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Bone Carvings


Nigel

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Here's my first go at a 2 tone stained Hei Matau (Maori contemporary stylised Fish Hook) a Maori carver call Kerry Thompson is a master at this process. Not sure how he does it, but i put a clear nail polish lacquer over the part i want left natural bone then tea dyed the whole carving then sanded off the lacquer after drying and there you go. I sprayed a matt lacquer over it to seal it, as i didn't want to buff polish it and remove any of the tea stain colour. Have no idea how long the lacquer will work before it rubs off? it's a little rough, i think the stain broke down the nail polish a bit because its a bit off white colour.

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Nice work! i allways wonderd how Kerry Thompson stained his works, the edges between the two colours alway look so perfekt. But you did a great job and i am going to try it my self next time.

Question: how did you prepare the Tea and for how long did you soak it? Did you look how deep the colour got in to the bone?

 

Thanks

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How deeply does the stain go? Might you be able to stain the whole piece then carve and polish the remainder? Any approach that requires further carving/sanding requires great care to not 'ding' the part you want to leave untouched, which you likely figured out already. Maybe two coats of the nail polish would be less permeable to the stain? You could try using, nail polish remover or acetone to remove the nail polish on a test piece to see if it would harm the stained area.

 

Janel

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I used a couple of tea bags in a cup with boiling water for a couple of hrs, i don't think the stain penetrated the bone, longer u leave it the darker the stain will be and maybe deeper the penetration you would think. I read that Kerry Thompson says Stained carvings should not be worn in the shower or while swimming as hot and salt water in particular will fade the stain over time.

 

Thanks for the feedback!

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