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michael B

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Hello fellow carvers, i live near Tamworth NSW Australia, I have been doing lapidary work for about 6 years, been carving for about 3 years in shapes similar to some New Zealand designs,all of the nephrite jade I carve is Australian,90% of my jade is from my local area from the Dungown and Ogunbil area near Tamworth, I fossic for most of it, I carve imperial rhodonite from the Tamworth region as well, the Tamworth material is very good quality,please have a look at my pics,green jade,black jade, imperial rhodonite, free form Australian Andamooka matrix opal.

 

Kind regards Michael B

 

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Michael:

 

Really nice carvings! I read your other posts to Billy re: your mining your own materials. You are so lucky, and I hope that your mine prospers and that you do well. You certainly have beautiful materials to work with. A friend of mine is a mineral collector and has a really unusual piece of rhodonite; it's translucent and a deep pink/red. I believe her specimen is from Nambia. Have you guys run across anything like that in your mining?

 

There are a number of stone carvers here, so you're going to fit right in. If you're interested in what I do, go to My link. I carve all sorts of stone in addition to wood, tusk, bone, etc. and do metal castings in silver, gold or bronze to fit them. I've been carving stone for about 6-7 years, so I can tell you alot about what not to do. It looks like you're getting a good polish on your jade, so you probably don't need much advice.

 

Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

 

Debbie K

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Well done Michael. You're making great progress. As I said before, I'll make contact when I'm in Aus as I'll start getting a stock pile straight away. We can chat about what raw materials you may have available, and also your other contacts. I'm quite interested in the aussie black jades, as well as the greens. Talk soon, Billy.

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Debbie k, I had a look at your site, you are one of the best artists I have seen, as you do a large variety and styles. do you use a micro motor for your carving, I use a flex shaft, and also a dremel, thinking of changing to a micro motor for finishing my jade and rhodonite, an artist of your quality deserves good quality gem, I could send some free small pieces of good jade and imperial rhodonite for you to try, we would need to discuss this by email- burgessmichael@live.com

 

Cheers michael B

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Hello Jason, I have been to your website a few times, your jade carving styles and quality is something to aspire to, I have read some of your comments on the jade carvers realm, I have also joined this site, but have not posted yet, I live in the area of all of the nephrite jade deposits, in the Tamworth region, on the carvers realm, you stated Michael Barlow only sells to china and us by the tonne, makes obtaining good Tamworth material hard to source, there are 4 main deposits in this region, I currently access 2 of these, the color on one location is deep green, in my pics, the other is like Michael Barlows, his deposit was discovered by Alec Taggart in the early 70s. could help you obtaining Tamworth material if you want some, could send you small samples free of the good deep green, use my email address, above post.

 

Cheers michael B

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Michael:

 

I used a Dremel with a flex-shaft for many years, then switched to a Grobet (like a Foredom) with a flex-shaft a few years ago. I still use the Dremel often,as the speed is faster and sometimes that matters. I got a smaller handpiece for my Grobet made by Weecher, which made a huge difference to me. Most handpieces are designed for men and are too large for me to work with for hours on end. As I carve everything wet, the micro-carver isn't a good choice for me (no flex shaft). In the last few months, I've started using a fixed carving system, just the Grobet clamped in a wooden base with a drip system. I can use both hands to rotate the piece I'm working on and I don't get cramps in my hands. It's especially useful for removing large amounts of materials. I still use the handpiece (like a pencil) when carving fine detail.

 

Are you using power tools only for carving and polishing? You have such nice, sharp and clean lines and good undercuts on these carvings. I use some hand tools; diamond files and moldmaker stones primarily to refine the flatter planes. I've made alot of my tools, mostly wooden wheels with diamond powder and oil, which are fine for light shaping and polishing, but not so much for carving. I've had alot of difficulty finding large diamond tools for large bulk removal. I often end up using the mizzy wheels.

 

I use cheap diamond burs, stones, sintered diamond burs, wood with diamond and oil, dental bits, polishing compounds, sandpaper, basically anything I can think of, to carve. I've found that different stones want different things. I've even carved turquoise with tungsten carbide bits.

 

If money were no object, I would purchase a high speed dental drill and good compressor. I jeweler I know has one, I got to use it and have to say it's almost scary how quickly it carves. It would only be good for little things, but boy, is it good.

 

Like I said, you look like you're doing fine on your own, but if you ever have any questions, feel free to ask. Dante Lopez (amazing carver, check his website Dantestudio.com) Danny Lopacki (Lopacki.com) and Donn Salt (he has a website, too, just google his name) check in to this website frequently. There are other really amazing stone carvers that contribute, too. There's a huge wealth of information regarding stone carving in the archives, just do a search and see. Something like "stone +carving +polishing" and see what comes up. The folks here are amazing generous in sharing information and knowledge.

 

Thank you for the kind words and the offer. I am sending you an email.

 

Debbie K

 

Debbie K

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Debbie K,

thanks for the info on carving tools, I experimented a lot at first with different carving techniques, i remove the bulk of the material using cheap diamond 80 grit burs, square the edges on an expanding drum, after roughing out the initial shape, then smooth the inner section with 100 grit plated diamond burs,then I change to using very small bamboo scuers, about 2mm in dia I wrap silicon carbide 100 grit paper around this, and use it like a diamond file, this was the only way I could remove all the flats and ridges, the bamboo is flexable and not as agresive as a diamond file, I tried mini nova points by diamond pacific, but these still left ridges and flats on the inside, my final polish on the inside I use Linde A polish on a 2mm bamboo scuer in the dremel, leather on the inside would probably be better but a 3 to 4 mm gap is small, i finish the outer on my expanding drum on leather with linde A, any ideas on speeding up the smoothing process on the inner section would be great.

The rhodonite polishes better on diamond, i finish it on .5 micron diamond, the jade seems to glaze on diamond on the final polish.

 

Cheers Michael B

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