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My very 1st jade carving!


chris-c

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Hi all, I posted a pic of this a long time ago when I first started this, and discussed it a bit, but thought it was probably proper to start a new thread about it, since it was not in a thread "specific" to showing my work.

 

So, here it is, after MANY hours of carving, sanding, finishing and polishing, although i must say that the actual photos of it make it look like crap!

 

The thing we discussed previously was about whether it should be glossy or in a "satin" type of finish, and now that I see it in a semi-glossy type finish (1200grit diamond paste finish) I'm thinking it was actually "nicer" in the more "primitive" looking satin type finish, but I might go ahead and revert back to that, removing the glossy finish, what do you think?

 

The problem is with the glossy (which actually isn't even high gloss!) is that it shows off EVERY little imperfection, and even makes it look uneven in places, because it is black Guatemalan jade, and also ADDS some imperfections to the camera that aren't even there because of all the reflections, so I think less reflections and a more easily viewed face might be better, do you guys agree?

 

When I look at the piece in my hand it looks GREAT, but when I look at pictures of it, it looks TERRIBLE!

 

The pictures REALLY over exaggerate any little flaw that's for sure!

 

Take a look, what do you think?

 

I will get better at this once my hands get better as I can hopefully use them better, my brain injury issue has left me with issues controlling my hands, and with alot of shaking, so my new Foredom unit has REALLY assisted in helping me overcome that for sure!

 

Take care all!

 

Chris ;)

 

Guatemala-black-jade-carving-20feb2011-1.jpg

 

Guatemala-black-jade-carving-20feb2011-2.jpg

 

Guatemala-black-jade-carving-20feb2011-1.jpg

 

Guatemala-black-jade-carving-20feb2011-3.jpg

 

Here's what it looked like "before" started with the polishing stages, Hmmm...I "think" I liked it better!

 

Guatemala-black-jade-carving-10feb2011.jpg

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A combination of matte and glossy? A couple of scenarios come to mind. A smoothly graded matte to glossy where the valleys are matte changing to somewhat glossy at the raised edges, reminiscent of a patina from long handled materials where the outermost areas are worn and polished. And/or matte overall or some degree of the first suggestion, with targeted glossy areas that are focal points, or where you want the attention to be drawn, such as the eye.

 

Janel

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Thanks everyone for your reply and comments!

 

Actually, it's funny Janel, the way I 1st had it was in the "pre-polished" stage, trying to think of the best way to finish it, and I actually mentioned that in the other thread, and received 2 different replies, one which said it was good in satin, and one which said that it was best to bring the "best potential" out of the somewhat "rare" Guatemalan jade properties by making it look as "shiny and finished as possible, so I was a bit torn.

 

I had it to the stage where it was somewhat polished on the larger surfaces, but the fine cracks and crevices were still dull looking, which "I" liked, but thought that others might view this look as being "lazy" and not taking the time to really polish all the little nooks and crannies, so I then used a bamboo sharpened skewer charged with diamond paste and brought all the little nooks and crannies up to the same glossy shine as the rest.

 

I have to say that I am extremely impressed with just how "shiny" this material polishes up with such a coarse grit polish of 1200 grit, I can only imagine how glassy it would look polished to something like 50,000 grit!

 

I'm glad that I took the initiative to polish ALL the little cracks and crevices but now, looking at this piece, I'm thinking I like that it is "evened out", and softened up a bit around the edges, not cut so sharply, but also like the more primitive "satin" look, so I think I'll get out the 600 diamond grit and go to it and give it a nice satiny sheen, what do you guys think?

 

I think it will help one to actually "see" the detail, by lessening the reflections, although I think there might be a bit more undercutting of those veins that you can see running through the material, although you could not even see those greenish veins until it was glossy though, so who knows.

 

Guess I'll spend some MORE hours on it and find out!

 

I'm learning "exponentially" about jade, so that's a good thing, getting the feel for it quite a bit now!

 

Thanks all for your comments and suggestions!

 

Chris ;)

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Chris:

 

This is something that I believe in the final analysis you have to trust your own gut about. YOU know what you want to achieve, YOU know how you like it better. If you're entering a piece into competition, then other restrictions might apply, especially if it's a lapidary forum. Often, what you said earlier about the fear of being perceived as "lazy" might be the case there. I had points taken off a obsidian piece because it wasn't taken all the way up, but I knew that it looked better satin.

