Tutorials Latest Topicshttp:// Latest Topicsen<![CDATA[stoning tutorial & index]]>'m working on a new stone finish tutorial(still in progress) and have finally indexed all my tutorials on one page.


Go HERE and click the "Tutorials" link.


I'm happy to hear suggestions on how to improve these or ideas for new ones.



2035Mon, 04 Jan 2010 18:43:48 +0000
Braiding jighttp:// Hiya

does anyone know of a link on how to make a braiding jig for doing cords for carvings?

3755Tue, 05 Dec 2017 14:15:53 +0000
Braiding jighttp:// Hiya

does anyone know of a link on how to make a braiding jig for doing cords for carvings?

3754Tue, 05 Dec 2017 14:14:48 +0000
Classes, Schools, Teachershttp:// there any classes available in the Tucson, AZ area? Interested in freeform gemstone carvings. Any other resources that might be helpful?





3509Sun, 22 Feb 2015 02:26:45 +0000
Caramel Colouring. making my first netsuke, I had to come up with a colourant to use.


My budget was essentially nil, so I had to use things laying about the house.


The material I was working with was beef bone.


The piece only has to have it's eyes inlaid and one more paw left to do :)


I first tried super-concentrated tea, but I was not quite in love with the colour...


***A note about preparing the bone: I boiled the bone to degrease it several times, with water, washing liquid and bleach. When I had the final carving, I soaked it in 100% acetone (Not the finger-nail polish remover you get at the store, the one that comes with lanolin in it) for a 8 hours to get any additional fat out. I then took it out and let the acetone evaporate. Before putting the carving in the colourant, I rubbed it for a minute with household cleaning vinegar.***


Then I remembered how to burn sugar, namely to make caramel colour.


Caramel colour is made by essentially burning sugar. One of the main advantages of caramel colour is that it is (According to my research) extremely light-fast (Won't fade in sunlight) and cheap to make.


I 100% recommend that you make this colourant outside! It creates a lot of horrible smelling smoke so you have been warned. Or make this in a place that someone else won't get made at you for the horrid smell.


I used a large cup of sugar (I used raw cane sugar but I don't think it matters) and around 3.5 cups water.


I then boiled these in a saucepan and reduced the heat. Once the syrup thickened, I then turned the gas burner on high heat until it started smoking but was STILL liquid. When the solution was quite dark, I turned off the heat and added water to the pot, mixed it up and boiled it again, until it was a black-ish liquid.


I then put the carving it, cooked it for a few hours and then let the whole thing cool down. My idea was that this would allow the bone to capture the colour while it was still warm and then close off the colour when it cooled.


Once it all cooled, I took out the carving and it had this beautiful red-dark-brown colour. There were a few dark flecks, so I swished the carving around the cooled caramel colour to float the specks off. (You might want to filter the liquid through coffee filters when you make it.)


I let the carving dry out. The colour was too uniform so I used a house cleaning polish paste-ish liquid called Cif (Jif in other countries) to gently (With a LOT of rubbing) to lighten areas I wanted to push out to make the piece more 3-D and also to whiten around the mouth.


To see all of the photos of the piece, please check out http://netsuke.websitetoolbox.com/post/First-netsuke-98-finished-%29-5591578?trail=15#1


The colour penetrated very well into the bone and I did a cloth test (Rubbing it firmly several times with a cotton cloth) to make sure it would not come off.


post-3066-0-64987900-1322003048.jpg post-3066-0-14488000-1322003062.jpg post-3066-0-64959600-1322003078.jpg post-3066-0-51546200-1322003093.jpg post-3066-0-00888100-1322003148.jpg

2617Tue, 22 Nov 2011 23:06:16 +0000
Small Sculpture From Boxwoodhttp:// pleasure and excitement, I have begun a "big" (for me) small sculpture (about 6.5 inches tall). This is the second in a series that uses boxwood from Virginia that has been drying since 2008.


In the first pair of images, the pencil lines reveal the placement of the subjects. The features of this particular piece of boxwood were taken into consideration. I am hopeful that surprises in the wood are not major or plentiful. I have already found some hairline cracks inside that did not show up at the surface under the bark. I remain hopeful that the wood will be solid enough for this project. The first of this series was from the same boxwood source, but from a different branch, and there were no visible hidden cracks from drying in it.


In between pieces, I think that I should draw the idea on paper, but when faced with wood that has so many different idiosyncrasies, I have kept with the habit of drawing right onto the wood. Sometimes ideas are worked out on paper, but not this time. The final placement came after many iterations of leaf, frog and acorn placements. Much scritching and scratching over many hours, over a few days. I chose to use a marker to boldly outline the pencil lines this time, since the pencil was smudging and becoming indistinct.


