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Where to source Tatua nut , as I live in Australia.


Naomi Oliver

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Dear folks,

I have seen some amazing netsukes made by yourselves, and other artists, using tagua nut.

who ,or how would I go about sourcing tagua nut.

does australia have a supplier, or do I need to find a overseas supplier?

 

What tips would you suggest I use when purchasing, so I get a good material?

 

thankyou. Happy new year

Naomi

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Hi Naomi,

 

I live in the Blue Mountains and searched high and low through all of the vendors here with little luck. I eventually got three mangy small nuts from Trend Timbers in Windsor for $10. I ended up buying 5lb from Lee Valley http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=...cat=1,250,43217 They arrived in four days and are a good size. That said Im having an interesting time working with them so if you are curious and just want a couple to experiment let me know. I got rid of most of them to other Aussies on the UBeaut forum.

 

Sebastiaan

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hi Sebastian,

thanks for the prompt reply.

 

i checked out the webpage for LeeValley you suggested and was pleased with their woodworking tools area.

I have not replyed earlier as my family has been down on the coast boating and swimming.

yes I am courious to try carving the tagua nut and i would love to experiment with one or two .

sounds like your own endevours with them are giving you alot of new experiences.Let me know how that goes.

 

thanks again Sebastian.look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Naomi.

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hi sebastian,

 

wow, making musical instraments, thats inpressive .it is interested that alot of carvers are multitalented artists.

I'm just distracted by the heatwave weather conditions,it is hard to carve while melting.

 

Chatted to a local about supplying me with antler for small carvings, that would be great to accompany, the bone, shell and hard stone materials I have to keep learning apon.

I havent trialled out any wood materials yet. Which Ausralian hard - woods do you like to use for your carvings?

, and also to make an octave mandolin ?

 

have a good afternoon.

 

Naomi

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Hi Naomi.

Being in Aussie it's worth your while trying to look into the possibility of two things.

One is croc teeth. Up north there are a few croc farms, and there also are some mature crocs taken out periodically, the unsafe ones. Grown crocs have rather impressive teeth.

The other is camel. I've read recently that they are going to cull some thousands of them, as the poor beasts are absolutely staving in the outback. Well, I have no idea how you can get onto some of that stuff, but if you can, it's well worth your while. In India and Pakistan they manufacture chess sets from camelbone, and it seems they can gat much fatter solid pieces from that than what you get from even the biggest cowbone.

I'm not mentioning the stranded whales, because for that you need to travel yourself, and you never know where to. But down South apparently there are some beaches, too remote for comfort, where there are some rather numerous sceletons to be found...

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Hi Naomi,

 

I am not an accomplished carver at all! I have done a number of Buddha faces and titbits like frogs but I am really a beginner. A friend from Warburton sent me some Grey Ironbark to do a Buddha head. It carves quite well but there are sizeable pores in the timber. Ive also done a bit in Cooktown Ironwood, lovely stuff but the dust has a reputation for causing allergies. I think a lot of the local hardwoods will be good to carve. Buderoo, Leichardt, Mulga and Gidgee are all great prospects. There is also a lot of Solomon's Ebony around at the moment.

 

The Octave mandolin will be from Tasmanian Rose Myrtle for the back and sides, the top is Sitka Spruce, neck is Silky Oak and the fretboard, bridge etc will be Ebony. Currently the humidity is way too high to do much luthery. I'll probably get to the more critical bits in autumn. It generally takes me a couple of months to make an instrument as I am a business owner and this is therapy for me. There is a bit of carving involved making necks but wood work is wood work. Carving is another technique in getting something useable out of timber. I agree that working in heat wave conditions is challenging. Sometimes its hard enough to get off the lounge to get a beer :D

 

Yuri, great ideas! I dont know how to get hold of the Camel bones but the issue is for real. I suspect the poor animals will be shot and left to rot as there is seldom money to ship the carcasses any distance. I have a friend in Darwin I will ask him if he can source some croc teeth.

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Hi Naomi,

 

I am not an accomplished carver at all! I have done a number of Buddha faces and titbits like frogs but I am really a beginner. A friend from Warburton sent me some Grey Ironbark to do a Buddha head. It carves quite well but there are sizeable pores in the timber. Ive also done a bit in Cooktown Ironwood, lovely stuff but the dust has a reputation for causing allergies. I think a lot of the local hardwoods will be good to carve. Buderoo, Leichardt, Mulga and Gidgee are all great prospects. There is also a lot of Solomon's Ebony around at the moment.

 

The Octave mandolin will be from Tasmanian Rose Myrtle for the back and sides, the top is Sitka Spruce, neck is Silky Oak and the fretboard, bridge etc will be Ebony. Currently the humidity is way too high to do much luthery. I'll probably get to the more critical bits in autumn. It generally takes me a couple of months to make an instrument as I am a business owner and this is therapy for me. There is a bit of carving involved making necks but wood work is wood work. Carving is another technique in getting something useable out of timber. I agree that working in heat wave conditions is challenging. Sometimes its hard enough to get off the lounge to get a beer :D

 

Yuri, great ideas! I dont know how to get hold of the Camel bones but the issue is for real. I suspect the poor animals will be shot and left to rot as there is seldom money to ship the carcasses any distance. I have a friend in Darwin I will ask him if he can source some croc teeth.

