it myself) to peruse Owen Mapp's site was a good one. This site is also excellent for investigating materials and their treatments for carving. There are a great many gem and mineral shows in your state and probably some in your area. These can be a good source for Mastodon Ivory, natural jet (rarely) although there is a good deal coming out of Russia I believe, and other things you may find useful. Check at a local jewelry supply store or try to find a rock hound group in your neck of the woods. And speaking of woods, see what many of the members do in that medium. Best of luck and keep up the good works.

 

Tom Finn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi LJ,

Welcome to TCP. Loads of information here and lots of good people who are willing to help.

I really like your work and thanks for posting the photo's. I'm in NC also. I live near Wilmington, but out in the sticks.

 

Again, thanks for sharing.

 

Don

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My choice to specialize in the reconstituted stone over natural is a practical one, as well as one of philosophy. As is my choice to use mostly stabilized woods when I use wood. Bone and horn are something I like working with, but my access to them is limited, and I simply cannot afford ivory.

 

To explain my choice of stone:

The equipment I carve with is not "lapidary" equipment. It is a flexshaft with steel burrs. This means that if I try carving natural stone, I'm not only going to be putting myself in unnecessary danger from things like stone chips, I'm going to be burning thru burrs and wasting material and time. Recon stone takes fantastic detail, and a very nice finish. It's more wearable than natural stone. And it doesn't have cracks. It doesn't absorb skin oils and discolor. I don't make stuff to sit in display cases. I make things my customers won't want to take off. And it's affordable for me, which makes it affordable for my customers.

It's also much faster to carve. This leaves me more time to do things like design the knot I used for that first pendant from scratch. (Yes, I design knotwork.) If it takes me months to carve one piece, I don't have time to design, and my work is out of the price range of normal people...

 

About stabilized wood:

The stabilized wood I use has had acrylic resin forced into it under vacuum and pressure. The resin goes all the way thru the wood's fiber. This doesn't change the look of the wood, but it does make it TOTALLY waterproof. This means that my customer doesn't need to spend time oiling it. They can wear it kayaking. Or in the shower. It means that a pendant can become a companion and treasured item, not just interesting art. It can even become a symbol of that person's self. But wood jewelry can't do this if it cracks when it gets wet, or hot & dry. The other benefit is to the hardness. Stabilization makes the wood uniformly hard. This means that it uniformly takes detail. To me, with the tools I use, unstabilized wood is generally kinda "mushy". And it's not very durable. In 100 years, my work will still be in good shape, regardless of the conditions it's been kept in.

 

I'm not trying to make something that is valuable for it's materials alone. I'm trying to create pieces that will be treasured in a very personal way. I have actually refused to accept a commission from someone who just wanted a prop for a drama costume, to be used once and never worn again for any other reason. That's not what I'm about. I want my customer who buys a simple pendant to pass it on to their child when they come of age, and tell them it's brought them luck, or ask that it be buried with them. Unlike many carvers, I would refuse to sell if a museum wanted one of my pieces, unless they were willing to pay about ten times my normal rate, simply because that piece would never have a chance to be loved one-on-one. My few natural wood pieces, and all of my bone and horn pieces are things that aren't worn against the skin. Things that people are more careful with anyway.

As far as the "feel" of the work goes- I honestly challenge any of you to pick up my work and say that it feels like plastic. Corian and recon jet are both nicely substantial when touched. The jet feels no different from natural stone. I would honestly like to try clear acrylic, but I haven't had a chance. I believe however that I could achieve something that would make you disregard it's material when held. It's easy to judge whether it is "just plastic" when all you see is pictures and read that it is not natural stone, but to do so in person is not so easy.

 

Many of you should really investigate the materials and think about the fact that it's what you do with them that really determines value in the long run. I can make a crude unidentifiable object out of fine jade. It's still an ugly chunk of junk. It's expensive junk, but it has no artistic merit, no impact on the viewer until you tell them that it's worth something because it's jade. And the viewer will still see no beauty unless motivated by greed.

Art should not be something that invokes greed. It should invoke a more subtle desire to directly and personally own it, to touch it, to possess it as you would a pet or even a lover. To call an object "mine" in a way that denotes something lasting, not something monetary or transitory, not something you would be willing to trade away for another object. This is what I strive for as an artist. And this cannot me achieved by mere materials.

 

LJ

 

 

Hello and Welcome LI,

 

I for one find your work to be very wonderfilled - you are carving a spiritual path and it shows! I would like to see you carve more of the natural materials found all around us,

as I feel they have a better inherent presense and I just love the feel of wood, bone, horn and stone more than resins and plastics. But that being said, once again I want to say I love your work. Thank you so much for sharing these with us here.

Blessings,

Magnus

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, thanks for the link. Lots of inspiration to be found there!

 

Glad you like first one. The celtic knot on that one is my own design. Ironically, I could do that smaller and better now. I've bought some much smaller burrs since I completed that pendant. But I think I learned more on that piece than any other that I've worked on. The polish is the product of careful sanding with a range of 3M's sanding sponges, and a final buff with a little muslin wheel loaded with my "special sauce". (A beeswax base with fine tumbler grit. Like the commercial buffing compounds, but without the grease, and I can make it in different grits. I really like the easy removal possible with just hot water and soap.)

Here's a work in progress progression for this piece:

post-1843-1215045810.jpg

 

 

Hi LJ- the first pendant you've listed from the recon. jet is very nice. I like the contrast of surfaces- you've kept the knot tracery consistent and sharp. Nice polish too.

