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Debbie K

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This is in response to Dante, who wanted to see new work. This piece "Breaststroke" is carved cowbone, cast sterling silver hair and belt, ammonite, with a copper base, sea fan and shell.post-1996-1245773767.jpg

This letteropener is carved cowbone, jade, with cast sterling silver hair, belt and tail on a silver base.

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This piece, "Poseidon" is sterling silver, gold and bronze with a baroque pearl and coral. The only thing carved on this piece are the waxes for the head and body of Poseidon and the Octupus.

post-1996-1245774413.jpg

 

For those of you who have not done so, I encourage you to go to Dante's website and look at all of his beautiful work. When you carve gemstones, you sometimes feel you are the only one in the world being foolish enough to do so. I stumbled across his website a few years ago, and it encouraged me to keep on.

 

Debbie K

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Hi Debbie,

 

I admire your imagination, for how you were able to see the shells, pearls and other materials, and produce marvelous compositions! I keep returning to look again at these pieces.

 

In the third piece, is the chest area of Poseidon a Baroque Pearl? If so, it was used very effectively. You have many skills and talent combined in these pieces. Thank you for sharing them with us.

 

Janel

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hi debbie your work is fantastic ,I feel inspired ,great combination of materials and the concept is great the quality of the carving the anatomy and the expression ( you know my first carving was in cow bone )the joins of the pieces is berry clean, when I was reading your messages, I feel like crying is berry touching for me to hear that I could have such motivation on some one ,specially when that person is so god, I have no words to describe that I'm feeling now, the only thing that comes to my head is thank you ,for such motivation this means to me, now I'm going to star to up loud more pieces on my site ,YOU MAKE MY DAY !THANKS :D

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Hi Debbie,

 

I admire your imagination, for how you were able to see the shells, pearls and other materials, and produce marvelous compositions! I keep returning to look again at these pieces.

 

In the third piece, is the chest area of Poseidon a Baroque Pearl? If so, it was used very effectively. You have many skills and talent combined in these pieces. Thank you for sharing them with us.

 

Janel

Janel:

 

Thank you Janel, Phil, Billy and Dante for your kind words.

 

The chest of Poseidon is a Baroque Pearl. It looked just like a mature man's upper torso, just slightly twisted with great pecs. I had the good fortune of going to England about 20 years ago and visiting the V&A and got to see the Canning Gem in person, which is the inspiration for this piece. Since I make all the elements of the pieces, I just move things around or adjust the scale of things until they look good. Most of my pieces are pendants, they get made first and then the backgrounds are constructed around them.

 

Although alot of my work is done with a Dremel, I still do all the fine carving of the bone, tusk and tongua nuts with hand tools. And I still use my chisels on anything wood. I just like all the chips as opposed to the dust. I live in Houston and last September Hurricane Ike knocked out power for 11 days, so I just sat on my back porch whittling and carving a tongua nut during the daylight. That piece became Tina.

 

Subsequent to making this piece, I came to find out that pearls have a limited lifespan, lasting only a few hundred years. I've been trying to make things that will endure for centuries, so this was sort of a self-defeating work. Live and learn.

 

Debbie K

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Hello Debbie,

 

This is very nice work indeed. I love your integration of different materials. Hope to see more. Thankyou for shariing.

 

Blessings,

Magnus

Magnus:

 

Magnus: Thank you, I'm glad you like the pieces. I have been a sporadic stalker on this site, and I want you to know that I have viewed your work and liked it very much indeed. If I ever had the skill set to make such beautifully finished pieces as yours, I would be very happy. I fall down badly when it comes to setting stones, I just don't seem to have the knack.

 

Jim: I love your tsuba, the integration of all the different metals and patinas. I am lucky enough to own a decrepit suit of japanese war armor, circa 1580 with helmet and face mask. Any time I think I've done something good, I'll go look at that helmet with its 62 folds which were made with relatively primitive equipment and tools and hang my head in shame.

 

Phil: Your work is beautiful. I envy your ability to work in such large scale, and small. I have recently started casting in bronze and found your tutorial on the Queen helpful, especially in regard to the venting sprues which I think I finally understand. I am doing small bronzes, mostly under two pounds, but hope to construct a small foundry soon to do larger pieces.

 

Janel: I've looked at your work, too. I loved the gourd that you made, and the fact that you put so much thought in the composition of the piece made me thoughtful about the reckless way I approach my work. I never have a plan, and sometimes it really shows. I also really enjoyed looking at the display that you had for shows and the way that it was set up. If and when I ever have the money to do shows, I now know what I would want and how to arrange it.

