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.
I worked out that Ray is about 90, and he had a wealth of knowledge of how wood has been used. He started as mater craftsman, but saw an advert for woodwork teachers in the Manchester Guardian, applied and got the job. He retired early as teaching was no longer but occupation it had been. His talk was of woods he had used, where they came from and jobs they had been for. It is difficult to write a detailed report of his talk as it ranged over such a wide
Richard is a long standing member of the club with a wealth of experience.
He brought in a number of his relief carvings and gave us a talk relief carving.
He discussed a number of tricks and tips around adding dramatic shadow, the difficulty of perspective in high relief carving and thinking about the grain in three planes.
Richard discussed his use of colouring, the types of wood he uses and how he treats pieces differently for outdoor display on projects such as the nature walks in Townley Park.
He is a keen woodworker and likes to use these skills to make his own frames for the carvings, these enhance the carvings and are ofter taylor made to match the images.
John had been working on the carving of hydrangeas since the day of our show at Hollingworth Lakes in October 2017. It was an unusual choice of subject and he took us through the thought processes and tools used. The wood had been chainsawed down to the heartwood at sometime and still showed sings of beetle in the softwood. He used a Sabur donut tool to get the shape of the flower heads and a forester drill for the layout of the florets. There was a disasters along the way when the flower heads and the vase came apart. The broken stems were held together with insulating tape and copious quantities of superglue fed into the damaged area. The florets were coloured with blue shoe polish as the amount of colour could be adjusted late on in the process more easily than with paint. The stalks were painted with acrylic paint and the vase finished in Vaseline.
The hydrangeas were an unusual form of John’s normal way of carving using Found wood. Found wood, he defines as ‘not machined”, as Bought is an opposite of Found, and all Bought would is machined. With various examples, he showed the advantages of found wood. It is far less boring than square bought wood, and has the strength that the growing tree builds into the wood, so there is less problems with short grain etc. He takes penknife were ever he is and carries a 6 tooled Flexicut knife set on holidays.
Interesting linksHere are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)
- `GANESH ` carving by Richard Higgins
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- Carving a Boot by Richard Higgins
- Carving on Picnic Tables at the Memorial Park, Padiham 2012
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- Carving Post Tops Brun Valley,Burnley 2012
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