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ben h

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Hi Ben,


Welcome. I hope that you will learn good things here.


I'd like to gently remind you, and other members, to resize your images to fit the guidelines pinned to the top of each forum topic area. Good tips here: http://www.thecarvingpath.net/forum/index.php?/topic/2388-resizing-your-photos-for-the-forum/


I will preface my comments by saying that I carve wood and not bone, but have found bone to be a delightful material to put my tools to. Regarding staining of bone, I have no experience. My comments will be more about carving in general, and may at first sound harsh when reading the words that I write. My statements are meant as encouragements to learn, to push your skills to go beyond the tentative beginning steps seen in the above images.


What I first see in the second and third images (the first one is too blurry), the knife and spear point, are edges that I assume are supposed to be straight. Instead, I see jagged, irregular lines everywhere. Lines meant to be straight should be just that, as well as curved lines that are intended to be smooth curves should be just that and not irregular and indecisive. I see lines that are likely only made with power tools with no finishing or attention to the edges or details. And, the spear point has a crack that show dramatically if stain is applied.


Decorative additions with lines, whether cut out or engraved can be lively enhancements to form. Sticking a power burr into the bone and forcing it along is only the first step. What I see are rough edged openings that are round at beginning and end (showing the diameter of the burr), with no (or very little) taper or life to them and edges that beg to be filed and sanded into sensuous, clean designs.


These pieces cry out to have you move beyond the "roughing out" stage by using files, sanding tools and gravers (or carving/shaving tools).


I encourage you to not rush through your next project. Do not add detail until the form has been completed with straight line edges and curves, and the surface smoothing is nearly complete. Then add the piercings carefully, shaping the lines to smooth edges for straight line and straight-line curves with small files and folded sanding papers.


Kindest regards,



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