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GEMSTONE CARVING 2


lopacki

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As the other thread gemstone carving was getting far to long to keep someone new to the thread interested beyond the first few pages I am starting a new one. Kenneth asked that I post one of his images for Lauri and Debbie. As with most of his carvings it is truly amazing, the black eyed susans are made with lemon opal and fire agate for the centers, the leaves are chrysoprase the stems 14k gold and the vase is quartz.

 

Hope you enjoy ............ All my best ............ Danny

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Daniel:

 

Thanks for starting a new thread, it was getting long on the other one.

 

Kenneth: how did you get that effect on the stems? I like this one alot, the leaves are so pretty.

 

Hope you are doing well, I'm off today to meet with someone who is helping me repair/restore an old Graves faceting machine.

 

Debbie K

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debbie,the gold work on the blackeyed susan was done by a lady in bristol,tenn.she wanted everthing to be perfect on any work she did.this carving has been in a private collection for thirty years or more.the stem was cast from a real blackeyed susan in two pieces and then put together.her and one more of my customers in florida was the only ones that i knew that did organic casting.hope you get your faceting machine fixed.best regards,kenneth

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Kenneth:

 

I know people who invest acorns and twigs and burn them out and cast them, I've never tried. I did try with tiny snail shells, but couldn't get them to cast. My theory was that the calcium holds up just enough even at very high temperature to block the flow of the molten metal.

 

Replaced the bearings and belt, cleaned up the motor (mud-dauber nests) and oiled the Graves machine. It makes much less noise and doesn't vibrate off the table now, before I had to clamp it down. I don't really plan to facet, I'll probably use it more like a flat lap. But it's nicer to sit down and do fine work with it, my 6" grinding machine is like a Covington unit, and it's difficult to see what I'm doing on it. I started shaping some little garnets the other day and now look forward (rather than dread) working on them.

 

Hope you are doing well.

 

Debbie K

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debbie,i don't know much about goldsmithing.i do know that the lady that cast the blackeyed susan was one of best i ever saw.the other one was a customer that lived in florida,i have seen him cast four leaf clovers and dragonflies.once i saw him cast a queen anns lace.i never could figure how they got them to fill out.best regards,ken

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Hei guys, I almost missed this fight, been a little bit busy. Ken, your flower is beautiful as usual, I'm just wondering what's your method in making the vase? I myself made first a cylinder, then made the holes and last carved the shape. About the casting of the stem, I have been told that you can either use a dry natural stem or a waxed one. They are casted in plaster and burned away before actual casting. Probably the waxed one burns easier. The stem of my blueberry was made so that I first collected blueberry-stems, dried them, cut in to suitable pieces and the goldsmith casted them. Then I decided how the pieces were jointed, where the small pivots for the leaves and the berries were positioned, and all was soldered together and finished. Sounds easy, but it was not, trust me. All the best, Lauri

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lauri,good to hear from you.i have not been able to be on much lately.my hands are getting so stiff i can't hardly peck on the computer now.when i did the vase in the picture i carved the vase first and then used a diamond core drill to drill the large hole in the top.then i had to have an extension welded on a 2mm diamond drill to be able to drill the small hole.you can buy long diamond drills now from danny lopacki,you couldn't when i carved this vase.as you know the hard part was cleaning the holes up once you drilled them.i used everything from cut off metal coat hangers to wood rods with 400 and 600 silicon carbide grit to clean the holes up so i could get a decent polish in them.as you well know-they ain't no easy run to any of this kind of carving.when are we going to see some more of your beautiful work?take care and best regards,ken

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Okay Kenn, this is the bed-time-story You asked, but this is the last one. Once upon a time there was in Lapland a competition for gold digging or something like that. You know, you have to find gold nuggets from a bucket full of dirt and water. Sounds very interesting and also looks very interesting. Anyhow, they decided that those poor visitors who came to see the mesh needed something more cultivated and planned a stone grinding and carving competition as a less important sideshow, called Lapland's prettiest stone. They had different categories and one was carving. Winner would have some 50 marks (this happened in the old merrier times) and minor fame. Anyhow, there was a huge fight between me and a local fellow and funnily I won. The result of this earthquakeing battle is seen in the following picture, if it follows. All the stones used had to be from Lapland and that was my weakest part. With a little help from friends and enemies I got serpentine, white and yellow quartz and gold. Result is nice, I have to admit because the others are quiet. And now, in bed You go! Sweet dreams, Kenn. Ps. it's supposed to be a cloudberry-necklace. Lauri

 

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Lauri:

 

Very nice work! Glad you won the competition. You are fortunate to have that many locally available stones. There are no rocks around the Houston, Texas area at all; you have to go 70 - 150 miles to find any rocks. Nothing but dirt and sand in this area.

 

That's some good looking serpentine. How was it for carving? I have a good sized chunk of it that I was thinking of carving, it seemed like it was pretty soft but held a nice finish.

 

Thanks for posting new work, and hope you and Ken are doing well.

 

Debbie K

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Kenneth, you are hopeless! I'm telling my best stories to you and all you want is new stories! No milk and cookies to you this night, I'm sorry. (Nice you liked it). Debbie, it's a nice stone to carve, one can make almost anything out of it, it can be nicely polished, not mirror- polish but nice enough. Only problem is to find a piece without cracks, because most of the pieces are those found on the ground, not cut from bigger solid blocks. All too much underestimated stone in Finland, but what can one do! I have made all kind of nice items out of it but unfortunately s.c. large audience is not familiar with the stone. We could use and value it like they do in New Zealand with their green stone, but that'l be the day! Lauri

Ps. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU, DEBBIE !

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Hei Bob, nice to see you here. The service is a little bit slow and the turkey a little bit dry but otherwise the company here is quite alright if you don't have too great expectations. We are always hoping to see and read new or old things you are willing to show and vice versa. Have fun! Lauri

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