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New Bone Carving - Mo'o Wahine

Tom Mehau

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Hello everybody,


This is the last carving I made. She is cow bone, about 3 1/4" tall.


She is a Mo'o Wahine, a Lizard Woman, a water spirit from the old time stories from our area. This is the first time I tried carving a real human figure, even though she's half lizard. Before this I only carved small versions of old Hawaiian 'tiki' - very stylized.


I wish I thought ahead and made the pinky fingers lower than the thumb and index finger sides so the cord had a nice flowing downward arc instead of that little upward blip between her hands. I'm really trying hard to think about the cordage and lashing when I design a piece but this one got away from me.


Oh well. There's always the next one.







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Contrary to your discomfort with the hands and cord positions, I like it that way. It seems to give the figure a sense of tension, that she is hanging and wrenching the rope, which in life would imply strength beyond what a normal woman would have, perhaps even that of men. (Try hanging from a rope, with arms crossed, and causing the rope to look like that...) It gives the flowing movement and visual story another element to wonder about.



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Thanks you guys for the replies and comments.


Janel I always appreciate your thoughtful observations and articulate comments. I guess if I was in a situation where I had to hang from a rope with both hands it wouldn't look anything like that at all. For one thing, my face would reflect a lot more fear and pain! Maybe she's holding on to a rope underwater?


Whatever the case, thanks for nudging my brain into giving more thought to the "visual story". That way of thinking came naturally to me in my drawings, but I never thought to apply it to my carvings.


Anyway, thanks again.

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Hi Tom,


I don't really now what to think about the hands, but it is due is size of the picture, that is not allowing for details ;)


One thing I really like, a part form the general aspect, is how you carved the hair, especially the part I can see on the back of the carving around the waist, this detail is, for me, giving a lot of depth and the general aspect of the hair gives also a good sense of movement.

Your smooth "silky-like" finish is also adding a lot to the piece.


And if I may, did you thought about making a twist for the bottom of the piece? I mean, I think it would have been nice also, but I, personally, only did one time a twist and that was the only "technical" aspect of my carving. It's just something that came to my mind while watching your piece.

But like you said "There's always the next one".... ;)


Anyway, keep showing your work, it is always interesting to see.


Thanks for sharing



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