By Terry Spohn
Armor Conversion and Detailing tasks
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Extra resources for Armor Conversion and Detailing Projects
At my ﬁrst large woodcarving show and competition, a lady psychologist accused me of having a lot of womb symbolism in my work. Maybe she was right? You’ll probably develop your own peculiar ways, as well. I ﬁnd I spend an average (estimated) of about 30 to 50 hours per carving. Some take less, some take more. I estimate the alligator Copyright © 2006 Tom Sterling Tom Sterling Carving Netsuke hatching from the egg took about 60 hours. I say estimate, because often I’m experimenting with different techniques, rather than carving merrily along.
Scrape the softened areas to remove the skin. The acid-soaked areas will remain soft as long as they are wet; if an area dries out, wetting it with clear water will soften it again. The tool you use to scrape the softened skin off can be anything handy, but I’ve found a small, sharp scrap of the same material as your netsuke is the best. Shape it to make a chisel-like surface. Being of the same hardness as the unaffected parts of the ivory or bone, it won’t make unwanted scratches and scrape marks.
The article even had a fairly good picture with it. Unfortunately, pictures are 2 dimensional, and not necessarily life sized. Once you begin thinking about how to carve a particular subject, lots of questions will present themselves. How big is a baby Komodo Dragon at hatching? Can I carve it life sized, or will I have to carve it reduced or enlarged? How big and what shape is its egg? Is it football shaped, or larger on one end like a chicken’s egg? Is the eggshell hard or rubbery like a snake’s egg?