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Dino

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Hello out there on the carving path.

 

Yesterday I finished my latest sculpture in Prickly Juniper Burl (as usual:)) and I thought it might be nice to show it here. Although it still isn't in netsuke size :D...24X24x16cm (2,5cm~1inch). I filled a small crack with shellac (melted, not solved), hope it stays there! Anyone experience with that? I thought it was worth a try, fits nicely in the grain and can be polished. It can be seen on the second picture in the middle as a small dark line moving over the edge to the front downward. The original burl was a ball of almost the same size from Formentera, can be seen on my website in materials. It was the biggest I've ever found, yet.

There also appeared (or didn't disapper, can't tell while rasping) some very fine 'hair'cracks. I left them as they are, they are hardly to be seen and felt. What do you do when sth like that appears in your carvings? Must be much more disturbing with small sizes. After first finer sanding I discovered some of them and tried to rasp them away, but as it is, with a few it worked, some got worse and others stayed as they were...I didn't want my idea of the shape to be influenced too much by some natural 'mistakes'. The wood is at least 200 years old and therefor there are flaws.

That's it so far, hope you like it,

Dino

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Nice work, Dino! I enjoyed it - I have a weak spot for burls, but I do dislike that strong "pencil sharpener" smell from juniper. Doesn't seem to keep me from using it, though. Wonder what that says about my personality?...

 

Don't answer that last question, by the way!

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Dino,

Beautiful work, I definitely appreciate all the sanding that went into the finishing! Love the organic flow of the form.

My solution for small cracks, not only for fill but for strength also, has been cyanoacrylate glues..so called instant glues. I can get three different viscosities from water thin to almost a gel. It is usually sold in small bottles of 2 ounces or less. There is also an accelerator that will speed up the set time but this can sometimes turn white. The smell is noxious if large amounts are used but easy to handle in small amounts. The set glue is relatively easy to sand. Hairline cracks filled with the CA glue usually disappear. Larger cracks that have to be filled with glue and sawdust or repeated glue applications will show when sanded. The glue turns a black color when heavily sanded, I think the heat causes the glue to change color. The excess glue that may soak into the grain around the crack (if using the water thin CA) disappears under most all clear finishes. As always though I would do a test piece with the finish to be used.

I have also saturated ultra thin pcs. of wood for strength for carving. I have made dragonfly wings so thin you could see light through them and small appendages or branches that would be impossible to shape without the added strength of the glue.

There are also fil-sticks sold by some finish companies. They are like over sized crayons that come in different colors. I usually heat the end of them and blend my own custom colors to suit the material. This is what I use if the cracks are small or blending instead of accenting is desired.

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Thanks for the comments! Sounds good with the glue, I will try that next time. Usually I don't really mind cracks, depending on where they appear. Sometimes I even open them up, takes out the tension of the wood. But in this case I would have liked to get rid of some. It probably has to be done in a very late stage, just befoe the finer sanding, I think. Otherwise the glue would be taken off again. These cracks often do not go straight down but in a sort of almost parallel angle of the surface. Just when the finest sanding is done the wood chips, I think because of the frictional heat. Even though I only sand manually and never use any machine. For that reason I shouldn't worry too much about the glue getting burnt. My only trouble is that the Juniper burl wood itself is very unctuous, but I think I will just try it...

 

->Tom: I know what you mean with "pencil sharpener smell", but this one is really different. It can't be compared to Juniperus Communis or even red cedar. I work with two different types of Juniper. This one is Prickly J. (J. Oxycedrus) and the other is Phoenician J. (J. Phoenicea), so called because of his red colour, both domiciled in the mediterranean. The smell is incredible, especially of the latter. I think it smells even better than sandalwood, and I've got some of that here, too. When people come to my flat they ask me if I lit any joss sticks recently. Actually, the chips are often used as an incense substitute. Unfortunately smell transmission online hasn't been developed, yet, or, for what I know, at least not satisfactorily :D So you just have to believe me...

For your personality, maybe someone poked you with a juniper stick when you were young and your mother...Well I probably need some further information to get into the subject :o

 

Regards,

Dino

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And another one. Still needs polishing. This is more the local size: 12x12x10cm.

