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New carver from Australia

Naomi Oliver

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Hi ,

I am new to the world of carving.

in 2005 I majored in sculpture stone carving in my diploma of visual arts,

then went onto to importing 4 tonnes of carving stone from canada.

That gave me a good grounding and alot of material to carve small to medium sized sculptures.

Then in 2007 I stared downsizing my carvings ,

I travelled to the north Island of New Zealand to learn to carve bone Maori pendants,

then in 2008 I went to jade territory in the south island, and learnt to carve wearable art ,

and small carvings no larger than 6 cms,

from the medium of hard stones , ie jasper , and Nephrite ( jade).


I have the time and now the tools and the stone , ( plus local hardwoods) , antler , and bone , to start carving

small sculptures.

I first saw netsuke artwork made by Janel jacobson while researching in 2008, and totally was blown away by it.


While collecting natural items around me I always pick up the most intricate and detailed items( I used to drive my local bushwalking group guides crazy, while out walking to a timetable I ' d be stopped by a tiny mushroom , or lizard, on the trail

I just had to pause and catch all that wonder, that was twenty years ago, Now I just drive my hubby crazy, bringing home natural items such as shell and nuts and local stones... at least I now have my own workspace, where I am allowed to store these precious items carefully), This is starting to influence my art as I love doing texture to my artworks .


I do love chatting .We live in the mountainous regions of east Victoria. I have also lived in the desert regions of Northern Western australia, and the coastal regions of tropical North Quennsland, and even Papua New Guinea.

I hope to depict the natural fauna and flora of these regions (that I love so much ) in minuture carvings.


I have a wide range of colours in my hardstones, so to ask the question of this topic, can netsukes be made predominately

from stone, or before I even start, should I stick to bone, antler , and learn to carve wood ?.


This is a great carving place forum, i am really impressed with the sharing of informations , and encouragements

thanks Naomi.

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Hi Damien ( irish carver),


thanks for the reply, I also use hei matua as a design basis in bone carving pendants. I hope the images go through as youll see my" bird family" hei matua, the top bird is A MOA, the baby bird is a kea and the midium sized bird is a tui .

the other pendant is totally my wild design called evil squid( my first attempt at inlaying paua shell( in 2007), without etching and scrapers tools, that netsuke carvers use .

the bone leaf I am very happy with, I really loved graving out the leaf veins. It is about 4 cms longx 2 cm wide .It was done in January this year.


I am courious to see an image of your coconut shell pendants , what an interesting medium, Damien.


The other two images are of 2 different australian wombats I carved in 2005 . Both from stone , on Black pipestone, and the other black chlorite. Both about 8 cms long x 3 cm wide. Now I would try out adding carved eyes, and put more details in the feet. My buying customers loved them, and to be frank I fell in love with them too.


I have a bone lizard on a rock on the go , and a stone owl bird on wooden log to finish, both will now try a follow the carving techniques for netsuke as practice .

Its all practice for me, being a beginner is such fun, their is so much to learn, everytime I carve I learn more.



Any stone carvers out there give me a reply too.


have a great day .



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hello everyone,


try with the photos again shall I.

getting to understand how to work these computers, I'd rather carve a cat's toe -nail on my large limestone sculpture I should be doing right now . It is due for the customer on xmas day .

In australia it is good to have a summers day on xmas day, although some have been that cold the snow has fallen on the mountains, or been scorchers.

I wish you all a merry xmas.






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"...can netsukes be made predominately from stone, or before I even start, should I stick to bone, antler , and learn to carve wood ?"


Welcome Naomi.


Traditionally, few netsukes in Japan were made from stone, most being made from wood, ivory, amber and a few other materials. I don't see why contemporary netsuke shouldn't engage a whole range of materials, even, blasphemously, man-made materials.

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hi everyone,


thaks ftvesic for your information on netsukes media used, I have a bit of antler that may come in handy,

what do the rest of you think.?

I like the idea of contemporary netsukes , but I definately am totally open to research all different ways, traditional and new.


I must get back to my limestone sculpture cat, I just had to come in and re-evaluate via the web, what a sitting upright cat's

back legs are shaped like.

bye for now

. Naomi.

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