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Greetings Fron Hong Kong

Kurt K

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Hallo everyone.


I would like to introduce myself to all the outstanding artisans here at the forum. My name is Kurt and I originally hail from and grew up in Austria. Countryside and mountainous, hence my playground where endless forests and mountains. So it’s no wonder that I had always been fascinated with rocks in one form or another.


Due to my work in Hospitality, I left Austria and after several years of traveling to many a country, I ended up here in Hong Kong 23 years ago. Set my roots here and consider it my home today. After 17 years of Tour-guiding Asia (specializing in history and comparative belief-systems), I was invited to move into the classroom, and today I am a NET teacher for primary schools focusing on spoken English including Phonics and Drama-activities.


About 4 years ago, I was led back to rocks via a seller of Fire Agate. Actually, I was looking for something to present to my wife (of 23 years), and could not find anything to my taste or fitting my budget. Fire Agate seemed so unusual and beautiful, yet is not available here in Asia at all. All said, I decided to circumvent the market all together and bought some rough and a machine similar to a Foredome and started chasing color. I got addicted, and did nothing else until finally, I stumbled on a Lapidary’s forum web-site in December last year. Friendly folks, very talkative and incredibly helpful on building ones confidence. This finally tore me away from Fire Agate and I started working slabs of many different materials (mostly Jaspers and Agates). As that forum is mostly about slabbing and cabbing, I got bored quickly and slowly started to create cabs with some small extra features, but while it was a welcome distraction for quite a number of members, the further I go in direction of carving the less people have to say as it is not their field of interest (for most of them).


I’m one of those people who do not know how to draw, so my projects are always in my head and tend to constantly change until finished (which is basically never)I’m learning as go along, so things are never sure until it’s done. That means in the end that I need a lot of mentoring and looking at this forum (found it yesterday), there is sooooo much expertise here that will easily guide me to the next level where I could actually call myself an artist.


I’m just a beginner and hobbyist (I do not sell), what I have done; I have done by simply having fun experimenting, so I have not even started attempting to emulate the fine work that is presented here. I will be introducing some of my work in the “Show and Tell” section later but if you like you can find all my miss-deeds on Facebook under my name “Kainzer Kurt”. You got my permission to kick me in the behind, if and any time I get lazy or careless in finishing something, or simply if you have any suggestions on how to improve any or all to further visual appeal.


First picture shows my First Fire Agate. Did the Fire Agate (took me nearly 2 years to get to that color) and the design. Setting and metalwork was done by a friend of mine. Blue stone is from Tailand and is called a “Eye of Naga” (most likely molten crystal with metal additives)


The second picture is something that I just completed (some of it goes back to 2 years). I call it a “Journey of Love” or in other words “From Puppy Love to Hell Freezing Over” LOL


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Welcome to the forum, always nice to see another stone carver here! Good job on the fire agates, they are challenging. I've never finished one; just carve a little on a few of them and set them aside and come back to them later. I actually have one almost finished; just need to go through all the polishing. Mine aren't as pretty as yours, so I have less incentive to finish them.


I think Danny Lopacki has carved a lot of fire agate, he posted a beautiful specimen a few months ago. I carve all sorts of stone, mostly figuative stuff. This is the kind of stuff I do: My link There's a whole lot of information here on this forum about carving stone, most of it is found under jade. Just do a search with "jade" as the keyword and you'll find information regarding carving, polishing, etc.


You're doing really nice work and it looks like you've found a jeweler who's doing your work credit with the settings. I wish I could find someone; I do my own metalwork and I really suck at setting small stones.


Keep coming back and posting, that way we all get to keep learning!


Debbie K

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Thank you Debbie for the warm welcome.


Ohh yes, I tend to be active and check in every day, so I will most likely get on some peoples nerves fairly quickly. LOL


As a stubborn beginner, I usually need constant reminders to get my act together and together with a huge ego, that usually means I'm hard of hearing. LOL But looking through quite a few post today, I know that I have a massive undertaking in front of me, if I want to even think of catching up to the average artist here. Will keep trying though, as I think I have a calling for this medium (even if it will remain a hobby till the end).


I just went through your pictures and there are far too many to choose a favorite from, but I do adore the Imperial Jasper Catfish and your faces in general (I'm scared of faces and heads and have thus far shied away from trying them). I also love your idea of the Spider-woman (?) on Butternut sculpture.


So, thanks again, looking forward to your future undertakings, Kurt

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I have told friends for years that they owe it to themselves to visit Hong Kong at least once in their lives, it is and will most likely stay my favorite city in the world. Had a chance to move myself and family there in 1988 but could not imagine living in such a large city after living out in the bush most of my adult life.


I got hooked on Fire Agate for a few years shortly after moving to our new location nearly twelve years ago. I found the stone intriguing and with my love of Opal it seemed to fit right in, did a bit of cutting and then decided if I was going to spend the endless hours cutting Id better go back to my Opal. The stone (Fire Agate) is truly beautiful but there is such a small market for it, it made no sense to me to continue cutting.


This new area I live in is within 100 miles of some of the best Fire Agate sources, myself and a good friend spent many days out in the hills locally and did in fact find new sources for this wonderful stone, we also proved to ourselves that there is Fire Agate in New Mexico, although if you read up on it they never mention New Mexico as a source.


I want to welcome you to the forum, if there is ever some question you post that I think I can help with be assured Ill do my best to give a proper answer.


Welcome again .......... All my best ....... Danny


If you do a search on the forum "fire agate true gems are carved" it should take you to this thread. http://www.thecarvingpath.net/forum/index.php?/topic/2220-fire-agate/page__p__19289__fromsearch__1#entry19289 there are three images of stones I cut early on in this thread.

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Dear Danny,


Its a pleasure to finally meet you.


As soon as I saw your name, I got goosebumps for some reason. While I'm pretty sure we never met in Hong Kong (I arrived in 1989 living on Lantau), Kenneth often spoke of you and told me to look you up.


Yes I saw the post on Fire Agate (looked it up after Debbie mentioned it) and decided to show some of my stuff in the show and tell section of this forum. I get mine from Mexico and they are usually windowed. Unfortunately My main-supplier (Kathy Bryan, the one who got me hooked) just recently passed away, and the other one in Mexico has decided its too much hassle and moved on to sell other things.


Yes Hong Kong is/was an interesting city. I could not live in the City as a country-boy either. So, we have always lived on Lantau. Progress has destructed a lot of its old-time charm but you can still find its essence if you know where to look.


So if you ever need something from over here, just let me know and I will see what can be done. Just remember, I don't do business, hence I do not have contacts in any industry. There is a reason that I get nearly all my material through the internet, even though virtually everything is available here (and I know where) LOL.


Greetings, Kurt

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