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carvings 2013, December 2012 to end of December 2013 updated Dec-28

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Author Topic: carvings 2013, December 2012 to end of December 2013 updated Dec-28  (Read 1925 times)
asianfire
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« on: December 20, 2012, 09:11:25 pm »

Wow, another year has come and gone in a flash.

Lots of things have happened in the past 12 months and lots of things where learned through the help of so many.

So let me begin the start of this new tread by saying thank you to all the contributions that where made by so many members here. I could not have come this far with this hobby without your constant support and encouragement.

A special "Thank you" too to our administration, who not only rescued this site from obliteration, but continue to lend their time and effort in keeping it available to all of us.

Its scary to see the stats: Total time logged in: 58 days, 6 hours and 15 minutes. But it is a fun learning tool and despite of the time spend here, I still have not been able to see all there is to it, much less understand the technical side of it. bricks

For me, the year started off by trying to get the jump from simple lines into a bit more detailed objects. The "Honeycomb" set the style and path for the year.


Finally, this year we got ready for some collaborations: The one finished in February (?) was with Amanda. Who lend her gifted hands to my Polkadot Koy. Resulting into an immense piece that will suit very well as a poster-child, should I ever go out and try to exhibit or sell.


Two more collaborations are on their way, one where I know already that it will result into an absolutely fantastic piece with our superbly gifted Steve, and its finish is only hindered by the really slow snail-mail right now. And another piece in collaboration will literally result into a "Poster". A graphic artist from Poland, whom I met on another forum has asked to use the picture of one of my Fire Agates recently, to be used for a project of his. Apperantly he will use the Fire Agate as base-image, and then creates a world around it digitally. Will take awhile, but I'm really looking forward as to what he is up to.  saved1

In the mean-time, lots of subjects came along, but animal-themes certainly prevailed throughout


Human form and faces is something that I need to practice a lot


No matter if it is in form of guitars or otherwise. Looking back, something else crystallized out this year. It looks like I have a penchant for combining things (the guitar started it), and really like the results, even though the "Girl"and the "Owl" turned out too heavy to wear.

 
The Disdero, while I cursed the size at first, went on to become one of the best practice sessions for smaller pieces and due to my luck of having Helen send me just the right material for backing, resulted in some of the best visual appeals this year.


Cabs where not a priority this year, and from the ones that I did make I like those the best.


But lastly, I would like to list my favorite of them all; "Save" . So while a Fire Agate is in my Avatar, the carving representing my Journey for 2012 should be the Sleeping Angel.



Thank you all for a wonderful year, and looking forward to new adventures for the coming 12 months. Wish you all a great Holiday season, a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Here a link to all the pics  individually in one place:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bchallenge/sets/72157632327947278/




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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2012, 09:51:18 pm »

 thanks! That eye still mesmerizes , a true classic.
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2012, 10:07:00 pm »

Thank you for sharing Kurt. You added a whole new dimension to this board when you joined. Your work has been a joy. Thank you Sir.
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2012, 03:30:34 am »

You added a whole new dimension to this board when you joined.

Nahhhh, can't take credit for that. Just picked up (at a much lower skill level though) where Kenneth left us (have not seen him on the TCP either for quite some time, so if someone here is still in contact with him; please forward my best wishes and Greetings to him).  And luckily, we got a few very talented carving-artists on board since.

In short, its an interesting place to be, at an interesting time.  woohoo2 dancer
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2012, 03:48:55 am »

Awesome work Kurt I love your fearless creativity and you prodigious productivity does my head in. Can't wait to see what you produce next year.

David
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2012, 04:52:44 am »

I feel honored Kurt to have been included in your growth as a carver, and hope that you continue to grow and flourish in your work.   saved8
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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2012, 06:32:55 am »

All I can say is...............................................AWESOME!!!!! yes     I love looking at your pieces of art!  Simply put.............AWESOME!!!! ura
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2012, 08:40:01 am »

You have had a wonderful year playing with your stone.  I've enjoyed your threads and watching the pieces grow from blank stone into items of beauty.

Looking forward to the coming year's magnificence................ yes
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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2012, 06:34:32 pm »

Thank you all, its been fun and despite of what people might see in the pieces, its always a two-way-street. The more interest people show, the harder one tries to improve on the next project.

There was a long pause of nearly a month, but I should be back with something to show within the next few days. Had lots of ideas, but nothing really tempted me until I saw a picture of a flower a couple of days ago. The bud still folded up, just before opening. Nice simple lines with some deep groves mixed in between.

My take on it is freestyle, and hence nothing even close to realistic. But I just want the flowing lines. I'm using Allens black/red material and got a few surprises on the way there too. Now sanding those grooves is a pain and will take a while, but I think I should be ready to show by 26th..

Best regards, Kurt
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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2012, 07:09:24 pm »

Kurt, a compendium of your work leaves me speechless! WOW
Thanks for your company with us!
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« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2012, 09:52:23 pm »

You have a distinct style and I have enjoyed being a part of your carving journey.   Congratulations on a creative and productive year.
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2012, 06:55:12 am »

Kurt, it's been a delight watching you bring your creations to life this year.  May this coming year bring you even more challenges and success in your carving adventures!
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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2012, 04:28:20 pm »

Kurt, just think, five hundred years form now you work will be highly sought after by collectors as a fine example of the stone carver art. This stuff is so good yippie
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« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2012, 11:32:33 pm »

Kurt, just think, five hundred years form now you work will be highly sought after by collectors as a fine example of the stone carver art. This stuff is so good yippie

Thank you everyone, but looking at artists coming out of Russia these days, I doubt that my ability thus far would count for anything more than mere trinkets.


so lets get practicing to catch up to some measurement. saved2

First off this year is something that I reworked this past week. Was happy with it before, but now that I have been able to learn more about polishing, it looks that much better.



And first out the gate for this year (joined the forum early December, so that's how I count it  chuckle ), is something that Allen brought with him as he came to Hong Kong.

Its presumably Chert, and has hematite throughout, so what originally looked like a red and black mixture is now mostly red with a silvery sheen.



Did not manage a "Mirror" finish even on the rounded back, but looks like glazed porcelain.


Here is a mock-up of how I think this should be worn. I like the color contrast, but the weight of 104ct ( 68 x 29mm) for  the bead is a bit a worry in order to keep the balance.


Best regards, Kurt
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« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2012, 09:53:34 am »

Kurt,

I'd also like to chime in and express my appreciation for your art and all you share with us here on the forum! You really do add a new dimension to what is possible with stone, it is very inspiring.
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« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2012, 01:52:50 pm »

Kurt,

I am so appreciative of you and your contributions to our forum.  You have grown so much and so fast in your art form that it is quite mind boggling to me.  You are becoming a master in carving in a blink of an eye.  I can't wait to see what you bring to us in 2013!!!