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hi sebastian and yuri,

great to hear from you both,

such great information, I appreciate it as a new carver.

 

Yuri , I would never have considered croc teeth or camel bones as carving material .

 

I had considered using emu or kangaroo bones as a querkie aussie sculpture , but they are both protected.

wow it would be so amazing. Anyone out there have some ideas on this one,.

do we need contacts in Northern Territory for croc teeth, and South australia for the culled( wasted) camel bones?

 

This world of ours is shrinking every day folks, especially on the carving path forum.

and yes yuri you are correct about the whales too. It usually happens on a very remote beach here in the south.

I keep my ears open for a location, and when nature is ready I will be blessed by finding one of her treasures.

 

sebastian, you are not alone in being a beginner. I wonder how many years it will take me to be a skilled sculptor.

its all new, fun, frustrating , and enlightening to start with a peice of raw material and end with a good carving .

 

using stone and bone is a great start, I will let you know when I use wood as a material.

I wonder If the tools I have already will work on wood too.

I have rasps, chizels, and riflers, plus dremel and burs, a scroll saw, and fret saw, small clamps. even one graver.

 

the LeeValley company you mentioned certainly have great tools for woodcarvers.

I also found an Australian company called HOBBY TOOL AUSTRALIA. on www.hobbytools.com.au

 

the hardwood timbers you mentioned sound good, I will check out if any of them are available where I live.

today I had a lightbulb moment, I remembered I have had a grey box burl lying around waitng to be worked into a bowl,

and also well cured sheoke wood that we call cherry wood , as it is a red colored wood. They would be a good starting place .

it is exciting to hear you say we have ebony wood in australia at present.

 

your mandolin construction, with all those beautiful diferent woods sounds amazing, thankyou for sharing that info with me,

after autumn when it is complete would you send a photo of it onto this post.

 

we are back to pleasant weather again, so I have been out carving for the last two days.

 

have a great night Yuri and Sebastian.

Naomi

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hi sebastian and yuri,

great to hear from you both,

such great information, I appreciate it as a new carver.

 

Yuri , I would never have considered croc teeth or camel bones as carving material .

 

I had considered using emu or kangaroo bones as a querkie aussie sculpture , but they are both protected.

wow it would be so amazing. Anyone out there have some ideas on this one,.

do we need contacts in Northern Territory for croc teeth, and South australia for the culled( wasted) camel bones?

 

This world of ours is shrinking every day folks, especially on the carving path forum.

and yes yuri you are correct about the whales too. It usually happens on a very remote beach here in the south.

I keep my ears open for a location, and when nature is ready I will be blessed by finding one of her treasures.

 

sebastian, you are not alone in being a beginner. I wonder how many years it will take me to be a skilled sculptor.

its all new, fun, frustrating , and enlightening to start with a peice of raw material and end with a good carving .

 

using stone and bone is a great start, I will let you know when I use wood as a material.

I wonder If the tools I have already will work on wood too.

I have rasps, chizels, and riflers, plus dremel and burs, a scroll saw, and fret saw, small clamps. even one graver.

 

the LeeValley company you mentioned certainly have great tools for woodcarvers.

I also found an Australian company called HOBBY TOOL AUSTRALIA. on www.hobbytools.com.au

 

the hardwood timbers you mentioned sound good, I will check out if any of them are available where I live.

today I had a lightbulb moment, I remembered I have had a grey box burl lying around waitng to be worked into a bowl,

and also well cured sheoke wood that we call cherry wood , as it is a red colored wood. They would be a good starting place .

it is exciting to hear you say we have ebony wood in australia at present.

 

your mandolin construction, with all those beautiful diferent woods sounds amazing, thankyou for sharing that info with me,

after autumn when it is complete would you send a photo of it onto this post.

 

we are back to pleasant weather again, so I have been out carving for the last two days.

 

have a great night Yuri and Sebastian.

Naomi

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Naomi, the chisels sold for woodcarving tend to be on the soft side for bone. They work, but get blunt too quickly. Best to make them yourself, there are threads on this forum explaining just that. (the latest I noticed was a link to a tutorial of a step-by-step making of a knife for netsuke carving.) I make mine from needle files and the kind that is bigger than needle, but smaller than "normal size" files. Chainsaw sharpening files are quite good.

It is surprising that emus are protected there. ( I don't mean that they are protected, which is fine, what I mean is that there are none grown in captivity. After all, they have croc farms.)Over here, they grow them (and ostriches) on farms, so you can have any amount. (I don't have any emus grown my way, so no bones, but do have a freezing works that does ostriches not too far, so that's OK. Mind you, I never use the bones for carving, but for musical instruments. (granted, some of these are carved.)) For general carving I use the old trusty cowbone.

