Jump to content

gemstone carvings


Recommended Posts

Kenneth:

 

What material are the flower carvings in front from? I like the orange one in particular.

 

I know you carve dry, but I don't generally. I'm working on soapstone with hand tools right now, and the dust is so bad I practically can't stand it. I try to wear a mask, but after a while it makes my nose hurt. I noticed yesterday when I was using the spop-vac to vacuum up the dust that it doesn't seal completely and just blows it back into the room. I wish sometimes I had chosen a neater vocation, this is worse than wood chips everywhere.

 

Debbie K

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 96
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Hi Debbie,

 

Before building a separate studio, long ago when I was making pottery in the 70's and 80's, I first had a shop vac for cleaning the house with the pottery studio in it. The filters clogged up very quickly from the fugitive dust that infiltrated everywhere (along with living on a gravel road). In the mid 80' I invested in a central vacuum that vents the vacuum's air outdoors. That is the greatest invention! Can you figure out how to rig up a capture device and vent it outdoors, or a changeable filter system that draws the dust away from your face? We live in a long winter season state, so the filter system is what I use.

 

Janel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

debbie,the orange flower carving is carnelian agate from granville county,north carolina.the other flowers are moonstone from the bill burleson mine in avery county,north carolina.they don't show up good in the picture.i have never carved soapstone,i bet it does make a lot of dust.if you are going to carve much of it you need to vent the dust outside like janel said.i have always carved dry and i have dust all over everthing i my shop and me too.i wear a mask but you still get enough dust to make your nose burn.i have never been able to carve wet because i can't see what i am doing.thanks for looking at my carvings and best regards,ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Soapstone and dust rings a bell of warning. In an earlier topic about soapstone, mention was made about the concern that asbestos might be included in soapstone dusts.

 

With any kind of dust we create with our work, protecting your lungs is essential. Mineral dusts, organic dusts from wood, shell, mother-of-pearl, bone, antler, horn, tusk, what ever makes dust poses potentially long term, serious impact on the health of our lungs.

 

I encourage all who create dusts to do what you can to reduce or eliminate the potential for breathing those dusts. Irreversible long term lung disease is not an easy way to go.

 

Janel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

janel,thank you for your warning about the carving dust,i agree with you 100 percent.before i started carving gemstones i did a little wood carving.in sanding walnut wood the dust burns your eyes and nose.lots of the gemstone dusts can be very dangerous and some is very deadly.i have nearly died twice from malachite dust.i had a friend that got poisoned from malachite and he was working it wet.some shell are very deadly to,they work on the nervous system.not a pretty way to die.also a lot of people that rockhunt on the desert have died from licking rocks to see their color.they have fungus on them that is dormant in the dry desert but when they lick them the spores get in the lungs an fill them up .best to be very careful and i don't recomend that anyone carve dry without some protection.best regards,ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been too busy for the last two months to part in this wildness. Firstly, it's very important to know the hazards with stone or any other dust. We are a very endangered species if we don't take care of our working conditions. I'm very surprised that you are carving dry and still feeling well, Kenneth! I'm carving wet although I must admit that you mostly haven't a clue what's happening. Feel the force, young Luke! Secondly, Kenneth, your pictures are not making enough credit to your works. I can see a long line of hard working and growing up. It takes time and discipline to become a master carver like you! Takes more than one weekend, you know. If you are having more things to show I would like to see. Lauri

Link to comment
Share on other sites

lauri,i started carving in 1968 when people didn't know a lot about how dangerous rock dust was.i had to learn about the dust hazards the hard way.i use a dust mask,it helps a little.i am 70 years old now and to late to change now.i will try to post some more pictures along as i can,i am not good with using a computer.janel has been kind enough to fix the mess i make when i try to post pictures.take care and keep up the good work.best regards,ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Janel, Lauri and Kenneth:

 

Thanks for your concern. It will be a long time before I carve any soapstone again. I have spent the better part of yesterday and this morning trying to clean up my shop with damp towels to get the dust off of everything. I was using a router and drill press (while wearing a mask) for roughing out, which threw quite a bit of dust around, but NOTHING compared to what the shop-vac was doing. I should have taken this job outside, but it was a 3-4 day job and it still was pretty hot here. I should have waited a few days, the weather now is perfect, 60's in the a.m. and 70's in the p.m.

 

The soapstone didn't appear to have any asbestos in it; I'm mindful of this possibility. I avoid malachite like the plague, life is difficult enough. Re: soapstone; it has alot of talc in it. Years ago, I remember reading something about a large percentage of tumors being found to having talc in their centers. It started some movement to ban talc in baby powder and use cornstarch instead.

 

Janel, I have been trying to figure out some way to vent this studio of mine. I have a vent for fumes as I do some enameling (which have all the dangerous heavy metals known to man) and also burnout wax in my kiln. It's just a range vent, but it does a good job. The dust is something I've thought about, but have come to no good, inexpensive way of addressing. I carve my stones wet and the slurry gets thrown about which dries and becomes dust. My way of dealing with it has been to cover things up so they don't get splattered and then wiping things down with damp towels at the end of the day. I've looked at Ganoksin and here at ways people have ventilated, but to tell you the truth, I just can't afford their systems. I think I'll put my husband on the job and see what he can come up with.

 

I can't wear a dust mask all the time; I've yet to find one that doesn't press down on my nose. This wouldn't be an issue for most folks, but I've broken my nose (don't ask) about 6-7 times and can't stand any pressure on it for a long period of time. I've thought about the full mask, but understand that they are very hot.