I just bought a lot of over 70! riffler rasps and riffler files a week ago, all made by F. Dick and some Grobet Vallorbe in great condition for 28!! Euro + 4,5 Euro shipping at ebay. All sizes and shapes one can imagine. I couldn't believe it. There was no description but only a bad photo and the headline 'modelling files'. So I bought the pig in the poke. Usually one Dick rasp is around 40 Euro, a file maybe half the price. This breaks completely new dimensions to me for I only could afford three smaller good rifflers till then. It was like a warm rain in the summer :D

 

 

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Thx for the flowers, again! Makes you feel good after a long time working on sth...

 

For the concept: There usually is 'none'. It's the working process itself, I think, that leads me to the shape. Most of the roots already have strange and twisted shapes. I start taking off the bark and dead wood and leave as much healthy wood as possible in the beginning. After that I often put them aside for a longer time and let the 'billet' or 'blank' (don't know the right expression, think you know what I mean) work on me. It's often a all of a sudden decision that I start working on one when the idea appears.

It's a process I went through the past years to see where to open up and make breakthroughs into the wood, often hinted by cavities already provided. This was especially difficult for me in the beginning, not only because of the restriction by the tools, that could be helped, but because of the irreversible action and the feeling to be obliged to preserve as much of the 'precious' wood as possible. Meanwhile I'm much more relaxed with that. For example my girlfriend still can't watch me doing this, she has to go away then, although she's most of the time happy with it afterwards :)

I want my sculptures to 'move' or to flow, not in a certain direction but also within themselves and outwards. And this no matter how one puts them, I usually don't have bottom and top, my ambition is that this impression works from all sides. In additon to that I certainly try to integrate the grain into the Movement as much as possible. I'm still far from that, but I feel I get closer with every piece I make. I always turn the pieces while working and try to connect the sides until there is no 'side' left. I think it is very important that every part seems to have the job to hold the whole piece together!

 

The big one here was very difficult for me, it was a big round ball.

 

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No hints, no cavities, but very heavy and solid. For figurative carving with burls maybe a jackpot, a year of thinking for me. Assuming that most of the sleeping eye grain moves to the center I thought it would be nice to show as much of that as possible and did it this way. All the holes go towards the center. But to tell the truth: I cut the thick extension on the left so it could stand on it with the two branches on top then. Last year I cut the smaller one completely and integrated the thicker into the shape by rasping. When I made my decision a few weeks ago, I started from the top going brutally inside. I made three holes in almost random order hoping they would 'grow' together the way I had in mind. And here is my confession: During this stage I always kept the door open to abort everthing and make a bowl of it! But it turned out fine and I did the next step and went inside from the side. That was it. I'm so glad I did it, I would have never forgiven me making a bowl out of this rare piece.

No problems with bowls, there's other wood for it. But actually, I do not want any usability in my sculptures at all.

So this was a special thing. There are ten 'holes' altogether now and I also opend up the 'stand' in a way that it can still be used but also doesn't look like one when turning the scuplture 'upside down'. And there's hardly a position where anyone can use any hole for putting anything in :lol:

 

Maybe this was a bit much now but since one asked :) I had to get that off my chest, nobody has seen the thing, yet. Online yes, but not in private, not even my girlfirend, won't see her before thursday. Now I have to get back to work, I have an exam tomorrow and still some stuff to read.

See you later,

Take care and thx,

Dino

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Dino,

 

These are truly beautiful- the forms, elegant and flowing - they resolve themselves in a very satisfying way. Thank You!

As for cracks - I have had cracks show up in purple heart wood and ebony that I was able to almost make disapear by using fine powdered wood mixed into a 4 to 1 ratio epoxy resin that a gunsmith friend of mine uses on gunstocks. A 330 epxoy used in lapidary and jewelry would probably work well also. Five minute epoxy would not work so well.

Magnus

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Thank you, Magnus. I know that from carpentry with glue and sawdust, but I was afraid here because the mixture might have been much brighter than the streaks in the wood so I went for the dark shellac. I was thinking about epoxy resin in the first place but actually I don't want any chemistry in my work, even though epoxy might be harmless. I'm quite satisfied with the solution atm, just polishing with a machine can cause problems, the shellac melts at about 120°C. In case something is apt to break I would certainly consider epoxy again, I think it can hold things together.

 

Dino

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