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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving Soapstone + Other Stuff!
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Soapstone + Other Stuff!
Tamapoutini
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Joined: Aug 30, 2006
Posts: 1530
From: Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Posted: 2007-03-31 12:50 am   Permalink

OK; it sounds as though we are missing the point, which if Im not mistaken was a comment by Tipua to those who might consider themselves perhaps too impatient/lazy/whatever to tackle a mammoth project or use a bulletproof material to try carving steatite/soapstone!! That was it..!

We all enjoy our carving. No-one is suggesting cutting corners or turn out a crappy product/result. There has been mention about using efficient means to achieve a result but I consider that neither lazy or sloppy, just sensible surely..?

Try reading a thread through rather than just the title and the last few posts. This man was trying to pass on some good advice for those who had never come across this particular stone and who might enjoy trying a cheap/cool medium for their art. I have never heard mention of anyone using soapstone since coming to TC and think its great that someone can think outside the box.

Thanks Tipua. I know that a bit of soapstone whittlin would be a great introduction to carving (wood or stone) & many peeps here would love it if they gave it a go. Could you run through your tools/processes a bit and perhaps edit your first post (title) to make this a how-to for soapstone carving? Alternatively, you could do a similar lesson in the 'Stone Carving Q&A' thread. Just a thought.

Rock on braddah!
Tama


 
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Tipua
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Joined: Mar 07, 2007
Posts: 114
From: Canberra, Australia
Posted: 2007-03-31 02:45 am   Permalink






Kia ora Tama:

It was hard to get a reasonable enough photo to show you the quality (or lack there of) of this girl's nephrite. I hope you can get what you can from this poor photo!






[ This Message was edited by: tipua 2007-04-03 01:46 ]


 
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Tipua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 07, 2007
Posts: 114
From: Canberra, Australia
Posted: 2007-03-31 02:47 am   Permalink

Oh yeah, thanks very much Tama. I've changed the title of this thread using your advice. Waaay too much criticism! And I don't take criticism very well!

[ This Message was edited by: Tipua 2007-03-31 02:51 ]


 
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Tipua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 07, 2007
Posts: 114
From: Canberra, Australia
Posted: 2007-03-31 04:12 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-03-31 00:50, Tamapoutini wrote:
Thanks Tipua. I know that a bit of soapstone whittlin would be a great introduction to carving (wood or stone) & many peeps here would love it if they gave it a go. Could you run through your tools/processes a bit and perhaps edit your first post (title) to make this a how-to for soapstone carving?




As per Tama's suggestion here are some pics of the tools I've been using. The first two are of ol'faithful, a K-Mart brand rotary tool. I've used it for nearly all my previous carvings so it looks a little well used. It's great for soapstone (I don't know how it'd cope with a harder stone. It didn't do too well with nephrite, but that could have been my own unsteady hand). It came with various sanding heads and some diamond burrs (nearly worn out now).


This next one is of another brand rotary hand tool I got recently. It has a flexible shaft attachment which is handy. Both tools cost under $50 each.
The next picture is of the stone itself. These are the two blocks I bought recently. You can see the colour difference between the two. I can't wait to see what the grey block on the left will look like all oiled and polished up. A nice black I imagine!


Here's a pic of a moai-ish (hei-moai?) pendant I carved today. It only took a couple of hours - and yes, I enjoyed the process of carving it!









 
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Sneakytiki
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Joined: Mar 31, 2003
Posts: 1795
From: Boise, Idaho
Posted: 2007-04-02 01:07 am   Permalink

The soapstone Moai is top! I like soapstone except for it's fragility. I bought some Native American Colombian soapstone pipes when I was in Cartaghena, Colombia yr's ago. The soapstone holds detail great! Keep up the carving!
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Tipua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 07, 2007
Posts: 114
From: Canberra, Australia
Posted: 2007-04-02 02:09 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-04-02 01:07, Sneakytiki wrote:
The soapstone Moai is top! I like soapstone except for it's fragility. I bought some Native American Colombian soapstone pipes when I was in Cartaghena, Colombia yr's ago. The soapstone holds detail great! Keep up the carving!




Thanks Sneakytiki! Yeah soapstone is fun to work with and it does hold great detail (if you're a better carver than I!), but yes it is rather fragile - especially if you don't know what you're looking for (like me) and buy a piece riddled with cracks and flaws.

I own a statuette of Buddha from India that's stood the test of time however, with only a few tiny chips here and there. I guess fragility really depends on the kind of soapstone you've got.

As you can see in this pic a long flaw running down the face (the flaws are mostly superficial though. It hasn't fallen to pieces YET):


Also, notice this strange spot?

It's actually a small chip of rusting iron embedded in the stone. I've found a few of these iron specks throughout my first soapstone block. I don't know what their origin may be... Perhaps from the machine that originally cut it? A few are embedded pretty deep though, with no holes to suggest they were mini-bullets shot into the stone. Odd.