Best wishes to you in the new year my friend and thank you for always being here to inspire those of us that have yet to take the challenge of carving!!! yes yes yes
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« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2012, 07:22:07 pm »

Whoa!!!! So what's missing from that fire agate? Nothing by the looks of it. One of the best I have ever seen. :)
I think that's rather cool inserting facet gems.
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« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2012, 09:09:12 pm »

Thanks everyone, its been two years on the forum now; people come and go, some talk, some don't, but everyone deserves the credit for having raised me to where I am now. So, the need for gratitude goes out to everyone here.

Whoa!!!! So what's missing from that fire agate? Nothing by the looks of it. One of the best I have ever seen. :) 

Needs more color for my taste, as a starter. But yes I like it a lot. Best you have seen? I don't think so. There are absolutely fantastic pieces out there, and whats in private hands topping them all, ..........  boggles the mind......

Since I have been into them for a few weeks now, I have decided to continue working on a rather special piece that I was able to get a few years ago. So far it looks good and I hope to show you some pictures by the weekend that should bring tears to even hardened "opal-collectors".

In the meantime; got those two finished up (pics taken before 50K Diamond-paste):



And, my little light of the day. It's down to the last two sheets of color, so for a change, the back is all done too. (I usually have the habit of not forming the back until I know what I want to do with them).


Greetings, Kurt
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« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2012, 06:33:54 am »

Woohooo...! Very nice and stong green colour.... yes
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« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2012, 08:50:24 pm »

Kurt:

I think they're both exceptional, but I agree with you, I like the green one too. You never know what you'll get with a fire agate, I carved on one for days but the orbs were so small and difficult to see it wasn't really worth it to go on. Someone recently gave me two that look really good, so I'll have to get to work on them after I finish my two current projects.

Good job!

Debbie K
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« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2012, 09:02:18 am »

Thanks Debbie and David.

One more before posting some fireworks for the end of the year tomorrow. Got the pictures already, but want to wait and see if I can get some shots outdoors tomorrow.

In the meantime here is one more:


And here a link to all the best of December 2012 in one place.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bchallenge/sets/72157632262060035/
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« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2012, 04:25:44 pm »

Wowowowow! What a FANTASTIC review for 2012!!!!

You ALMOST make me want to dig out my fire agates, the terrible time consuming things... LOL! I think I'll be working on the handful I have for years and years:P.
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« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2012, 06:36:33 pm »

Time-consuming, they certainly are, but.......... once in a while,..... you get something really special.







Have no real use for them, yet I know, I will continue to chase material that prommisses to be better. Eye-balling the next one already.  yippie saved2 hugs32
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« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2012, 11:51:50 pm »

More and more and much more better colour FA...... yes......carving FA is quite chalanging work, Happy New Year Kurt....wish you and your family a good health and prosperity... yippie
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« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2013, 12:25:09 am »

So after starting with the Fire Agate section 2 years ago, I knew what I wanted to do with it as the shape lends itself very clearly for it.

What stopped me from executing it at the time was no knowledge of carving at all and the need for (Ohhh horror of it all) a face.

Last week, I finally brought myself to get started by saying to myself that a mask would do just fine. I still got some fragments left over from a Turkish Dendrite Opal and started out on a pure white section in order to give it max contrast to the Fire Agate.



Started with the eyes and then went south. Gave it a more rounded face on the left in order to follow the shape of the FA and the plan to set it at an angle looking to the right.

As it turns out my guesses where far from reality and at a final size of 10.5 mm its far to big to fit into the hollow space of the FA. Will have to reshape and use it for something else in the future.

So, I put that one aside and started on the FA itself on Monday. Somehow picking up another piece of opal; but this time slightly blue. First mistake was to allow a dendrite within the face. It turns out darker than expected, yet gives another dimension to the face.

Started this time with raising nose-tip and cheeks. So bottom up. Went very quick and had a reasonable face in no time.

Here are the pics along the way up until today at 7mm. For fitting, I will have to shave off another mm, that should run to exactly a quarter of an inch.


As the FA is not yet ready (sanding polish  certain parts drives me nuts), and we don't have the answer to the guessing game yet, we will need to wait till the weekend for that. chuckle

Best regards, Kurt
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« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2013, 06:16:38 am »

OK, i think I got pictures as best as I can get, so its time to move this project to a close here.

That's how it started and where the back/color side ended up


Rough monk


Trying for days, just to get one picture with stone and mirror-face "in-focus", but to no avail
Mirror play 1

Mirror play 2

Best shot: I found those mushrooms on the tree-stump that I'm using quite often as background. Did some angled shots with surprising results and like the "landscape"effect. Might be crowded for some viewers, but personally, I think it makes it easier to create meaning to the carving.

Like the angle, but color is somehow off, with the sun coming on too strong.


Consider this now the best for the time being


So now as I got the pictures, I can finally drill the hole from top to affix a bail and then combine everything permanently.

Have a great week, Kurt
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« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2013, 07:01:07 am »

I'm still in awe with the monk Kurt.. How tall does he stand?
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« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2013, 07:13:51 am »

Thank you, the Fire Agate is exactly 40mm in height and at the widest 15mm.
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« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2013, 09:50:18 am »

I really like this one.....You did a great job and the last photos were really good.................. yes Great mushrooms also......
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« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2013, 02:43:32 pm »

Thank you Steve,

Now lets see if I can use up some more FA for a dragonfly.
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« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2013, 02:52:52 pm »

The next project is a bit more complicated because of the many parts involved.



Now out of this mess, I chose 3 Fire Agates and cut wings from the Green Moss Agates


As usual, I managed to break two wings as they needed to be ground and filed down to less than a mm. The moss is great, but get it just a bit wrong and the moss will de-fragment.

Still not done yet, the wings need more of a makeover to remove the last problem-areas.



Now I'm stuck! I tried to set it into a stone-background these past few days, but it always turns out too heavy to wear. So now I need to find someone who can do the metalwork. I'm thinking of an invisible bottom-plate and attached to it 4 sleeves for the wings. So only the sleves will be visible (metal) from the top.



Size: the 3 Fire Agates add up to 55 x 12 mm at widest and longest points. The whole composition is right now 55 x 80mm and I suppose the metal will add another 2 to 4 mm to the with. 

Best regards, Kurt
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« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2013, 04:35:02 pm »

Kurt - What about wire wrapping?  That would work too.  It would be micro wire wrapping but might just work.
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« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2013, 05:13:32 pm »

Oh, I think that needs to be set in 18K gold at the least. yippie
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« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2013, 05:51:01 pm »

Oh, I think that needs to be set in 18K gold at the least. yippie


I know, Fire Agate with that seemingly internal glow deserve gold and it pretty much a waste setting it in anything else than gold, but fiances are nowhere close to that possibility at the moment. But I certainly see the point that it would be better to wait till this could be done that way.