 

Thanks for posting more pictures, Kenneth. I like the strawberries. Laurie, good to see you back. I did a Fabrege inspired piece (not flowers) and will post photos soon. I have 4 things that I need to take pictures of, my excuse was computer problems, but that's been resolved. Guess I'm running out of excuses.

 

Debbie K

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:rolleyes: hello to all of you,i was able to post another picture for you.it is a wildflower that grows in rich coves here in the mountains where i live.the carving is white opal,lemon yellow opal,chrysoprase.the base is petrified palm wood.stems are 14 kt.gold.i have been meaning to post what each one that i have posted is made of but i didn't know if i could even get the the pictures to post or not.lauri,daniel,and debbie,i have been meaning to explain why some of the pictures are so bad.most of them are carvings that were sold several years ago and the people that bought some of them were kind enough to take pictures of them and send to me.when i got a computer my daughter had them put on a disc so i could e-mail them to friends.most of the carvings are in private collections worldwide along with a lot of carvings that i don't have pictures of.you can see some of the pictures of them on___ www.americanmastersofstone.com__.best regards to all of you,ken
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ken:

 

I really like this goldfish! I started to carve some many years ago and gave up. They were out of tangua nut and I only had hand tools and I got discouraged and gave up. Maybe it's time to try again. Is it carnelian or fire opal?

 

Debbie K

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still can't understand how on earth you can carve this kind of items from that kind of stones using dry carving? I am pretty sure that I would brake the stones with heat. That is against anything I have learned. Okay, I have to chance my believings.

Some just can do things better than others. The fish is lovely, I have only once tried to make a fish, it was some kind of opal with lot of side stone and result was nothing to show to anyone. It's not easy to make a fish that does not look like a dead fish, yours is very lively, almost swimming away. Nice piece to watch or to own. Damned, have to try to make one. Lauri

Link to comment
Share on other sites

lauri,i have cracked a few quartz carvings because i was either using worn out tools or was trying to hurry to much.when you are carving dry with the small tools your heat builds up slow.if you were using large wheels you would have instant disaster.stone will stand a lot of heat if it is heated slow and cooled slow.when i get one a little to hot i cool it against my cheek.i am not recomending that anyone carve dry because of the dust hazard.i hold the stones that i am working on with my fingers and i have had the stones get so hot they would burn my fingers.when they get real hot let them cool slow,i don't throw them in water to cool them.when people are treating stones to improve their color or change their color they heat them a lot higher than i do but it is done very slowly and cooled slowly.again,i don't recommend that anyone carve dry,i'm only telling how i carve.the fish in the picture is mexican opal andit is very heat sensitive.the only time water touched the fish was when i was polishing it.glad you liked it and best regards,ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Christmas comes and goes, but you can always have a chat here, it has been a privilege to meet an old timer. I have been carving a little bit more than ten years and in my country I'm an old relic. I visited today the 50th anniversary show of the Finnish Gemmological Association where they are having also my carvings and felt lonely and old. There are not many carvers here and the old ones have quit carving. And even they have not carved as many years as you are. So, it would be a sad day to lose your company! And yes, I liked the flower. Lauri

Link to comment
Share on other sites

lauri,i am certainly not quitting the forum.i love this forum and you people on it.i have got 3 websites set up,mostly to talk to people about gemstone carvings.after i joined this forum i quit putting anything on them.as soon as i get some pictures made of the fiddle player i just finished i will be posting them.around here in North Carolina where i live there are a lot of gemstones found and there is a lot of gem shops,gem clubs,and interest in gemstones.i am to old to travel around here anymore and this forum is the best place i have found to talk on.i won't be on as much as i was until i get my Christmas presents finished.for years i have made carvings for my wife,my two daughters,and my grandchildren.best regards,ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To find a flower in the desert. That is what appeals me in your carvings. It's funny how many times those technically superbly items often luck the feeling that I will find in your carvings. There is the spirit that I would like to find also in my own carvings, but often you loose it with too much trying. The outside may be perfect technically and it's flawless but it does not have a spirit in it. One time I was teaching how to make fishing flies to a group of people. Some were pretty good copying what I was showing and made very neat flies. But,there was a guy who tied flies like a brush, and I have not ever since seen so lively flies! This was a very odd and complicated way to tell why I like your carvings but I'm for sure that you will understand (or not) what was the meaning. The picture is of a flower in the desert, or am I wrong? Not the first time. Lauri

Link to comment
Share on other sites

lauri,thank you for your kind comments on my carvings.the flower is a little pansy that was blooming in a stump near our flower garden.seems like when we plant flowers and they seedand they will grow anywhere but where you want them.don't sell yourself short on your carvings or your ability to carve.i have had the privilege to see some of the finest carvings ever done when i was doing the gem shows and your carving is as good as any.when everyone sees my carvings they say i don't make any mistakes,i can see the mistakes in every one of them and sometimes i make so many mistakes that i simply throw the peice away.when we take to much off we can't put it back on.you keep on carving and you will be fine.best regards,ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ken:

 

I really like the daisy, the irridescence of the opal in the petals really shows and makes it magical.

 

The pansy leaves are really nice, too. I like the way one of them is split.

 

My husband has been on vacation all last week and we have been building a work shed for him (to compensate for the loss of the garage for my studio). I can barely type my hands are so stiff from picking up heavy lumber.

 

Lauri, I know what you mean about being left by the old time carvers. I used to belong a wood carving club and was one of the youngest members and had them leave one by one. There wasn't anyone around here that was doing gemstone carving, but I joined a gem and mineral society and have been showing people how to do it, so there are some people who know and understand what I'm doing.

 

Debbie K

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

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


×
×
  • Create New...