Next, I used a rotary tool to remove gross waste material, leaving all positive features at full depth while excavating the negative spaces. I am careful to leave a bit of extra around each shape, and to not get into detail consideration yet.


The second set of images shows this step, and of the first use of hand tools. This is very hard wood, and it takes a lot of hand strength to remove the wood. Also, the orientation of working on a whole "log", with its various branches, bumps and grooves, is an exercise in determining which way the grain is running where ever my tools need to be to cut the wood. Cutting with the grain is important, since the wood fibers will chip or tear when going against the grain of the wood. Going from outside to inside on the "log" is also different for some reason. I have to "listen" to the carving sound, and to the feel of the tool as it is introduced to the cuts. Keeping the tools very sharp is very important.


This stage of roughing-in the shapes will take a while. Many decisions about how deep to go, how one form relates to another and where the ultimate bark of the tree begins behind the positive features. I must hold back from carving too much at this point, preferring to leave ample wood for tweaking, and later for the final details.


It is exciting to be working on larger pieces again. I will try to post updates as this progresses. The previous piece took several weeks to carve, and so too will this one. Actually, the previous piece is still not quite done, I am waiting for the eyes' iris coloration to cure in the lenses before gluing them into place. When that is done I will then put the finish treatment on the wood, and wait for that to settle in before photos are taken.


More later.







3277Tue, 07 Jan 2014 17:14:01 +0000
Another Knifehttp://


I made another knife, a skinner, blade length 175 mm. total length 295 mm, blade from Lauri, african wood - unnknown species



3308Wed, 05 Feb 2014 20:30:28 +0000
Stephan Gilberg ,nz Sell His Videos Any1 Seen Them? any1 aeen Gilbergs videos r they worth buying?


check them on this link



3162Sat, 29 Jun 2013 01:25:57 +0000
Relief Carving in Woodhttp:// was asked how we do it.

I had taken pictures but not with the plan of doing something like a tutorial.

I hope in all my clumsyness this will shed a little light on one way of searching for the hidden.


Well I am not entirely sure how others carve their reliefs but this is how I stumble through the chips and debris to find what I am looking for in the wood.

I, like many, have had no formal training, just an unexplainable urge to create rather than destroy I suppose.


I have started to use cabinet doors (kitchen etc) for my choices due to the variety of wood they can be made of and the unlimited sizes in which they can be produced.


My first pic shows they outline of an Elk. This I traced onto the panel.

All the remainding drawing of background and Eagle are done freehand as I go and see fit. (For better or worse as they say). I do hope I have understood the picture sizing and have got it close to correct.

Tho hard to tell, I have already removed some rough from under the belly of the Elk, and have pre-cut into and around the the Elks leading front leg up to his nose, and up his back leg to his rump.




Here I have began removal from the previouse cuts and have added a tree in the rough -- well I guess just because.




Now I have cut in some terrain or ground lines, and began to add a deadfall.




Now you can see I have begun detailing, adding mountains, and if you look closely, you will see faint inlays of trees which will appear in the distance when the carving is done. (Hopefully)

I usually work right to left as I hold my carving tools in my left hand, mallet in my right.




You will now see that I am cutting in the outlines of mountains and trees to the left of our Elk, and I have scketched in what is to be an Eagle in flight.




Here, the Eagle takes shape as I cut away and around him, also I have begun to shape the sky to get cloud effects and to give merit to the mountain tops in the background.




A close up of our feathered friend.




A close up of the trees.




Near the end now. I usually let things sit a bit, then I will go back and dress up what I feel I have missed.

This I do several times.

Here is the carving -- in the raw.





As I post this, the finished carving is away getting it's final coating.

It has had two coating of oil, one coat of sealer, and I have shaded with glaze areas within the carving.

So -- you like I at this moment -- have not yet seen the final carving in it's finished state.

I will post a pic here when I get it home.

This is the first time I have carved Alder and I know I will have laminate lines.

But, one can still hope for the best.


I use hand chisels and gouges, mallet, some Dremel tooling is done espeacially to chew through any knots or harder wood grains.

The hair is done with a diamond tip on the Dremel.

As with the fine detail around the eye.

1754Mon, 20 Apr 2009 01:35:20 +0000
Video Of A Workshop On A Jade Moebius Featuring Don Salthttp:// got an email about a video recorded during a workshop on carving a moebius ribbon in jade featuring Don Salt filmed last year, and thought that I would let others know its available in case it hadn't been mentioned in the forum.

Its always been a bit of a pipe dream to be able to attend the workshops I see happening online and to be honest was rapt to see something along these lines has been released :) :)

will post a beginners perspective after having watched it , but um am likely to have a biased opinion as I have been a fan of both him and Owen Mapp since I was a young un at school , and thats been a while :D

Cheers all.