Amanda, wire-wrapping and prong-setting have been suggested. Both of which are feasible, yes. But both of them would cover the Fire Agate to some extend and hence would distort the picture.

Here is a crude Photoshop make-up of what I have on mind.


In this instance, I would rather resort to gluing than sacrifice visibility of the FA.
What is seen in the picture is basically a sleeve holding each wing and that sleeve being in turn attached to the base (flat base covering the bottom of the FA).
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« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2013, 05:57:35 pm »

Kurt - to get the look you want with the wings you might wish to find someone who can do electroforming as they can then electroform the metal to the base of the carved wings, and then the resulting wings could be attached to the rest of the piece.
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« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2013, 06:24:26 pm »

I think with the thinness of the wings, the safest bet is to 'mount' it on a flat piece of metal (with a bezel). If it's free swinging around your neck, you can bang into something and snap the wings off if they are exposed.

Very nifty idea:)!!
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« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2013, 06:00:58 am »

I have a thought but it would require you to make the wings out of one peice. Sorta the same way you attach a wing to a RC model.
If it is in one slice you could groove out a small area under the belly of the dragonfly body and attach from there "Like a wire or cable clamp". Again a few more factors involved, and it would require mods to the middle FA body part also.
An idea for next time. If this makes any sense to you. It does to me. lol
So far very cool what you have done to date. :)
Let me explain this better...A single stone with a bridge carved between the wings. Should aid in strength also. Then dropped into a groove like intarsia on the bottom of the belly.
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« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2013, 03:25:34 pm »

OK, still don't have pics of the coral butterfly finished



Will change a few things though; No Fire Agate! I tried it and it simply does not look right. Will make the Fire Agate thinner and put it together with the Jade.



Today was my first holiday, and no-one at home, so I tinkered with it the whole day.
Luckyly, my fears about flaking where unfounded thus far, but as of right now its still 9mm thick and I will have to eventually remove about half of that. Don't want to risk too much and go to the thickness that I originally envisioned (yet).


And thats where I'm at now


Since the picture was taken, I took the sanding all the way to 1500 grid paper and will go back and deepen some cuts and reshape some parts tomorrow. It has a nice pink/purple color depending on the light but both of them are very light. Anyway, personally I would rather call it baby-blue as you will see in the pictures over the next few days.

Last but not least, started also the third butterfly and hope to increase the challenge a bit with it.
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« Reply #38 on: February 07, 2013, 06:41:47 am »

OK, now I finally got some pics of the coral

First up, indoor single bulb room light, before polish.


And daylight (overcast, at the door), after polish.


Now, I was so worried about the jade disintegrating on me, and guess what???

The Fire Agate gave up during sanding at the last moment, so now I gotta find another FA body that I could fit.  bricks
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« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2013, 12:29:09 pm »

The cell structure of the coral sure mimics the wings very well, I like that a lot, very nice work. yes
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« Reply #40 on: February 07, 2013, 02:45:24 pm »

Kurt, that coral butterfly is simply outrageously beautiful............. ura
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« Reply #41 on: February 07, 2013, 04:03:52 pm »

Kurt, here is another bug for you to look at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=414706528615991&set=a.414706351949342.101067.187619517991361&type=1&theater I sure hope it opens for you.
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« Reply #42 on: February 07, 2013, 08:03:56 pm »

Thanks for the link.

Wallace is out of this world, not only was he one of the first people trying to perfect a way of using titanium for jewelry, his carvings are in a super-class all on their own.

I was lucky enough to see some of his work at an exhibition here in Hong Kong a couple of years ago. His work is so far up the ladder, I will not even pretend to ever aspire getting anywhere near his quality of work. 
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« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2013, 06:39:41 pm »

Been quiet this week as I'm getting ready to complete my holiday-project.

As said before I was targeting 3 butterflies and the first two where practice to get a feel for form and material. The third butterfly is coming along well, but I would like to keep that one under wraps until ready to wear.

To practice a little more, I will attempt to create 3 bodies. I broke one Fire Agate, so a new one is needed, and just in case I break the Jade-sprite for the last butterfly, I'm working on two, and lets see which works best. If both of them work out, the second one fits for the coral one too. So can't have too many.

Here is what I started yesterday:


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« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2013, 09:43:57 pm »

Kurt, as usual, your work is amazing.  Love, love, love the coral butterfly.  The female form should be wonderful when your done.
On the 7 piece butterfly, why not mount it on silver, but make the bezel out of flattened gold wire.  That really cuts down on the cost.  It looks like it is set in gold, but most is silver.  I've done that often.   Or, if you solder very carefully, you can use gold fill metal on the bottom with gold bezel.  Just a thought.
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« Reply #45 on: February 15, 2013, 06:01:48 am »

Kurt, as usual, your work is amazing. 

Not at all Paula. You are ever so kind.  hugs32 I just try to realize some of the things that come to mind and having had some practice leaves me between a rock and a hard place for now.  Due to the practice I had, a lot of people seem shy to talk to me, yet I'm still extremely far away from being worth talking to by artists who excel in their mediums. So, talent or not;  its a bit lonely.

Day three on the sprites and it turns out, I got a lot more than I bargained for.

Glad I tried though, So far both hold up well and are fully cut. Now its on to sanding and then back to corrections.  Those two challenge everything I thought I knew. I thought I knew what a light touch means. :)

Not so, apparently! Wearing Jeweler-visor for the first time and seeing the fine mist coming off the stone with the lightest of touches and hence reshaping everything, makes me for the first time really appreciate the skill and work the Cameo-guys put into their pieces.

Also, after grinding for hours on points, nothing really seems to have changed. It's a really frustrating business. The biggest problem I have encountered thus far on those pieces is placing foot in the back and breast. Still have to figure out how to do it better on the stronger build one.

at 8.8 ct, 25 (head to toe just a bit over an inch) x 10 (elbow to elbow) x 3 (thickness at feet)  mm


I think the adjustment to the breast has to come from the top right-hand side downwards.

at 7ct, 26 x 4  (shoulder and hips) x 2 mm ( thickness at feet will come down to approx 1 mm when done)


Till here for now, with best regards, Kurt
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« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2013, 09:26:41 pm »

Kurt, you are so darn prolific with your carving.  I am in awe, no matter what you say.  I can't think of any work that I have seen which is better. Too bad you are so far away, I'd love to have some lessons!
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« Reply #47 on: February 18, 2013, 03:23:43 am »

Two weeks of holiday and talking coming to an end.

Coral: remains unfinished as my priority was butterfly number 3 (see KJC tomorrow).

Mock up, to be finished in next few weeks.  hide



The Jade butterfly did not fare much better as I managed to break one FA and turned out 3 cabs instead as they are too big, I don't like the shape or color and/or am not willing to cut them smaller.  bricks

But,.... at least its weareable



Finished all round and drilled holes from the side. On request of my daughter we fixed it up in a cross-pattern and its worn as of the last few hours.


