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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Other Crafts Looking for some bone carving advice/pointers!
Looking for some bone carving advice/pointers!
BrahPailei
Member

Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 8
Posted: 2006-08-24 09:51 am   Permalink

Aloha! I just recently picked up the craft so thus far everything I've done has been limited to tools and bone on hand, I had a Bear Femur, a Dremel, some small files and some sandpaper and have really started getting into carving. My first carvings were pretty traditional Maori hooks, I've made a few pair of earrings and carved a sweet little Honu for my daughter.

I'm really digging this, I've done a lot of painting and sketch before, but this is my first time getting into anything 3D.

I was wondering if anyone can share any pointers with me, as far as what kind of tools I should be on the lookout for, I'd like to be able to add a bit more detail for sure. Also, what kinds of bone are available? I'm in Oregon right now for a few more months, then heading to Hilo next Spring to be closer to work, all that's really available around here is beef, so I'm macerating a femur right now, though once I've got a little more practice in, I would like to try a few other types, provided they are not too rare/expensive.

I'd hate to use something nice to just practice on.

Another thing that I've been working on is lashings for the hooks/pendants. I'm having more trouble with lashings than the bonework at this point. I've picked up some hemp and cotton cords, all that was avaiable around here, though I'd like to maybe order some flax cord, I'm really not sure what I'm doing here, so just playing with different knots, though besides from a few, nothing's really very attractive so to speak.

Can anyone help me out? Maybe some carving/knot/lashing guides I've overlooked etc.?

Mahalo!


 
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Paipo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 22, 2006
Posts: 1886
From: Aotearoa / NZ
Posted: 2006-08-24 3:34 pm   Permalink

Hi BrahPailei
Welcome to TC! Can you post some pictures of what you've made so we can see where you're at?
I don't carve bone much these days, but did for a few years before switching to stone. If you want a really good book that covers everything from technques and tools to cords and bindings, this is considered the "bible" by New Zealand carvers:
http://reed.co.nz/products.cfm?view=293&catID=12
I've seen copies pop up on ebay from time to time.
The key to getting good surface decoration is using gravers, which are just tiny chisels. The book above tells you which types to use and how to make them, but jeweller's gravers can be bought from any jewellery supplier. There is also a guy here in NZ who sells a basic set (scroll down a little):
http://www.carving.co.nz/howto.html
Fine tungsten carbide burrs are still pretty good though, but always buy the best quality you can get. What sort of dremel are you using? I find the quality of the handpiece certainly makes a difference, so if you want to get into it more seriously you might want to consider an upgrade.
As for cord, don't use anything natural unless the piece is for display only, they just won't last long enough. You'd be amazed how much wear and tear a piece will get if someone really loves it, and flax and hemp irritate some people's skin too. Use a waxed nylon or polyester cord and braid a 3 or 4 plait cord from it, they last for years and look good.
Let me know if there's anything else I can help with.

[ This Message was edited by: Paipo 2006-08-24 15:35 ]


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BrahPailei
Member

Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 8
Posted: 2006-08-24 5:04 pm   Permalink

Here's a pic of what I have here that I've done, the hooks are both made from the Bear Femur, the earrings are made from a small greasy peice of cow bone, mostly just wanted to play around with designs for them as I couldn't find any all bone earrings online to use as a starting point.



As far as the lashings, one is cotton, really thick, but again just trying to use what I have on hand for the time being, the other is just hemp, I pretty much made the knotting up as I went and as such, it's a bit chunky and silly looking.

I took your advice on that book though, ordered a copy from the UK for about $27 shipped, I had read misc. reviews on it before, but I'll take your word on it and check it out!

____

On a side note, been spending the afternoon looking over the forums, checking out others work etc. and wow, just wow. There is an amazing amount of talent lurking around here, once I get better footing in the carving field, I think I would like to try some wood, I guess I'll wait untill next spring when I'm in Hilo though so I can set my shop of for good first.

[ This Message was edited by: BrahPailei 2006-08-24 17:05 ]


 
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BrahPailei
Member

Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 8
Posted: 2006-08-24 5:10 pm   Permalink

Oh, as far as the dremel goes. I'm using a Dremel 300 Series.



Also, you had mentioned carving stone, what stone do you carve, and comparativly how much harder is it than the bone I've been using?


 
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Paipo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 22, 2006
Posts: 1886
From: Aotearoa / NZ
Posted: 2006-08-24 5:53 pm   Permalink

Quote:

Also, you had mentioned carving stone, what stone do you carve, and comparativly how much harder is it than the bone I've been using?



I carve pebbles I get from my local beaches - the one I mainly use is greywacke, which is a very hard sandstone mainly composed of quartz. It's harder and the tools are diamond instead of tungsten, but the technique is pretty much the same, except you can't use gravers or hand tools. You can check out stuff on the stone, tools and techniques I use here:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=20008&forum=7&120

Do you have a flexshaft and pencil handpiece for your dremel? They're pretty useful for bonecarving. Looks like you're off to a good start. It's pity kaha ki'i isn't around anymore - he specialised in bone and ivory hooks and his binding and cord work was superb. Have a look for some of his threads using the search function.


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BrahPailei
Member

Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 8
Posted: 2006-08-25 7:26 pm   Permalink

Well, things are moving along pretty good, I braided a hemp cord for practice and actually liked the way it looked I took the cotton cord off of the first one I made (Since it's the first, It's the one I'll wear full time, and I'm okay with hemp for now.)

Anyway, I've been trying my butt off to tie a 4 plait round braid and am having no luck finding a walkthrough that I can read.

Any chance anyone can explain how to tie a 4 plait round, or a good instructional site I've overlooked?


 
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coconuttzo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2010
Posts: 144
From: Hilo, Hawaii
Posted: 2010-01-25 2:01 pm   Permalink

Hey Brahpalei,

I just found this forum couple weeks ago & like you, back in '06, I am trying to start out in bone carving just now. I noticed here that you moved to Hilo. I am also on the Hilo side.

I was wondering how you were getting along with your carvings? I don't know if you figured it out yet about the 4 plait round braid by now but I found a couple useful ones on youtube.

Maybe we can talk story since youv'e got a 4 year headstart on things. I live Hawaiian Paradise Park.


 
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