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Naomi, the chisels sold for woodcarving tend to be on the soft side for bone. They work, but get blunt too quickly. Best to make them yourself, there are threads on this forum explaining just that. (the latest I noticed was a link to a tutorial of a step-by-step making of a knife for netsuke carving.) I make mine from needle files and the kind that is bigger than needle, but smaller than "normal size" files. Chainsaw sharpening files are quite good.

It is surprising that emus are protected there. ( I don't mean that they are protected, which is fine, what I mean is that there are none grown in captivity. After all, they have croc farms.)Over here, they grow them (and ostriches) on farms, so you can have any amount. (I don't have any emus grown my way, so no bones, but do have a freezing works that does ostriches not too far, so that's OK. Mind you, I never use the bones for carving, but for musical instruments. (granted, some of these are carved.)) For general carving I use the old trusty cowbone.

 

hi yuri,

thanks for the info on woodcarving chisels.

I use only my graver on the bone, other than files and the grinder or dremel run burrs.

I personally have no tryed to make my own chisels ,

the graver was made for me by a teacher who taught me to carve cowbone at whitianga on the north island of new zealand.

 

on an off story Yuri, he told me to watch my fingers while using the graver as it will cut bone.

the other day I was carving a marquette in chevante clay with a humble new craft knife.

it slipped and nearly sliced off my finger tip .I bled like crazy, and then I thought again of that teacher"s wise advise.

 

My husband gave me all his chainsaw sharpening files last year, they can finally be of used as you suggest,

maybe I can choax him to make my for minuture carvings.

 

 

Your thoughts on emu farms are correct, we have emu farms for emu oil, feathers and leather, over here.

On a old discussion mentioned a purchase of camel bone acheived on ebay too, I think it was irish carver.( hope I got that right mate).

 

I enjoy carving cow bones, the prepwork is alot, but boy is it worth it, to produce such a lovely carving.

I saw your previous peice of carved musical instrament on the photgraphic section

,I like everyone else was very impressed with your creative

originality.

 

great to chat again , I feel the need to start a bone carving again.

 

Naomi.

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  • 2 weeks later...

HI Im in Oz also. My bro use to be a taxidermist and worked only with crocodiles. The size of a tooth you would need to carve anything decent would be huge, and very expensive. Most croc farms in QLD or NT have taxidermists or will have taxidermists they send their stuff to, they would be able to help with the teeth. My dad has a carved tooth from PNG, its huge but a lovery carving.

 

Most aussie natives have very thin bones so Ive never bothered though I have a few roo skulls Im going to try carve. There are whale bones around down south and dugong bones up north, however both are illegal. Im keen to get some camel bones aswell so let me know if you find a source, maybe a hunting forum?

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  • 2 weeks later...

hi lachlan,

 

great to get your comments,

sorry the reply is so late, I have been busy carving jade jewellery.

 

The info on croc teeth and taxidermists was interesting, your brothers occupation must have been such a chalenge.

 

I have found that native animals bones I have seen (insitu in the bush) are thin, but was hoping that other bone parts of the animal were thicker.

 

a roo skull being carved is intreguing, when you have finished one post a photo of it on this forum Lachan.

I recall awesome ram heads with lovely curved horns at a local farm, darned if I keep forgetting to ask the farmer if I can have some.

Mind you the family are quite tolerant of the old dead bones lying around,

but spat the dummie at the last lot of ram /heads horns that just hung around, looking (ugly they said ) 2 years ago.

I could see the textural aspect of their horns , and flowing form , and instinctively felt they were a carving medium.

Now I know ram horns are carved bycarvers to make beautiful sculptures.

 

is it true that even collecting old whale bones washed up ona deserted beach is illegal?

I love the idea of dugongs, when we go up north this year for a tour I would love to see one in the wild

at hinchinbgbrook island area. it would make a lovely miniture carving.

I lived in P.N.G. your dad is very priveledged to have a croc tooth carving.

I too hope this forum finds a way to use those poor camels' bone for a good positive artistic use.

 

lets hope it happens Ah.

 

well it has finally rained here, only an inch but I am not complaining .

see even cyclones do make their way from queensland

to the Northern Terrotory, then back to inland Queensland,

onto New South Wales , to interior South Sustralia

right down to us in far east Victoria.

 

 

have a good week folks.

naomi

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Don't know about Aussie, but here in NZ whalebone is not illegal. Not even the teeth. What of course is illegal is killing them, but then who wants to do that? But it is a real pain to sell to overseas people, as any whalebone or teeth have to be accompanied by a mountain of paperwork. And even then it is a chancy business, the US for example takes a real tough line. I have known carvings confiscated in spite of the aforementioned mountain of paperwork, all legal, still, nah, they said. But within the country there is no problem.

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