I'm happy that she choose it, so I know it will be appreciated even without the FA (despite of her face in the picture  chuckle Looks like my time to have a willing victim for pictures is over  saved2) . Will still be on the lookout for a FA to fit as body.

Last but not least; the fruit of my labor as a set with a hint whats coming to the KJC in the (my) morning.  hugs32



Have a great week everyone and thanks for looking. As always, now more than ever, suggestions/critiques helping improvement in the future, are as always highly welcome. Kurt
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« Reply #48 on: February 18, 2013, 01:56:17 pm »

Very nice Kurt, I particularly like the detail you have achieved in the black wings, looks fabulous. For the bodies, it is obvious what they are but they seem to lack real definition. The photos on my iPad are a bit soft so it could be the picture. Not easy to get good definition at small scale, as you say, makes the cameo carvers look like geniuses
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« Reply #49 on: February 18, 2013, 06:50:54 pm »

Yep, definition is something that I got to work on.
Gotta have a look out for burrs with finer tips.
Using the visor the first time, even the finest burrs I got look like over sized monsters.

I suppose, that is where the expensive burrs come into play?  saved2
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« Reply #50 on: February 19, 2013, 10:43:36 am »

That black butterfly is really wonderful! yippie and the "body" on both is very fitting on both, excellent work all around. You done good!!! dancer5
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« Reply #51 on: March 25, 2013, 08:00:52 am »

OK, so lets start at the beginning again: Guatemalan Jadeite

From the start

To the sanding and  polishing stages


Then on to the wings. A big thank you has to go out at this point to Helen, who has send me this fantastic material as an extra last year. I belief it to be Black Plume Agate. I definitely will be looking for more of this. I works great and has an indoor look of glassy jet. Takes contours and holds edges fantabolously.

From the start but some stages are missing, embedded in my camera and not retrievable at the moment.


To the finishing stage


Now, lets set up a mock-up (if you look at the top ridge down on the right upper wing, you can see the freckled edge, which shows the agate content)


Here, I encountered something rather strange. My camera went haywire. Usually I get those white-outs only when using flash and someone wears crystal beads. This time it happened when the sun hit the piece directly.  It seems that jade throws all the light right back at the camera. Both pictures are taken outdoor; the only difference is the sun coming into play.



Now, for a change, I did not want to just glue them together. So I used a core drill and drilled wings and sprite, and in absence of anything better at hand; cut the core-drill to be used as the connector between the pieces.


With addition of a little epoxy and the silver on the left, shaped into a bail, its ready for wearing. Here with my usual victim.



As luck would have it, my daughter was bored and went to a gardening center nearby to look for a friend. She did not find her, but as she returned, she held a pot of plants in her hands. The ideal background to showcase the pendant.  hugs32 to her, she earned her Jadeite Butterfly with that.  ura



Montana Agate

Stages




Best pics to-date





Thanks for looking, and have a great safe weekend, Kurt



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« Reply #52 on: March 25, 2013, 08:03:07 am »

Hi everyone, hope you all have a nice week ahead.

For me the holidays have started (its great to work at school) and will have at least 5 or 6 days home alone.   yippie yippie So lots of time to indulge in some carvings.

Have several themes lined up, but before I cut into the disdero, I need some rather specific practice.

So, first up is a set of coral feathers.


So far so good, but now comes the fun and frustrating part of the challenge.  Rough cut it looks good (save needing some reshaping), but as soon as sanding starts the problem becomes obvious (pictures dry and wet).



By now I'm at 1500 grid paper, it got a nice overall shine even without actual polishing, yet all the texture, save the center-line has been sanded out, and even the center-line is hard to see because the coral has a texture that is to strong for soft lines.

Now the challenge will be redoing the texture just deep enough to survive sanding and polish and strong enough to be actually seen, yet soft enough to represent a feather.

Should be fun to experiment with directional sanding and polish........
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« Reply #53 on: March 25, 2013, 08:25:53 am »

Aye for reshaping Kurt.....it has a very strong patern, soft lines would be disappeared... yes
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« Reply #54 on: March 26, 2013, 03:14:04 am »

OK, so after erasing all the artificial textures during sanding, I tried today again.



After the re-cutting, I went straight to the 1200 grid paper and then used some silicon-paste on soft cloth-burrs. After that 50k diamond-paste on felt and some soft leather to finish up.



The valleys of the groves are not fully polished, but that seems to be the only way to get some visible contrast against the natural texture of the coral.

OK now its time to move on to the actual holiday-project.

I was planing to do it Jadeite, but the coral showed me that I need more practice in getting contrasts. So I decided to do two pieces at the same time, one in jade and one in a more translucent singular color that is closer to a project intended for next month (with Warrens Disdero).

So today I cut the canvas in preparation


Best regards, Kurt
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« Reply #55 on: March 26, 2013, 06:11:18 am »

Turned out pretty good! There is a nice shine on the feathers showing the effect of the detail.
I think thats cool the different colors of wings for the fairy.  yes
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« Reply #56 on: March 26, 2013, 04:24:20 pm »

Succeed re texturing.....sometimes we don't need to polish well all deep lines yes

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« Reply #57 on: April 01, 2013, 03:21:41 am »

OK, as there seems to be very little activity anyway in the individual posts, lets put the Jade-piece straight here.

The Indonesian Green Opal measures up to 45 x 13 mm (exactly two inches long) and comes in at 21ct.


In the second picture above, you can get an idea as to how I plan to have it hung. The pendant will be hung by utilizing a vertical hole drilled into the fortification.

Just in case it cant be seen later


And as far as it is now


Technically ready for hanging, but with what the pictures revealed, I think I better go back to sanding some more.


And the pink/purple Guatemalan  Jadeite, 35 x 13 mm at 33.3 ct.





Best regards, Kurt
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« Reply #58 on: April 02, 2013, 04:09:30 am »

No sign of ex broken piece  at all....great job Kurt yes
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« Reply #59 on: June 15, 2013, 09:24:41 am »

Its been two months so there is a lot to catch up with.

Started with a thick slab (over half an inch) so had lots of space to dig through.

While the slab says: copper type, the section I used does not include any copper sheets.


Some stages




Finally done cutting


The calcite mock-up and the tourmaline rough cut


And finished


It comes in at 58 x 42 mm including the mounted (pin connecting hand with tourmaline) tourmaline

Finally, the best picture thus far


Nest up was the same but in pietersite.
As some of you know, I came to lapidary works via Fire Agate, Pietersite and Spectrolite. I messed around for years, with relatively expensive stuff and destructed most of it in the name of learning to work it.
 
