Jump to content

Greetings from northern California


Quinn

Recommended Posts

Hello everybody. I'm glad to have found this forum and to see that there are a lot of very talented artists posting on here. I'm very new to carving but have already decided that it is something I love. I have been hand mining quartz crystals, fluorite crystals, rainbow obsidian, agates, etc... from northern California and Nevada for about 10 years now, which led me to choose Geology as my field of study when I began college at C.S.U. Chico. About a year ago I obtained my M.S. in Geology. Since graduating I've been looking for work with very little luck. To get by I've been selling rainbow obsidian on ebay which I hand mined from a particular vein in Davis Creek that is producing some extremely high quality rainbow. My goal is to become adept at carving obsidian. I know it's one of the more difficult stones to work with because it has a tendency to micro-fracture more easily than other material, and it seems to me that it's difficult to obtain a perfect polish on. But the results of carving it correctly are, in my opinion, truly amazing. I've managed to mostly finish a few small carving projects but have yet to achieve a perfect polish with the obsidian or with quartz. Quartz is the other material that I primarily want to work with because I've done a lot of quartz collecting over the years and have some really nice amethyst, citrine, smoky, chlorite phantoms, etc... which would make excellent carvings if I can get the techniques down. I'm really looking forward to communicating with people here and, most of all, learning. I have lots of rainbow obsidian and would be willing to trade material to people who can help me out by providing me information, links, etc... whatever might help me learn quicker.

 

-Quinn Street

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum.

 

I am sure some of us would love to work with some good quality rainbow. But you will find that with this forum the information is freely given and there are some great artists that contribute regularly. Take a read through the jade pre polish thread most of the same techniques work well with obsidian. I find obsidian easier to finish because is is less tough then jade.

 

Welcome ask away.

 

Russ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quinn:

 

Welcome to the Forum! I'm sure that you will get alot of information and advice here, there are many carvers of stone that contribute to this forum.

 

I have carved some obsidian https://picasaweb.google.com/deborahkirkpat...924173848298962 but I wasn't trying to achieve a high polish.

 

When I carved this piece, all I had was a Dremel with a flex shaft, a basin of water, cheap diamond bits, sandpaper and cratex polishing points. Now I have diamond grits in 100, 200, 600, 1200, 3000 & 8000, and would probably use them with oil and wooden tipped burs and dip in water occassionally to keep the stone cool. I might use moldmaker stones (like whetstones, but finer grits) with water for the hand work.

 

There are several posts in tools and techniques discussing what to use and why for different stones. Obsidian is so soft (similar to opal) and easy to carve, alot of what you read regarding jade won't apply. Quartz is another story, it won't "orange peel" but is slower to work on. I've carved quite a bit of quartz, agate and jasper, and will help when I can.

 

I look forward to seeing what you do, and seeing the rainbow obsidian. I've never worked with it or seen it in person, but I'm sure it will be pretty. I check this forum often and will answer any questions that I feel qualified to answer. There are so many great carvers here and they are so generous about helping you will feel right at home.

 

Debbie K

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quinn,

I think that we have had some talk going on via my website.

 

I have to disagree with the statement that you should dip the wooden tools in water from time to time to keep things cool. I have been using oil/diamond on wood since 1981, mostly on Opal (some very expensive), the nice thing about this technique is that there is no heat generated, if there were I'd surly have cracked an Opal by this time, never had this happen.

 

Welcome to the forum ............... All my best ............ Danny

 

The image below has Opal in it that has been polished with a wooden wheel and the oil/diamond mixture

post-2604-1298136358.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kenneth, thanks for the warning about the obsidian dust. I’ve read a bit about silicosis. Doesn’t sound too fun. I should stock up on some respiratory masks.

 

Debbie, that is an amazing carving! I love the combination of wood and obsidian, and the overall aesthetic appearance of your piece is fantastic. It doesn’t have to have a full polish to have full effect/affect.

 

Daniel, thanks very much for your tips. I’m going to make myself some wood bits very soon and give it a shot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Danny:

 

You misunderstood me; I was referring to dipping the obsidian in water to cool it if was getting too hot. It's interesting that you say that the opal with diamond and oil doesn't get too hot, as I plan to be carving a large piece soon. But I plan to keep some water nearby, as the stuff is too expensive to let crack. I have felt how warm several stones get while carving and polishing with diamond, oil and wood/and or brass.

 

Quinn:

 

I hope Kenneth will jump in, because if you look at the photos of his work in the New Work category (keep scrolling down through the pages), you can see he has carved alot of opal. I know he works dry, but he must have a technique to keep the heat building up too much. I think, too, that the material has everything to do with how heat sensitive it can be. Some of the Australian opal is much heavier than others, and my understanding is that the hydrophane type is in a class of it's own, with it's own idiosyncrasies.

 

The obsidian is more like carving glass, or mexican fire opal, in my experience. If I were you, I would do all my bulk removal with water and diamond bits before moving to oil and diamond powder. I recently got 4 sets of bits from Woodcraft (Danny probably has something similar) that start at 120 and go to 600 grit. You can do alot of carving with bits like these before having to work without water.

 

Looking forward to seeing the rainbow obsidian.

 

Debbie K

Link to comment
Share on other sites

debbie,i am not to good with using the computer seems like every time i post something i have forgot something.a lot of stones will stand a lot of heat,some won't.i hold anything i carve in my fingers and the heat builds up slow using small diamond tools.if it is getting to hot to hold let it cool slow,don't slap water on it.the sudden temp change will give you trouble.years ago i carved an 18x25mm. cameo out of mexican cherry opal for a customer in jamacia.it was the cherry red with good fire in it,not the orange that they call cherry opal now.it was the finest one i ever saw.i carved it dry until i polished it.again,i am not advising anyone to carve dry.the dust is bad for you,i always wear a mask but you still get a lot of dust.carving dry is the way i learned to carve,when i started carving there was nobody to tell me different.i had to learn by my mistakes and there was plenty of them.best regards to all of you,kenneth neaves

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

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

×
×
  • Create New...