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Alternate Ivory and other questions


sebastiaan56

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Good morning everyone,

 

As Ive stated I am new to carving and am not sure where the norms are on the forum, but Im not willing to splash on big dollars for materials till I have a better idea of what Im doing. Has anyone used these kinds of alternate materials? Any hints or tips to offer? I have aquired some from GPS Agencies through a sub agency here in Australia. It seems easy enough to work.

 

Im planning a Buddha head as a place to start and am modelling it in plasticine. Ive been very interested in the conversations about originality and copying of work and am now curious where the lines are. I am assuming that such a figure would be in the public domain but would value some comments as as a beginner I feel the need to copy till I am a bit more competent.

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I think most people on this forum would agree that there is little point in carving plastics, under whichever name they are marketed. The bottom line is that plastics can be cast, and if you want a really good finish, just add a bit of finishing work to the cast, that is more or less finished, anyway.

As a teaching method it also is not recommended very much, as each material has its own idiosyncrecies, and none of these resemble ivory much in working properties.

When it comes to really learning about working with ivory, you can't beat bone. The actual material is very similar to ivory, the biggest difference being the presence in bone of errm, can't recall th name capillary tubes. They are the ones that carry bloof inside the bone, and they are the ones that as the bone ages become visible as tiny black lines. Different bones and different areas from the same bone have a differing amount of these. For example deer bones have areas practically devoid of it, while on some parts of cowbone they are very much in evidence.

The biggest problem with bone, of course, is the size. You can only get so much bulk out of one. The biggest commonly available ones are of course beefbones. If you can get a bull, so much the bigger. The front shinbone can yield a triangular piece, perhaps some 15-16mm in thickness in any direction.They used to turn chess sets from these.

Another material is tagua nut, or some other palm nuts. Depending on where you live, they can be rather cheap. The working of them is not the same as ivory or bone, but in many people's view preferrable to working plastics. These will give you a round-ish blob of material, there are quite a few photos of tagua carvings on this forum. The nuts have some empty cavity in the middle, though, and it is fairly unpredictable, but usually not large.

I leave it to others to describe working with synthetics, as I never carved any. (even though I did some turning, for technical reasons. Turners generally try to avoid plastics, too, this time because while it's easy to turn with woodworking tools, it's also very easy to get the chisel grabbed by the plastic, ruining the piece. You need a metal lathe, ideally.)

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Good morning everyone,

 

As Ive stated I am new to carving and am not sure where the norms are on the forum, but Im not willing to splash on big dollars for materials till I have a better idea of what Im doing. Has anyone used these kinds of alternate materials? Any hints or tips to offer? I have aquired some from GPS Agencies through a sub agency here in Australia. It seems easy enough to work.

 

Im planning a Buddha head as a place to start and am modelling it in plasticine. Ive been very interested in the conversations about originality and copying of work and am now curious where the lines are. I am assuming that such a figure would be in the public domain but would value some comments as as a beginner I feel the need to copy till I am a bit more competent.

 

 

Have a look ivoryalternative.com

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