 

Do what you want to do and don't worry so much about what others think. I see no poor workmanship in this piece at all, at either stage. You know what your inner vision of the piece is, just do your best to achieve that.

 

Debbie K

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Chris:

 

This is something that I believe in the final analysis you have to trust your own gut about. YOU know what you want to achieve, YOU know how you like it better. If you're entering a piece into competition, then other restrictions might apply, especially if it's a lapidary forum. Often, what you said earlier about the fear of being perceived as "lazy" might be the case there. I had points taken off a obsidian piece because it wasn't taken all the way up, but I knew that it looked better satin.

 

Do what you want to do and don't worry so much about what others think. I see no poor workmanship in this piece at all, at either stage. You know what your inner vision of the piece is, just do your best to achieve that.

 

Debbie K

 

Thanks Debbie!

 

That was just the motivation I needed to "follow my heart" and complete this piece the way that "I" think it should be competed.

 

Good thing it's jade and not opal, otherwise, it would be a "miniature" carving by now, having done SO much to it thus far! With opal, the material diminishes quite quickly, and one must be VERY careful to not remove too much material too fast, but what I like about jade is that you can polish for a VERY long time, and only scratch the surface, not actually removing material, but changing it instead.

 

I think what I most have to overcome is the transition between production work, and art work, they are 2 drastically different things, and when one is mostly involved in the production of salable material, such as the opal cabs and freeforms I mostly do these days which are destined for jewelery pieces my customers create, and need stones for, one is ALWAYS trying to mold their manner of thinking into "what would the customer want", so attempting to defeat one's own thought process into what THEY want is actually quite difficult after YEARS of conditioning one's mind to always deliver what the CUSTOMER would want, rather than what YOU would want!

 

There are some things I've created that I thought were downright UGLY, but, it's what the customer wanted, so, I made it!...LOL

 

I don't think that ANY artist really is totally satisfied with their work, or can truly get out onto the medium they work with what is actually in their own heads, if they do, they are truly LUCKY, because I actually think that many an artists suicide was prompted by the frustration of NEVER being able to get that picture of what they wanted to create out of their heads onto the artwork, and it slowly drove them insane! I have personally seen painters with oil paintings that have sat there as works in progress for YEARS as the artist just could not bring themselves to say "OK, this is finished now, and I'm happy with it", and just could not finish the painting!!

 

Don't worry, I'm not saying I'M going nuts or anything...LOL, just saying how frustrating that is CAN be for some people to try to create what their vision is, and how sometimes it just cannot be accomplished.

 

I know that especially with the limitations of what my hands can do now that I certainly DO get frustrated with my own work, as it really is NOT what I'm trying to create, but as long as it is close, and I'm making improvements in my abilities, I'm happy with that, in a way, seeking the approval of others who view my creations is important, as I want people to appreciate my efforts of course, but knowing that these pieces are not being created solely for the purpose of "sale" takes alot of pressure off what I'm doing, and does allow me more creative expression, so I think your totally correct in that "I" need to be happy with the end result, so thanks for that bit of encouragement and direction Debbie!!

 

Take care!

 

Chris ;)

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Chris:

 

I like it better this way, but others may not. What matters most is how much you like it. It's funny how the striations didn't show up until the higher polish was achieved.

 

How do you like carving jade? I'm not absolutely crazy about it, I've been working primarily with green California nephrite which is a b***h to polish without the "orange peel" effect. I have some old stock Burma jadeite that I've been hoarding, thinking of giving it a try next and seeing if it is as miserable to finish. Also have a little Guatemalayan jade/jadeite in green and bluish green and some Canadian black neprite but would have to cut off a hunk of a rock and it would probably be the "wrong" place to cut and limit future carving. So I'll probably wait until I'm sure what I want to do.

 

Debbie K

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Well done Chris! Debbie's comments about personal preferences are dead on. But to my mind you've really nailed it with the finish on this one. I'm a big jade fan and really enjoy working with it. Lately my ideal way of finishing jade is to try and approximate what neolithic tool makers accomplished with their finishes. Namely very smooth and even but not glassy, about the finish of a really choice river tumbled pebble. I think the polish you've achieved here is a really good example of this. Once again good job!

 

Dustin

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Hey hey my man, you got it so sweetly this time - a big YES!

I can totally relate to what you were saying about having to design to what a customer wants even when it goes against your own esthetics. You are on the right path when you follow your heart and I assure you, you will have no shortage of happy clients with your abilities. Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

 

~Magnus~

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Thanks Debbie, Dustin and Magnus for your replies and advice!

