The idea behind the ladder bone carving is its just something that elevates you. They are a lot harder to make than they look though and these two are constructed as opposed to being carved from one piece. I used a 60 grit sanding drum to get the wood texture effect on the sides. Its subtle but its there.
This is the piece we did the dye tests for. I like the texture that came out of the surface so I’m hesitant to attempt to dye it black but whatever the patron chooses will be ok. This design took much longer than In anticipated even though I tried to keep it very simple. It feels like I carved it several times over before I was happy with the proportions. I learned a lot especially using the graver tools and carving in relief. If we try to dye it I am not sure how the piece will turn out but I am eager to see.
I used a panoramic feature on my phone to capture this shot but it is actually a very narrow patio which runs down the aside of our apartment and out onto a larger bbq area in the back. The studio is very messy right now and I am working on too many projects at once to keep things organized.
Below is the latest addition to Studio Tapu. I’ve come to a point with carving where keeping the studio clean and dust free is crucial not just for my health but also just to keep me motivated. This Shop-Vac was about $60 and a pretty good deal for what it is I think. I have it rigged up to attach to a vent on my work-bench and also to attach to a vent inside the carving chamber. The hose is pretty long so its easy to give the studio a once over after working but because it is quite powerful I have to be careful not to get it too close to any of the little accessories i use for carving etc.
From time to time people contact me through my website asking how to go about making their own bone carving. Unfortunately unless you come from New Zealand or a Pacific Island there just are not that many resources available. So going forward I will post any and all bone carving related resources I come across and here are a few I have already found. Some of the books are hard to find but not impossible.
Bone Carving – A Skillbase of Techniques and Concepts by Stephen Myhre
This book is essentially the Bone Carving Bible. It sets a precedent for quality of craftsmanship and it will walk you through step by step how to prepare the bone, what tools to use and how to approach traditional Maori motifs without offending anyone. It is the kind of book you keep on hand when carving as a reference if you ever get stuck or forget what cleaning agent to use and so on. I recommend this book to anyone interested in bone carving be they beginner or advanced.
Scrimshaw Techniques by Jim Stevens
Not essentially a bone carving book but it does cover some bone preparation techniques relevant to bone carving. For anyone interested in scrimshaw it is a great resource. I enjoyed reading about the history of this art form and I hope to incorporate some scrimshaw into my own work at some point.
Manawa Pacific Heartbeat – A Celebration of Contemporary Maori and Northwest Coast Art by Nigel Reading and Gary Wyatt
This book covers the art of contemporary artists from Maori, Inuit and native American backgrounds. The unique cultures actually have a lot in common through their artwork which is commonly carved wood and bone amongst other mediums. Its great to see these artists getting some recognition for their skills.
Some shots of Studio Tapu as of 2013. The jar is full of bone dust from 2012. Consider it an offering to the bone carving gods. The Muppet lunchbox is my carrying case for when I walk down to the dog-park to carve and the picture of the Maori chief with moko (facial tattoos) is a Goldie print I stole from my Nana (sorry Nana). My studio space is not very large right now so everything has its place and if it doesn’t belong in Studio Tapu I get rid of it.