Pietersite takes its attractiveness (in contrast from the other Tiger eye members) from the immense possibility of chatoyancy whichever way you turn it, because of all the twisted fibers, often having blue, red and yellow colors in the same piece. But sometimes, you get pieces with immense long fibers. Those are as desirable as they are avoided. In this piece, all the fibers run top to bottom all the way, and that’s the reason why it is possible to get a blanket coverage of chatoyancy. A cab in that condition can easily run to 150$ and more for a standard 30 x20mm cab. Carving gives the possibility of getting chatoyancy from most angles despite of the straight fibers.
 
Now the reason as to why it is hated too: fibers are often loose in Pietersite and you could run into pockets of dirt. In normal cases with short fibers, it is a hassle dealing with the occasional loose fiber, but in pieces like this one, ripping a fiber means; you loose the fiber, top to bottom. On top of that you might loose whole sheets, single fibers seldom breaks loose, its usually in bigger quantities.
 
Knowing the trouble I got myself into; I kept this project quiet and only found the finish-line because I really did not want to consign it to the waste-bucket. During 3 weeks of constantly re-adjusting, I came really close to giving up several times. At one time, shoulder, breast and half the tummy broke away up to 1.5mm deep, and the whole body had to be readjusted. Lost material along both arms and hands became virtually impossible. In the end I had to lean her head far back because I did not have enough material left.
 
So, here we go, a very abstract version of “Aqua”





In order to really see the chatoyance, that thing needs to move. So lets try if this works.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=zlNAHei4TMs





After the basics where done, I got frustrated with trying to put something in her (non-existent) hand. Played around with a lot of different ideas, but all of them would eiter have been to elaborate or covering too much of the Pietersite. So in the end I just went with an oversize raindrop.



And finally the combo,




And best shot for the day





Indonesian Pawancawa from Daniel, have been on that piece during the busy time at school last month and finished last week but did not manage to get final pic I was happy with.



Stage 1


Stage two


finish cutting


 finally ready to wear.



Here is a close-up of the copper-sheets contained throughout the lower half of the piece:






Warren send me recently some material and got started a few days ago.

Cut one of his materials into 3 pieces


Until this morning I thought that I might have to discard the piece and start anew. Then this afternoon, finally I see some light at the middle of the tunnel. lol



But now, somehow this thing looks too dang cute for an eagle.
So what to do? dunno
Thank you for all the helpful advise, will revise the piece today a bit before leaving it alone till tomorrow to do some more. I always found that doing things; little at a time, creates a better outcome. Unusual turns and twist, but for the better.



Flatten the head, reset the eye a bit deepen the connection to the beak and try to extend the head by lowering the whole left side. f that gets in the way of the two feathers; so be it, the main subject is the bird and the feathers can be re-done.
No eagle yet either, but little by little, I should get there.

Here is the original rough and first revision yesterday in top row, plus lower row with latest revision today.



And one more time bigger to see the transformation from the parrot.  lol



Now, I think, I still need to dig deeper into the head on top of the beak to make it appear stronger.

Its a though job as I can't add the feathers before the shape overall is acceptable and yet need to leave enough space to add the feathers. Without feathers, this thing will never look as bad as it should.
The biggest time invested is on additional material for each. While simple in itself, it takes a lot of time to get those extras figured out.

Here is the eye for the eagle. Not yet the right size and I still need to figure out how to insert it under the brow. If I'm lucky, I might get the effect of the eye following the viewer.

Its a Polkadot and will have to get it down to about 2mm (12th. of an inch)


In the meantime, cut it to size and removed the white background to make it more appealing. Fits like a glove right now and is hard to take out even without any epoxy.

I think this suits it much better than the white background.



Next up are the two main feathers, and then the polish before deciding on a cab to mount it to and the angle at which it should sit on.
OK, the time has come to finally put all the pieces together.


Unfortunately, the epoxy caused the back of the eye to revert back to a whitish tint. But on the plus side the eye rest at just the right angle to follow your movement (90+ degrees vertically and 140+ horizontally), so I'm extremely happy to have gotten that effect.

Here a pic in the shadows outdoors


And in full sunlight



And last but not least:

Fire agate from Christopher.
Thanks to Christopher, I had the opportunity to work this fantastic piece of Fire Agate (Mexican).

Have not been able yet to get a propper picture to showcase the massive fire, but the carving is slowly coming together.

The face was as usual the worst part. 5 hours on the wheels, and I end up with a cousin of Yoda instead of an intended old mans face.  :) :)



The face is about 4 x 4 mm without the beard. The beard is about 1.5 x 2.5 mm. All that trouble for something no-one will ever see. :) :)

Still its nice to know that it is there.

Here is one more shot from this morning to show the overall look of the cab. All the reflections are sky, not the actual color. Will experiment over the next few days to get the colors to show after finishing it off. All the pics thus far are before polish.



I think I got everything to make this a proper post now.

OK, here we go.

The original stone as pictured by Christopher


After some work on the fire


At that point I was asking for some ideas to add a carving and Daniel mentioned the old man. Originally, I thought of a Snail-man. Basically, someone carrying his own house around.

barefoot, drawstring pants and shirtless upper body plus a snail-shell as hat was no problem to create. But that face...... dunno Yikes.......

First row shows different angles after carving, second row during sanding and lower row after polish



It has color from every angle,



but the color itself changes dramatically with light-source



And finally the best picture today


Will still try to add another pic tomorrow when I figure out how to get a clear clean shot of it canceling out any glare to give a better idea just how fantastic the color range is.

OK thats more than enough for now. If you are still reading this, you deserve a reward,...... saved2


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« Reply #60 on: June 16, 2013, 06:05:53 am »

Good resume of your carvings Kurt...always interesting to follow your journey in carving yippie
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« Reply #61 on: August 26, 2013, 09:16:09 am »

Its been a while since updating here:

Had seahorses on my mind for some time now and its time to give it a shot.

First up are those two: Palm with a lot of prominent plumes, hardness differs a lot between colors.

And a Chrysocola to practice shape



That thing is incredibly hard, just preshaping used up 7 burrs, and I mean there is not a grain of material left on the burrs, they are completely used up.:) :)


The palm is relatively soft and I promised a seahorse to Brooks, so I need to get a feel for the material, so I decided to start with this one in the first place.


But in the end, the whole exercise is for this piece. The last one to start as it will have to involve different kind of cutting-methods. While the head will need to be raised, the rest of the body needs to have only the ribs/lines raised.



So thats where I'm thus far


Now the basic cutting is done, I will sand it all the way to 2000 paper and then go back to do the mane, ear and other things that still need to be cut to make it a bit more presentable.



The snout is a bit too long for a horse, but following what I saw at the palm-piece (where I kept it even longer), I think it actually looks better having a snout more akin to a seahorse.

Miss-calculated the angle needed for a better appearance of the rips. Will need to find a way to correct that tomorrow.



