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Pink Rhodonite Carving


David G

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Here is this months effort for the hard stone carvers around here. It is a lovely piece of pink rhodonite from Mick B's neck of the woods near Tamworth NSW. It is wonderfull stuff to work, very fine grained, compact with no annoying soft spots or holes and takes a great polish and about the same hardness as jade. The inspiration for the shape came from NZ carver Gordon Wells who made a circular Koru twist in jade with the 'tail' extending below the main piece.

 

This is the original slab, I actually decided to make the other side the front so I also drew the pattern on the other side and cut to that.

 

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It is 50mm x 20mm and is playing with movement in stone similar to my previous 2 carvings.

 

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The finish of the back is a bit rougher than the front.

 

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It is mildly translucent in very strong sunlight, otherwise it looks opaque.

 

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A lot of the sanding was done in an hour long traffic jam last week. I like this carving a lot, it really stands out in my small display box against all the other bright shiny stones in there.

 

David

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Lovely shade of pink. You did a good job too. I am thinking of carving a lotus flower from a small piece of rhodonite and thought it may be hard, but you make it sound like an easy stone to work with.

 

Cheers.

 

:)

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Hi Cat, Rhodonite is generally quite tough so it stands up to carving well (try splitting it with a hammer). It is also quite varied, some of it (often the deep red) is sugary (coarsly crystalline) and difficult to get a good polish on as some of the crystals always want to undercut of pull out. The pink stuff tends to be more fine grained, the slab I used took the two fine edges of my carving easily and never looked like breaking (unlike a jade twist from Cowel nephrite that has just cracked and failed on me). Pick the most solid piece you can find and it should be fine.

David

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the slab I used took the two fine edges of my carving easily and never looked like breaking (unlike a jade twist from Cowel nephrite that has just cracked and failed on me).

 

 

Don't you hate that. It can be so disappointing when you have spent some good time carving and sanding, only to have a piece break on you . Then its like ....back to the drawing board.

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Certainly the quality stone needed for the small pendants I am carving needs to be exceptional to hold up to the stresses. It is up there with knife scales which I also cut for needing good solid rock to start with. I am amazed how hard it is to source really good solid material.

 

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An old Swiss Army 'Recruit' with agate scales from Merriwa, NSW, Australia

 

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Swiss Army 'Executive' with West Australian chrysoprase scales

 

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Swiss Army 'Recruit' with Regency Rose, Graveyard Point, agate from the USA

 

David

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I have a thing for pen knives and ^ those are awesome.

 

So you are also in Australia David G, do you buy material from places like eBay?

 

Yeah, just up the road :) . I have brought a little on e-bay, I find it very hit and miss and no good for high class material, except where I have subsequently developed a relationship with the seller and specifically requested material not on e-bay. I like to see the material first hand, especially for knife scales as getting large clean pieces is very hard and my definition of 'clean & solid' seems to be different to some e-bay sellers definition :angry:. One of the best sources are the lapidary club open days where older members are clearing out some of their usually extensive stashes, some really good reasonably priced materials have come from those sources (that is where the rhodonite used in this carving came from).

David

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It is hard to buy material going buy a low quality image on the internet. I have bought a few rough pieces of jade, and one had a lot of quartz inclusions and fractures and so it wasn't suitable for what i was doing. I also have been stooged into buying a rock i thought was Jade as it was labeled ' Pilbara Jade' ,only to find out later that it is not jade. It was so soft, and nice when polished, but not what i wanted to begin with. There is a lapidary club near me that i have considered joining for some time now. I really should join as i am sure it will lead to many avenues for tools and carving materials.

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