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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving Making a living carving? Thoughts? Advice?
Making a living carving? Thoughts? Advice?
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 05, 2009
Posts: 18
Posted: 2009-10-05 11:43 am   Permalink

Hi all, been browsing the forums for inspiration for several years now, I wanted to ask about making a living carving though.

I've been carving bone for a few years, have sold several pendants around town, most of them off my neck or bartered them off at trade shops, etc.

Until recently I was employed full time/successfully for a online sales conglomerate, blah, blah, blah, things have come to an end and I spent the last 10 years working in an industry and with skill sets that really don't transfer anywhere else, so while it was good while it lasted, I'm kind of stranded now!

In June of next year, my family and I are moving to the Big Island. Admittedly, compared to a lot of the work on these forums, my work is amateur, I can carve and lash a mean Hei Matau, but unfortunately so can about 1,000 Filipinos, and the eBay market seems pretty flooded with mass produced stuff.

I've always just carved as a hobbyist, never thought about trying to earn rent with it, but with our move to Hawaii next year, I'd love to be able to set up a small shop and make a few hundred a month so we can live a happy, but modest lifestyle.

I've recently started carving stone, I'm really, really loving the medium, I picked up a cheapish piece of black jade (Didn't want to ruin a nice piece of greenstone if I was going to end up just butchering it!) and it really seems like something I could get into.

I guess to boil my point down, is there any way for a moderately skilled carver to make rent doing this? I'd like to get a few dozen pieces carved up before my move and see if I can get a few feet to display on someone's wall down on Alii drive. I was just wondering if it's worth the time and money invested I guess.

If anyone has any tips, advice, etc. on making a few bucks doing something you love; I'd love to hear it. I had also considered other crafts, I was raised in a construction family so can do about anything in a decent shop, though I seem to have really fallen in love with stone and I'd like to someday get into glass blowing as well.

p.s. - to any stone carvers that might happen upon my post here, the stone I've been carving as of late is DESTOYING my rotary bits! I'm not even sure where I got the diamond-tip set I've been using the last week, but they look pretty cheap in the first place and now the grit is all but worn off. Is that a problem with cheapo bits, a hazard of working the medium or perhaps something I'm doing wrong? Too much pressure, etc.?

Thanks all for your any help you can send my way without giving away too much top-secret trade information!

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