And here is a quick iPhone-shot to have a comparison of the 3 unfinished pieces as they are right now.



OK, lets call it a day for the time beeing on this one.

Fantastic material, easy to work.

Tail will be added in time out of silver or gold.

4 x 3 cm 53 ct

OK, so here we go: my new all time favorite (have been wearing it already the whole week)  lol

Pawancawara Plume from Daniel, presumed a palm fossil. In any case, plumes of various kind within agate. 3 colors, 3 different harnesses.


And a closeup of the 3 layers


Next up, I need to find inspiration for a miner for Warren. A project that is long overdue.

In the meantime, I think I will have a try at those two

at 4 cm colour lenght, this is a purple monster


And this one is smaller but the colors are going to be eye candy


Lots of extra material on both, but don't know yet what to do with it. The second one does resemble somewhat a tail of a mermaid, so might give that a shot. One thing is sure, since I started looking at them with intend to carve, I do not want to just cut out the color any more. There is much more to be had in those things.


Next up was the mermaid:
I started a new chapter on Fire Agates. I finally found a way and the confidence to look at Fire Agate as a stone, not only at the fire. So instead of just cutting out the fire, I want to include the non-fire areas into a composition. No-one really wants the chalcedony  dunno , yet I find the resulting colors and combinations quite attractive.

Here is the stone and the first cuts that started this project.



Mermaid was the first idea as the tail-section lend itself to it.
At first I thought she would look good doing a backward flip, which would have made access to the body easier. But then I saw the natural form of arms coming down between color and white parts and it became clear that the whole body is already basically there and only head and hair are going to be white.


One thing lead to another, and I finally saw the lower part that could be turned into a fish of sorts.
In the end I got a reasonable dolphin out of it. As the white chalcedony is anything but evenly thick, that was a **** I had to take.

Here we are now outdoors. In the shadows under a tree on a sunny day


And one more indoors. Room-lights during daytime



Can you find Neptune, watching her? saved2

Oh yeah nearly forgot, got this wonderful material yet again from Christopher and its Mexican coming in at 26 x 20 mm, so its practically one square inch.

After basically finishing the FA mermaid, I had also finished another FA much better to my liking. Yet kept it off the forum just to see how the mermaid would be received.

Simply because finally I got something to show that makes all the practice of the last few years worthwhile.

Started out as a Gypsy woman with headscarf, but then messed up the face somehow and turned into a guy. Anyhow, after the sex-change, lets call him "Magi"



And the eventuall finished pics as worn these past two weeks.



Lets see if that video works
http://s1200.photobucket.com/user/kainzerkurt/media/carvings%202012/carving%202013/summer%20carving%202013/DSCN0255_zps12d8d10a.mp4.html

Mexican Fire Agate 30 x 20mm

I re-sanded the mermaid as the pictures showed some crummy corners and edges. It looks much better now.


Remember this one?


While re-sanding, I saw a possibility to improve the overall look. While the plumes lock fantastic by themselves I did not like the overall shape.
Saw a mermaid in the cab, but also a possible face with headdress. As Southern Magi, needed a companion and I need a lot more practice doing faces, I went for the woman.


Looks pretty young, so leave it up to me to mess that up ant turn it into someone much more mature. saved2


Its close to finish now. Eye needs more cleaning up, other than that its cut and polished.  Front and back.


Finished outdoor


Finished indoor


Now that that is done,  I will set myself up to either go boom or bust. Just cut a slice of this quartz a few days ago. looks good, its not as clean as it appeared from the outside. Could not see those feathers before cutting. But now, I want to try something entirely different (for me). Might either go very quickly, or take the whole month, but will be a whole new challenge. Fun to look forward to.

Recently, I saw a very attractive picture of a moth sitting on a branch at night.



Naturally, being me, I had to mess up the simplicity and give it a branch in front too.


The original idea was carving on both sides, but by then it became clear that its not that easy to get the visual effect of having the moth sitting on that branch at the back. So I consulted with DebbieK and (some of you might still know him) August Voss. Both had some very helpful advise.

So today, I erased the moth in front and started experimenting with the moth from the other side.  Needed to see what I'm doing, so I polished it up yet again. That's when I did not head the most important advise that Debbie gave me.

Allowed the stone to become just a bit too hot on the leather, and a feathered inclusion turned into a fully-blown fracture. Does not  show on the surface, but goes right through the stone and off course, had to be right through the moth.


Not giving up just yet. Erase the moth in the back, reshape and turn the branch into a tree.

OK, so its a week later and its basically done.

Lots of changes: Recut the overall shape to get rid of most of the fracture,


Instead of a moth its now a bat clinging to the side, and under the tree is now some tall grass in order to hide the strong remains of the feathers.

On finishing thus far, got one more surprise from the material. It has asterism and if cut right might produce a star. But I only got a dot moving around at the top as is, yet clearly out of alignment with a light-source.

Back and front.

Angles outdoors

So, now I need to go shopping for burrs in low grids to make the frosting at the back more visible and permanent.

Since posting the pics, the more I look at the pics the more unhappy I got with the overal shape. In hand, it does not look so bad, but the pics are horrible. There is an imbalance that I can't stand seeing. While my work is never perfectly balanced, this gotta go.

So as soon as I got home today, I removed the branch on the right completely and ..... we are back on track ......



And now for the final project before August is done with.

Lets call it "Angelic Protection"

While waiting to get to the shops to buy new burrs for frosting the quartz, I started a new project.

Cut this Thunderegg from Agate Creek in Australia, a few weeks back:
 dancer5 Thanks Allan. Its one of your wonderful pieces that you so kindly lugged all the way to Hong Kong. woohoo2 hugs32


At first I gave the third from the right a shot, by trying to turn it into a cab.
Did not like that look too much, plus I saw something at the back of it.
So I tried to cut of the table of the cab to thin it out for a possible carving.

As you can see in the following pictures, that separated solid agate from all the other unstable rest. Now at first I thought I can throw the whole thing away, but as it turns out it just enabled another project. Needed a second one so I went on to destruct all the pieces in the Thunderegg to get this pair.

I shaped the pieces this time first (something new for me), as I would like to keep it to as few cuts as possible. Here are the pieces as or right now.

Now the hardest part is still to come, fitting everything together and mounting on a background.
First fitting today:


The above is a mock-up of how I want it to fit together. Managed a flat back today, now I need to inlay it into a background. The right wing should be completely inlaid, and the left one needs to stand above the background at the wing-tip, yet only half buried at the top.

Best regards, Kurt
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« Reply #62 on: August 26, 2013, 09:36:18 am »

Your imazination and skills just amaze me................You've come so far since I 1st saw your  art................ dunno

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« Reply #63 on: August 26, 2013, 03:50:54 pm »

Thank you Steve, imagination is there, but need more practice to realize them.