 

I guess in a way your right in that when it comes to "art work", a buyer has to like and respect YOUR style, otherwise, it's NOT artwork, it's a production piece, made to the specifications of a customer, or mass customer's appeal, NOT one's OWN reflection of their personality or style.

 

From now on, I WILL simply listen to my heart and go with that, I think that's good advice for no matter what facet of life you are discussing really!

 

I can honestly say, reflecting on my personal life in the past 5 years or so, absolutely EVERY single good choice I have made in life has been because I listened to that "little voice" in my head (no, I'm not schizophrenic...LOL) that told me to do something over another, and I went with that, instead of doing what was "logical" or what I was "supposed" to do, or what was "expected" of me.

 

I've learned in my 44 years that those things NEVER put you in a good place in life, because you not following your destiny that way, your running on the "hamster wheel" instead, OTHER people's hamster wheel that is!

 

I am realizing that most of all, I'm learning to be an "artist" again, as after many years of "production" work in one way or another, it really IS hard to breal out of that conforming mind set, and free yourself from worrying about other people's opinions and criticisms.

 

I think that's just generally what happens to us all as we grow older, and conform and meld into society, we forget our identities sometimes, and simply become a part of the "machine", being a husband, wife, mother, father, worker, or whatever else we find ourselves seeing ourselves in the world as, instead of OURSELVES, but the good thing is that at least some of us, through art and expression will be able to learn to get in touch with who we are again, and maybe also let others see that person as well, IF we can let go of that conformity that is!

 

Take care all, thanks again for the advice and kind words!

 

Chris ;)

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Whoa, the site totally changed...LOL, couldn't find anything at first...LOL

 

Here's a couple better pics of the carving, now that I finally have a new camera, my old one just croaked, started to "smell funny" while it was plugged in and recharging...lol. Oh well, I always wanted a digital SLR anyhow, so now I had an excuse to get one, as i absolutely MUST be able to take pics of the stones I sell, kinda hard to have an internet based business if you can't show what your selling!

 

Anyhow, these aren't the "greatest" pics yet, as I think I need to go to school for a year to learn how to use the camera...lol, but they at least look a bit more realistic, and I can now see the area around the eye that i haven't quite finished working and had actually "forgotten" about, hehe. Just when you "think" it's finished, it NEVER is!

 

Take care all!

 

Chris ;)

 

 

PS, site looks ALOT better this way I think!

 

 

Quetzalcoatl-black-Guatemala-jade-carving-26-feb-2011-1.jpg

 

Quetzalcoatl-black-Guatemala-jade-carving-26-feb-2011-2.jpg

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  • 3 months later...

Hi all, I haven't been around for a long time as I've been really ill, and basically bed ridden for a couple months, so I haven't been able to get any carving done at all unfortunately.

 

The good news is that I"m finally up and around, and starting to feel a bit better, so I'll hopefully be back at it soon, I've got a bunch of pieces of rough jade calling my name...hehe.

 

Lots of good stuff being produced since I've been gone, looking at the show and tell thread, great work people, there are some REAL masters here!!

 

I've been working on cutting my Welo opal, as I have a parcel I invested in needing to be cut and sold, so once that's all done, I'll be able to take my time and concentrate on leisurely carving ;)

 

Take care all!

 

Chris ;)

post-2751-0-42853900-1307163529.jpg

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Yep!!!! But mainly reading as I am not part of the masters, I can just appreciate and not advise wink.gif.

 

Very beautiful Welo opal. Is that real stone or synthetic one?

 

Hi Thomas, I'm certainly not one of the masters either! I'm just learning as I go along, and enjoy the conversations with like minded people.

 

My main experience is in finishing gemstones, as you can see by the opal pic.

 

It's a real opal about 1.5cm long or so, haven't weighed it yet. It's a Welo opal from Ethiopia, it's what I mainly cut polish and sell these days.

 

Take care and thanks for the reply!

 

Chris ;)

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Chris,

 

I am a real beginner here! I carved two or three things in boxwood, walnut and ebony but I come from knife forging and blacksmithing.

 

Here is my introduction post where I posted few pics, and the second thing I posted, a celtico-nordic knife.

 

This is more 2D than 3D carving but I expect to have my first attempts in a few weeks (once my house is built...). We have a huge lack of technical resources about carving in France and it is quite difficult to find some information of interest.

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS: Sorry, the links did a strange thing....

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