 
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Sneakytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2003
Posts: 1795
From: Boise, Idaho
Posted: 2007-04-02 02:49 am   Permalink

Tipua, thanx fer the info> I wasn't sure if the fragility was my imagination or what? I had a pipe break and tossed it, it was a cool piece with bird figure carved on top. I never thought to epoxy it at the time. Duh? Now I just have one of those pipes.
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Tipua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 07, 2007
Posts: 114
From: Canberra, Australia
Posted: 2007-04-02 5:31 pm   Permalink

There's some great soapstone pipes out there, that's for sure, both native american and european (and from anywhere else people liked to smoke!), and I can see a collector getting excited finding one - especially digging one up in your backyard
(see
www.backcountrydepot.homestead.com/arkheadhunters.html )

There are some magnificent designs that are executed well in soapstone. It does hold detail very well. I may have to try carving a pipe... although since I don't smoke, it will be more for art's sake.

Maybe one like this?



Errrr... maybe not yet!

Tama: You mentioned soapstone occuring near nephrite deposits. Did Maori ever utilise it?


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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10363
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2007-04-02 6:10 pm   Permalink

Tipua, That Beautiful pipe has an Awful SMALL Bowl for tobacco, What do they smoke in it???
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Tipua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 07, 2007
Posts: 114
From: Canberra, Australia
Posted: 2007-04-02 7:35 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-04-02 18:10, Benzart wrote:
Tipua, That Beautiful pipe has an Awful SMALL Bowl for tobacco, What do they smoke in it???




How true Benz!
I guess whatever they smoke in it makes those three big-butt ladies DANCE!


 
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Tipua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 07, 2007
Posts: 114
From: Canberra, Australia
Posted: 2007-04-02 7:56 pm   Permalink

Just thought I'd add this pic from Spirit Wrestler because it's done in soapstone (and it's cool). It is a carving done by Inuit carver David Ruben Piqtoukun. The Inuit have used soapstone as a carving medium for a very long time for religious/cultural purposes and now for the tourist industry.

Awesome.


David Ruben Piqtoukun - Bear Shaman (1997)


 
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Tipua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 07, 2007
Posts: 114
From: Canberra, Australia
Posted: 2007-04-03 02:01 am   Permalink

Retouched my hei-moai.
Not so moai now (well never really was), though still with some remaining elements (although no mouth. Perhaps that could be my signature?).
As you can probably tell, I like my carvings to be rather minimalist - probably to cover up the fact that I'm not very good - although, as Benzart correctly pointed out (on Tama's thread somewhere), moai are deceptive. They look simple, but are actually quite difficult to get right. That's why I've tried my own version. Artistic license and all that.



 
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Sneakytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2003
Posts: 1795
From: Boise, Idaho
Posted: 2007-04-03 03:28 am   Permalink

That minimalist hei Moai echoes some early 20th century modernist sculpture pieces which in turn are often compared to Eskimo sculpture--- Nicely dovetails into your last 2 posts no? I like the minimalist Moai! It says Moai/african mask/ Inuit Shaman (like above), and on and on. Faces that are "simpler" can say more! When Euro Americans see a Moai or a fang mask they often remark that "It looks like a white guy". But to an African or a Polynesian it looks like THEM! So called simple schematic faces really hit the frontal lobes hard. We people have a very acute facial feature recall an' when u successfully create a generic everybuddy face it really drives sumthin' home by recalling every face at once. Humans are programmed to look for faces, the plaster in the ceiling, the clouds, etc. How many times yah hear sumone say "I think I see a foot in that thar cloud? Anyway, nuff sed! Looks like the start of a unique style/take on tiki!

Rok on!

S T
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Tamapoutini
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 30, 2006
Posts: 1530
From: Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Posted: 2007-04-03 05:02 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-04-02 17:31, Tipua wrote:
Tama: You mentioned soapstone occuring near nephrite deposits. Did Maori ever utilise it?



*Not that I know of..?

Love that animalistic inuit sculpt; sexy-weird..!

I also like your minimalist approach to this last Moai; excellent piccy too!

Tama


 
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Tipua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 07, 2007
Posts: 114
From: Canberra, Australia
Posted: 2007-04-03 5:26 pm   Permalink

Thanks Tama. Did that back-lit shot of my hei-tiki tell you anything as to its nephrite origin/quality/lack there of?

And thanks Sneaky Tiki.
I agree. We humans tend to make the mistake of concentrating on the differences rather than the similarities apparent in our fellow humans and our various cultures. We can still be quite tribalistic in our chosen affinities for the particular culture we're used to, rejecting others. "This is MY culture, that is YOUR culture, and never the twain shall meet!"
We forget that we all share the same origin, we're all of the same species and a common humanity is shared by us all.


 
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