It's getting harder to improve now due to planed subject-matter, and less motivation as there is the general sense of less outside interest.  dunno

Zero feedback on the current project in 24 hours (separate post, done before the update here), makes me wonder why to put together a presentation at all.

While those things are seasonal, this low level of interest has gone on for quite some time and as I'm pretty sure, that I can't have pissed of to many egos, it brings my whole being here into question.
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« Reply #64 on: August 26, 2013, 06:04:44 pm »

Bah Humbug................I visit all your posts, although I very seldom do postings.  It is the same for all the regular posters here.  I really appreciate your and their participation in this Forum and the art that is accomplished.  I am here everyday and checking all the posts throughout the day, intermittently.  Yes, it is nice to get a response from time to time, it's goods for one's ego.  I enjoy those whenever I get them.  However, if you look at the number of views per post instead of the number of comments you will see that everyone is visited way more then visitors respond.  I saw your separate post for the winged figure.  I knew you would post it in your progression thread so that's where I posted.

I've been watching your progression in stone carving since you joined the Forum and for someone that has not done this before your progression has far surpassed anything that I have tried in the past.

Don't approach your art in the manner you reflected in your last post.  I do what "I" like when it comes to my art.  It cultivates my spirit and gives me the energy and further amazination to do even more.    You do the same............. yes

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« Reply #65 on: August 26, 2013, 09:14:14 pm »

Same for me I read all your post, but sometimes just don't have time to answer! I wish I didn't have to work so i could have more time for what is quite becoming a passion for me!!
It is always a joy to discover your project and what you are able to realize! i was given a little bit of quartz but I am really waiting to be skilled enough so I won't waste it!
I love the little " sea horse" and your quartz nearly looks like a Lalique! Great job!Please do carry posting!!!
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« Reply #66 on: August 28, 2013, 09:05:18 am »

Thank you guys, much appreciated.

Sorry, did not answer sooner, these past couple of days, actual work finally took off like a rocket as the schools suddenly want to squeeze is last minute summer-courses before school proper starts next week. Saw your responses on the phone, but that bloody thing is getting out-dated and lets me read posts, but not reply.

First, let me assure you that I have the utmost respect for everyone's work here, and I'm fully aware, and eternally grateful for all that I have received here through so many members.  I am a product of this Forum, as simple as that.

My occasional outbursts about participation comes mostly down to the sad fact that unlike many here, this forum or internet in general, is the only
opportunity to discuss anything related on this subject. So when it comes to high page-views, yet no remarks (good or bad), I often start wondering if I either upset someone, or have presented something so awkwardly misshapen that no-one dears to respond. The sum of work presented is not something that my mind allows me to consider, neither is the possibility of having gotten further in this hobby than others in the time spend. Every new piece, "Is the sum total" on its very own. 

So, from time to time my doubts get the better of me and I voice thoughts that might result in being seen in the wrong light.  I can assure you, its not an ego thing, I know my place. Its much more a case of having the need to get a rightful reminder, to get a life.  lol

Hence, while I like the second quote below, I'm obviously not yet ready to implement it the way it should be.


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« Reply #67 on: August 28, 2013, 09:12:15 am »


So, from time to time my doubts get the better of me and I voice thoughts that might result in being seen in the wrong light.  I can assure you, its not an ego thing, I know my place. Its much more a case of having the need to get a rightful reminder, to get a life.  lol

Dude, from my point of view you've got a GREAT life!  You are teaching the youth of Hong Kong; You have your beautiful family with you there; and the hobby you have chosen to pursue has produced some fantastic pieces................I know I've set one of them....................... dancer5
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« Reply #68 on: September 01, 2013, 05:52:27 pm »

I really LOVE the lily, it is an amazing piece of art.
May be one day I will try one myself but I am sure it won't be as nice as yours. It is as if the stone was made for it!!!AWESOME!!
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« Reply #69 on: September 01, 2013, 09:00:32 pm »

 I think a lot of people look at your pieces and progression and are a bit overwhelmed with your energy and passion . Undoubtedly faces are a huge sticking point for artists especially profiles because many people are not shown to their best advantage in profile. I am going to go back to some old art books and see if I can find some of the old rules of proportion that are used in portraiture. If we all worked at advancing our skills at depicting the human face the results could be very exciting and rewarding .
  It is a very quiet time in the U.S. as we have in the back of our minds that the seasons are about to switch which means big changes for those of us in cold areas so we are trying to use up the good weather and not be indoors so much, something which could account for some lowered energy levels on the forum .
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« Reply #70 on: September 01, 2013, 09:24:54 pm »

I really LOVE the lily, it is an amazing piece of art.
May be one day I will try one myself but I am sure it won't be as nice as yours. It is as if the stone was made for it!!!AWESOME!!

No worries, when you see the design in your stone, it will be different, yet perfectly awesome for your own way.

P.s.: actually, to me, its far from perfect. There are still lots of areas that should be improved.  dunno lol
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« Reply #71 on: September 01, 2013, 10:08:43 pm »

 This is sort of an aside but I saw a three dimensional calcedony carving of a Greek man's head many years ago on the cover of a book about stone antiquities and I can still see it clearly in my minds eye 30 years later. Carving to life is hard and risky but the  artistic rewards can be profound. Your work in three dimensions is very different from a cameo such as those being carved ultrasonically in Germany and despite the greater challenges I think that eventually you will find the rewards much greater than can be achieved in that two dimensional form.
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« Reply #72 on: September 01, 2013, 11:50:01 pm »

every time I look at your carvings I appreciate them more. The one thing I would like to see thought is turn the FA into a less abstract and more realistic I really think your detail is the essence of your carving. When I look at your faces I see ethnicity, hardship, sun dried skin ,wisdom and a rugged primitiveness to say the least in their faces. I feel that those pieces reflect your soul whereas the plain fire agate doesn't. Now that's my POV for what it's worth you are an excellent artiest .
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« Reply #73 on: September 02, 2013, 12:59:47 am »

Frank: Its a fun direction that I have taken and as it looks like I shall stay on this path for a long time to come. There is just sooooo much to try out. It seems nothing is ever perfected, as one moves on to the next enticing challenge.

I rant all the time about those who can do better than me, and those sharp images of the cameo-guys are most likely beyond my reach forever. But its something to look and work towards to.

Kenny: too much of a praise; but gladly taken.  saved8
First of all, because you are the first to give voice to something that I myself see in pieces like the Southern Magi. It might have been intended differently, but in the end its exactly those features that has me reserving this piece to be set in gold if/when I got the money.

As for abstract, FA will always be on the abstract side as the prime reason for working with it, is the fire/color. Carving is an addition and unlike some really good guys like Wendel, Matt or Rhyzard who carve over the colors, I have to be contend finding the color and then utilize the rest of it.