 

Billy: Go for the jade! Just keep it wet, otherwise it crazes like your grandmother's old china. I love the bone carvings, and the lacing is unbelievable.

 

Dante: You know how I feel about your work.

 

I just want everyone to know that what you do, say and post makes a difference. A website like this gives one humility, information and inspiration and often people like me never let anyone know that we're out there looking and appreciating your efforts. The level of artistry and skill for so many of the members is so high that it can be daunting sometimes. Even if some of the work is something that we may not or cannot do, most of it is done so well that there's always something to appreciate. It also gives an individual the chance to let other like-minded people see what they're up to, and get some kudos. Thanks to all of you for keeping this forum going and alive.

 

Debbie K

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Hi Debbie,

 

Thanks for your kind words and feed back. I've got a show coming up the last week in July, but come August I plan to put together some more tutorials - if you would like to see any particular type of stone setting I would be happy to show my techniques to others.

Magnus

Magnus:

 

I took a couple of courses in college on jewelrymaking, but never got as far as casting. We only had instruction on basic bezel setting, and I've been trying to figure out prong settings as I go along. I know there are probably books or videos on the subject, but to tell you the truth, right now I just can't afford to buy them. I belong to a local gem and mineral society, and a man there has taught me all I know on the subject.

 

I don't have a wax-tool, I've been using a woodburner with a variable control. It's just a little too hot for fine work. I use a needle and alcohol lamp to try to make prongs, and they look like little lava flows, one layer on top of another. No way to really refine them in the wax as they are so fragile. I noticed recently that Rio sells wax stock in four or six segments that could be machined (if I only had a lathe) into prong settings of different sizes so I am ordering these next time I buy from them. I also noticed that they sell prong and channel setting systems, can't afford them, but could buy some stone setting stops, which would probably really help. I'm just not able to be very accurate making those little notches on the prongs by hand, one side is always a little deeper than the other and often not level. It's funny how if I were carving a stone or a piece of bone I wouldn't have this much trouble.

 

I have access to a wax-injector and vulcanizer, and am thinking about buying a variety of sizes of prong settings and making molds of them to avoid having to try to make these eensy-teensy settings for tiny little stones, which I seem to use so often. As far as setting the stones are concerned, I recently got some prong closing pliers, I'm hoping they will help. I also have a beading set which I use on the prongs. I also have a Neycraft centrifigal caster (and a Kerr) and access to vacuum units.

 

In summary Magnus, I (like all the other carvers in the world) am looking for that magic tool which will substitute for skill, time, talent and experience. If you have any recommendations, please pass them on. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I hope your show goes well and you make lots of money!

 

Debbie

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debby do you have e web site where we can see more of your work it will be nice ,or post more often jajajaja, thanks :rolleyes:

Dante:

 

I don't have a website, hope to soon. Here's more stuff.

 

This is one of the first stone carvings I ever did, about 3-4 years old. I was trying to use PMC (precious metal clay, don't even try, it shrinks horribly when fired) because I didn't know how to cast. It's a poor quality turquoise with quartz inclusions, enameled with opals.

post-1996-1246367490.jpg

 

This one is better turquiose, with mother of pearl, opals, seed pearls, baroque pearl and granulation. Still was trying to use the PMC, but it still wasn't working too well.

post-1996-1246367623.jpg

 

This one is carved manganocalcite and rodochrosite, with garnets, opals and a pink sapphire. It was my first excursion into casted elements in a piece. The hair is depletion gilded.

post-1996-1246367828.jpg

 

This is one more of the mermaid series. She is tongua nut with labradorite, fine and sterling silver on an agate base.

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One more of the mermaid series. I carved the tongua nut by hand after hurricane Ike. Her tail is Llanite, the coral is brass, the brain coral bronze, and her hair and belt are silver.

post-1996-1246368268.jpg

These are some of my better pieces. I have many more less successful pieces, but why hurt your eyes. I think you and I have a lot in common. We both carved wood to begin with and then moved on to stone. I carve stone with a dremel, could never afford the foredom.

 

These pieces of mine remind me a little of your work. This one is called "Lift me Up", it's carved obsidian and mahogany.

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This one is "Aztec", she's jasper and silver.

post-1996-1246368764.jpg

 

Hope you are doing well in Cancun. I'm in Houston, so we're really not that far away.

 

Debbie

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Debbie,

Thanks for posting more of your work - you have a wonderful imagination and spirit - "lift me up" has a lot of grace and presence.

I don't have anything to replace "skill, time, and experience" but you certainly don't have a shortage of talent. Don't forget what Rodin said - "patience is a form of action."

 

Blessings and happy carving,

Magnus

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