Do you know the work of Owen Mapp? He's a New Zealander with an aesthetic that might appeal to you. http://art-jewelery.com/ have a look-

 

-Doug

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello LJ,

 

Welcome and thank you for sharing your wonderful creations. I'm impressed by what you have achieved in such a short time at carving. One can only imagine the heights you will rise to given time.

 

 

Thanks! That's a high complement indeed! I hope you're right about the possibility of improvement.

LJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LJ,

You can buy antler legally at Moscow hide & fur, they have a website. You can sell the antler in NC as long as you don't advertise it as deer antler. You can tell people it is antler, but can't advertise it as such. LOL. Some rule huh?

 

Jantz supply sells a wood called "Diamond wood" It is impregnated with resin and I use it to make knife handles. They also sell a stone for making knife handles. Prices are reasonable for both. You might want to check them out on the web. Jantz supply.

 

Don

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi LJ,

 

Thankyou for your rather detailed explanation of your use of the stabilized woods you use. I apologize if I made you feel defensive. I agree with much of what you point out. Enough to explore the use myself in fact. Do you have a link to give for a supplier of these. I am interested in using them for carving some toggles to put on my skin-on-frame kayak I built.

Thanks again for sharing so much.

Magnus

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LJ,

You can buy antler legally at Moscow hide & fur, they have a website. You can sell the antler in NC as long as you don't advertise it as deer antler. You can tell people it is antler, but can't advertise it as such. LOL. Some rule huh?

 

Jantz supply sells a wood called "Diamond wood" It is impregnated with resin and I use it to make knife handles. They also sell a stone for making knife handles. Prices are reasonable for both. You might want to check them out on the web. Jantz supply.

 

Don

 

 

I already get part of my recon stone from Jantz.

Diamondwood is something I'm VERY familiar with. (My dad is a knifemaker) Diamond wood is not suitable for carving with the tools I use. It chips and splatters instead of taking fine detail, and the stripes just don't trip my trigger.

 

I have a few sources of antler already, just not in quantity. I do like knowing exactly where it came from and how/why the animal was harvested.

 

Thanks,

LJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi LJ,

 

Thank you for your rather detailed explanation of your use of the stabilized woods you use. I apologize if I made you feel defensive. I agree with much of what you point out. Enough to explore the use myself in fact. Do you have a link to give for a supplier of these. I am interested in using them for carving some toggles to put on my skin-on-frame kayak I built.

Thanks again for sharing so much.

Magnus

 

 

Try Jantz Supply, or Texas Knifemaker's supply. They don't list it online, but both places will sell you a block as well as the slices, and if you call and tell them what thickness you need, they can custom cut the slices/slabs for you. Or, I could send you some if you have something carve-able you want to trade. I've got some irregular shaped scraps that might work for your toggles.

 

I wasn't really feeling defensive. It does irritate me a bit that many carvers seem to be judging materials before they've tried them, and getting hung up on unimportant things. I feel it's limiting their artistic expression. Closemindedness has no proper place in Art.

 

LJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well said. I'd be happy to trade some boxwood and ebony with you - both are very nice to carve with rotary high speed burs. Let me know.

 

Magnus

 

 

Sounds good to me. I've wanted to try ebony for awhile now. And people keep telling me that boxwood is neat.

How about this?

 

sample0010650sb5.jpg

 

(For size reference, the long piece of jet is about 2 1/4" long. Most of this is between 1/4" and 1/2" thick. All of the stones here are recon. The black is jet, the white with veins is howlite, the blue stuff is some really pretty very matrix heavy turquoise, and I threw in a chunk of stabilized California Buckeye Burl wood. It's nicer than it looks in my quick photo, quite richly figured, and more grey. The photo blued everything. My flash sucks.

Anyway, this is about 5oz. I'll cover the shipping to you, if you'll cover shipping to me.

LJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello LJ,

 

Here's what I picked out to trade. The ebony is all about 10mm thickness - I buy this as classic guitar fingerboard blanks - it's very stable and seemed a good thickness for much of your carvings. The boxwood is Turkish - I bought it at Gilmer Woods in Portland Oregon. It has some spalting so there are streaks of color running through it - I'm posting a photo of a carving I did from this wood so you can tell what I mean. The lot weighs about 11 ozs. P.M. me a mailing address if you want and I'll ship it off to you.

Magnus

post-239-1215237321.jpg

post-239-1215237602.jpg

post-239-1215237634.jpg

post-239-1215237676.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello LJ,

 

Here's what I picked out to trade. The ebony is all about 10mm thickness - I buy this as classic guitar fingerboard blanks - it's very stable and seemed a good thickness for much of your carvings. The boxwood is Turkish - I bought it at Gilmer Woods in Portland Oregon. It has some spalting so there are streaks of color running through it - I'm posting a photo of a carving I did from this wood so you can tell what I mean. The lot weighs about 11 ozs. P.M. me a mailing address if you want and I'll ship it off to you.

Magnus

 

 

Sent you the PM.

 

That bead is full of wow, btw.

 

Actually, all your work is amazing.

 

LJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Greetings LJ,

I've just finished reading through your thread including your web pages and your art is Excellent, very smooth and well done with excellent detail. I Mostly carve wood of various kinds and stone, bone and some Jade. I have never tried any of the recon's available but after seeing your work I am anxious to give them a try as it seems you can get quite fine detail where you want it. I also use the flex shaft motors and steel burs but also use carbide and diamond burs when carving harder materials. I'll be waiting to see what you do with the boxwood and Ivory from Magnus, it's always so much fun to try different media but scary at the same time.

Really love your work.

Benzart

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...