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Suggestions For Practice Stone For New Carver

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Hi everyone,


I have never carved stone before, but I do have experience using a flex shaft for carving wax and metal. I would like to eventually become skilled at carving stone focal beads (especially jade).


I was wondering if it might be best to practice using a less expensive stone that I won't feel bad making mistakes with. Does anyone have any pointers on what stone out there might be good starting point to practice with? Or is it best to jump in with the stone you want to carve, and learn that way?


Thank you so much!


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Hi my 2 cents:

I just recently discovered the wonders of carving stone and making beads.

My first beads were actually bone but now that I have carved some jade and agate I can say that the process (for me) was nearly the same except I have to carve the stone beads wet using slightly different tools.


if you only wanna carve stone but dont wanna buy jades yet you can start practicing drilling pebbles or whatever you can locally collect.

I think drilling a good hole is essential and if you dont have a drill press it does need practice to keep a good angle on a flex shaft.

You can start cutting pebbles up just to see how it goes and work on the technique


to practice the shaping of beads use quality material cuz like I tried practicing with some serpentine stone I collected and while it looks great polished it was just too soft and all the pieces broke. but with nephrite even pieces that were a bit cracked stayed intact at the end. If you have to buy something but the right one. I think you can get some california jades mine run cheap or Ive seen some washington jades for a very good price maybe do a search and get some sample packs.

or if you're interested in other materials you can get different types of quartz. for example I actually just found some rough quartzite

in my garden in a pile of rocks yesterday , doesn't really worth anything but should be fun mess around with :)


Id say that each type of stone is a bit different because of the hardness and the inclusions but the overall approach is the same and the best way to find practice material is to go out on a field trip and collect stuff.



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Hi Peter!


Thank you so much for your ideas. It definitely makes sense to just go with what I am looking to learn. After some poking around I realized that there are rough chunks of jade out there that are not as high of quality that seem to be perfect for learning with.


And I definitely don't have a shortage of rocks out here at the foothills of the mountains, so I will have to get out once the snow melts and see what types of stones I can find around here too. I like that idea a lot!


Thank you again and have a great day,


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Hi Yloh, thank you for the input to just go ahead and start with the jade. I do have a local rock shop that I called yesterday, and they said they carry rough jade from time to time and to check out what they have.


Soon I will post what I come up with!




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