Today we had a presentation and a variety of topics from one of our long-standing members – Nick Pantelides
Nick’s morning session wasa discussion on carving in other media such as Bone, Alabaster, Soapstone, Ivory, animal horn and Antler.
Bones need a lot of preparation to ensure all the marrow is removed. this includes first boiling the bones in water, then boiling the bones in bleach and finally boiling the bones with salt and vinegar.
To cut bone Nick uses a hand fret saw, holding the pieces in mole grips or a piece of wood with a V-shaped rest.
It goes without saying that you don’t want to be breathing in bone dust – Always wear a mask.
Nick uses ground down chisels or a dremel for bone carving. When using chisels he uses a scoring action.
To finish off his work he sands to get a smooth finish and there are buffing waxes available.
For staining bone he has used concoctions such as onion leaves and coffee.
When asked about identifying bone versus ivory Nick sent around examples of both to illustrate that bone has fine black spots and that ivory has a grain.
There was then a discussion Scrimshaw which is a form of carving developed on whaling vessels and involves carving on bone or ivory and then using the soot from lamps to define the carving patterns.
Again ground chisels or a ground nail is used in a scraping fashion.
To replace the soot Nick has used black boot polish which is put on and then buffed off or black ink, the surface is then sanded to remove the ink from the raised surfaces.