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« Reply #74 on: October 04, 2013, 02:42:43 pm »

I hope I am speaking for all of the other lurkers here WOW!!!! yippie

I know myself I should chime in more times than I do and being a hopeful carver this winter, your work truly is inspirational and is getting me off the couch so to speak as my garage will be heated next week as that's where I'm planning to do my carving.

Please continue to post as we lurkers do appreciate the time and effort you put into your work and your posts even if we do not post our comments and appreciation.

So here's a hats off to you  hatsoff
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« Reply #75 on: December 28, 2013, 06:21:01 am »

To finish out the year here on this tread, before we start a new sticky one and let this one go:

Not much has happened since I last posted as I got too deeply into FA starting with real rough. That takes a lot more time than just with windowed material.  saved2

Darker beauty with a mixture of colors. Depending on light-conditions colors change and some are visible at any time. Unfortunately, while the color cover is a 100%, there is no single angle to show it in its entirety. There are orbs in the back and the back needs some more work to iron out the spots where I left the polish-cream. While possibly not considered the best color, I like the look of it. Its visible, but not over the top. There is some subtle-ness to it, that exudes a kind of noble touch, that I prefer over a lot of other pieces. Its definitely a piece that is going to be worn by me personally. Coming in at 130ct, so its not really for a delicate feminine neck. :)
Rough provided by Christopher Anthony, so I'm indebted to him yet again for providing exceptional pieces to work on.

Starting-point

Outdoors finished

Back and front


Five weeks in the works, but definitely worth the effort. Al the while learning new things.

 Lesson number one: the brightest colors are quite often the first you hit. So working from the edge (as advised by nearly everyone working that material) means that you are missing out on some subherb colors. Takes a lot longer, but if you are ready and can preserve it, its definitely worth it. The working from the edge approach is more suited for windowed pieces.

Lesson two: got a good color? Dos not mean that you are even close to the color itself and the color changes on the way down in often unexpected ways even if you did not remove any colored layers. A third of my piece is like that. And because I dont know how deep the color is, I cant use the machine as it looks like I'm working directly on the color. So hand-sanding my way to the color has lead me in one place nearly two mm down and I'm still not there. Then you can imagine why it has taken so long to get thus far.

Lesson three: Letting the stone heat up during polish, when you are directly on the color; intensifies the color somewhat, but also darkens the appearance. Sanding it over makes it a bit brighter again but endangers a change of color.

Lesson four: Blue color is desirable and highly priced because the layers are impossibly thin. You need to be lucky to get them. You either end up with a bluish green (if not enough polish) or drop into a void (if too much polish/sanding).

Lesson five: Six years of practicing means nothing when you come across new material that you know is of good quality and you want to take extra care to get it right. :) :)

Next up was another JEBEREDHIAH FA

This one started with peeling onions a while back.


Did not get far with the colors as every-time I thought I could settle on something, something larger peeled away giving me a completely new picture. So I decided to keep what I've got and do some carving instead.
Here are some stages


A few angles of the salamander


Have not seen sun in a while, so this will have to do as the best picture from the last couple of days


A size comparison with my son who is pretty much as big as me.


But lets save the best for last:
The pictures above are all taken the way any viewer would see them. When I look down on the pendant while wearing it, I get much stronger color and metallic effect.


And best of all: Not the fire I'm afraid. But something just as mesmerizing. The chalcedony or is it sard, that is nearly void of the brown color. Its that layer that is vexing me since months now on this material, because it alters the colors underneath according to thickness, and its translucent property does not allow perception of depth. But,......... when light hits the piece from above, it seems to literally illuminate the whole of the salamander from within and makes it stand out.



And to end the year one more JEBEREDHIAH

Was lucky to get a rather big piece of Christophers Agate and after taking off the colored top, it revealed continued structures underneath.



The fringe of which has an interesting design that lends itself to either a face with strange/punk-like hair or a head of some sorts. After starting with the idea of either a horse or a birds head, I settled for attempting something I rather fear; a dragon head. Have always shied away (even more more than human faces) thus far. So make it or break it, I gotta try sometime? Right? No better time than right now.

Here is the top I got out of that piece and cut to size on the right to start the new project.


OK, little progress to be had this week. Preformed head and torso. Now I got to sand it down for the rest of the week and hopefully get some details into it by coming weekend.

Got into trouble several times by hitting dirt and empty spaces. On top of that, there seems to be a fracture running right across the snout. So will be on my toes all the way up to the finish-line, if I want to keep it in one piece.


The biggest problem still remains: Finding a balance between color/fire and definition of subject at hand.

Indoor under normal room-light on the left and outdoor in full sunshine on the right


Christopher has some wonderful color in the material he collects from his claim, but its hard to have them shine in a massive piece like this. Its hard enough to take pictures of FA any-day, but when it comes to bigger pieces like here, the stupendous colors often get lost in the whole composition.


Thats it for 2013. Looking forward to a better 2014. Kurt

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« Reply #76 on: December 28, 2013, 10:03:59 am »

Your past year was great to watch with the progressions of the carvings.  Since you've 1st posted, you have grown so much in the design concepts and the execution of them............Congrats there Kurt............Looking forward to'14.

Steve
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« Reply #77 on: December 28, 2013, 02:12:42 pm »

Amazing catalogue of work Kurt, you just keep getting better and better. You have always had a great eye for the design and you technical execution gets better on every piece. Like Steve I am looking forward to your creations in 2014.
David
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« Reply #78 on: December 28, 2013, 07:47:37 pm »

Thank you Steve and David  hugs32 hugs32

The number of pieces is getting smaller and take longer for some reason, but as long as I can get, lets say 3-4 pieces out of this hobby a year, with which I am reasonably happy, I will keep trying.

Thanks again for your continuous support of my endeavors.  toocool2

And a big thank you for everyone keeping this forum afloat and available as a fantastic learning-tool.  yes woohoo2
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« Reply #79 on: December 28, 2013, 08:02:08 pm »

Thank you Steve and David  hugs32 hugs32

The number of pieces is getting smaller and take longer for some reason, but as long as I can get, lets say 3-4 pieces out of this hobby a year, with which I am reasonably happy, I will keep trying.

Thanks again for your continuous support of my endeavors.  toocool2

And a big thank you for everyone keeping this forum afloat and available as a fantastic learning-tool.  yes woohoo2

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« Reply #80 on: December 29, 2013, 06:45:59 am »

Kurt,
Your Sleeping Angel is Awesome...as all your work is, my friend.
But please tell me what material the center bottom cab shown below is?


* Kurts carvings.jpg (65.71 KB, 600x462 - viewed 12 times.)
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« Reply #81 on: December 29, 2013, 07:13:55 am »

Thank you Don.

That would be one out of 4 Montana Agates in that pic-combo. Love Montana to work with. Its next to Fire Agate, Pietersite and Spectrolite my all-time favorite material.
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