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Hello From The Land Of The Amish, Lancaster, Pa.


John S.

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I've been carving bone for the last month or so. Like another user I saw in an introduction thread, I was aways fascinated with Maori hei matau pendants, which are the bone fish hook style pendants they are so famous for. I started with one of these, and then another, more complex hook, and then I made a carving of the Manaia, a Maori spiritual figure that's also a fairly common motif, and then another pendant that while not based on anything in particular, still draws from Maori designs.

 

I'm quite hooked on carving bone, now, and I'm sure I'll be carving it for many years to come. I'm using a Black & Decker RTX with a Milescraft flex shaft attachment to do the carvings, though in the future, when I'm not carving on a third floor apartment balcony, I'd like a workshop with some proper saws to cut the bone roughly into shape. Cut off discs can hardly get the job done.

 

I've included some pictures of what I've carved so far.

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It's cow bone. I'll be working on getting them smoothed up and shiny. Still learning how to do that part. I try my best for nice, fluid lines. The designs borrow from Maori designs, but I don't directly copy designs I've seen. I sketch out a bunch of designs, and pick the ones I like best.

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Hello John,

 

Welcome to The Carving Path forum. Thomas mentioned using hands for the finish. There are good tools for such work, that will make the line of distinction between the elements of the form clean and straight, with practice. Files for some areas, scrapers of all sorts for other areas.

 

If you use the SEARCH function you might find tools mentioned that were designed by Stephen Myhre. In getting Getting Started and Resources, the last topic area in the list of topics, you will find mention of a video that will add some visual examples of how one might use the tools. (I used wood, but these tools were designed by a bone and stone carver)

 

Thank you for the photos.

 

Janel

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  • 4 weeks later...

It's cow bone. I'll be working on getting them smoothed up and shiny. Still learning how to do that part. I try my best for nice, fluid lines. The designs borrow from Maori designs, but I don't directly copy designs I've seen. I sketch out a bunch of designs, and pick the ones I like best.

 

Hi John

As far as finishing of cow bone goes. I find that sandpaper (sorry, don't know the grit size, but quite fine anyway) followed by very fine wet and dry paper works for me.

Then all that is needed is continuous rubbing between thumb and fingers works wonders for me.

The natural oils from your hands will bring up a surprising lustre.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi John

 

Nice work .

I when i have finished carving bone with the power tools i tend to spend some time using small needle files to file out and scuffs that the burrs will have made and smooth out so that the surface is even all over before using the sandpapers and then work to finer grains of sandpaper until you have the desired finish!

Most the time if you just go to sandpaper just after using the burrs you will notice when you start getting a nice shiny finish that the scuff marks from the burrs will show up really clear.

I use micromesh sandpaper.You can buy in different grades that goes to super fine and gives the bone a glass like finish .

Have fun

 

Paul

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