3189Tue, 30 Jul 2013 11:02:57 +0000
Netsuke Carving eBookhttp://’s finally done! Thank goodness…turned into sort of a love/hate thing.


I finally finished my eBook on how to carve netsuke (at least how I do it…). It’s been two years (actually 10 years, including the first version) in the making.


The book is 361 screen sized pages in length, 18 megabytes, in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, and free.


You can find the link on the front page of my web site: My Webpage


Hope you enjoy it. Please let me know what you think about it…


651Thu, 21 Sep 2006 00:38:21 +0000
At The Cemetery With Barn The Spoonhttp:// came across this photo journal of a rather eccentric spoon carver. He tells how he goes about his work!


2993Wed, 16 Jan 2013 03:35:04 +0000
A Little Spare Timehttp:// had a few spare hours last saturday , so decided to indulge myself and do a few experiments. I wanted to make a ring for myself but didn't want to spend the entire day carving wax ,Investing.and casting. Also I wanted to try cuttlefish casting because I have never tried it before. So here are some photos of what I did. The garnet eyes were a after thought and my first attempt at lapadary. I superglued the garnets to bamboo scewers and just used different grit sand paper and then buffed on a muslin wheel. The whole process took about four hours which was much faster than lost wax. At least for me! I'm pretty happy with the results. I'm thinking of doing some engraving work on it later,(not sure). I'll attach more photos if I decide to do so.

The ring was cast in silver and carved with my foredom.















2882Thu, 30 Aug 2012 19:14:16 +0000
Wax Carvinghttp:// guys, I haven't seen much wax carving on here so I thought I would link to a few tutorials that I have done in the past. Just click on each photo for the descriptions.









2674Mon, 23 Jan 2012 20:04:45 +0000
Wood Carving Dvd'shttp:// All



I'm just starting out carving soapstone and wood and wondered if anyone can recommend any DVD's (available in the UK if possible) that will guide an absolute beginner through the wood carving process?

I need advice with everything from choosing, sharpening and honing tools through to basic wood carving skills, such as how to carve with grained wood etc. I've had a look on you tube and found a few short videos but the quality is usually low so you can't see things like wood grain etc.


I don't seem to be able to get the tools sharp, at least not for very long, so would like to see the proper way to sharpen them. I've tried looking for local classes but they don't seem to exist. I live in an area that isn't interested in teaching arts and crafts and the local council would sooner spend money on another new set of "Welcome to..." signs than backing any courses.



Thanks for any advice anyone can give.


Mods' please move if this is in the wrong section.

2608Tue, 15 Nov 2011 16:12:35 +0000
Oil Gilding Processhttp:// Gilding Process


I have created the following essay on the process of creating a gilded wood sculpture, largely because there is very little information in print on the subject, and I thought that it may be of interest to some carvers and sculptors who wish to expand their repertoire of finishes. Normally, this information is passed along person to person, as part of an apprenticeship or internship, as was the case with me.


There are essentially two types of gilding that can be applied to wood sculpture: oil gilding and water gilding.


Water gilding involves a considerable amount of surface preparation including a ground layer of gesso, (a mixture of rabbit-skin glue and whiting) followed by a coloured gesso-clay called a bole which provides the adhesive and an underlying color for the gold. The surface must be perfectly prepared by scraping and or burnishing. The area to be gilded is then wetted with water by brushing in small areas, which dissolves a small amount of the glue in the bole and provides adhesion for the gold, which is applied immediately. The raised surfaces are then burnished to bring out a brilliant smooth finish often associated with Baroque period mirror frames and furniture.


The technique of oil gilding, which I will be describing, is quite ancient and is commonly used on polychrome sculpture, lettering, outdoor work, and some picture frames. Unlike water gilding it is quite weather resistant, and can be applied to virtually any surface that will take a coat of varnish. Gilded ironwork, for example, is quite commonly seen. The carved surface is either given a coat of gesso, or simply primed with paint to seal the pores and provide a smooth non-porous surface to which the oil-based size can be applied. The size is a type of sticky oil-based varnish which provides the adhesion for the gold.


The subject of this gilded sculpture is a heraldic lion, which forms the crest of the high-relief sculpture that I recently completed of the recently granted arms of the Canadian Nurses Association.




The process of creating a gilded sculpture begins like any other carving, with the working out of the forms on paper. Figure 1 shows the use of a rough sketch to formulate the shapes and ideas, followed by a more formal sketch with color for approval by the client. This is not intended to be a two-dimensional work of art, but rather a design concept to convey to the client in two dimensions what is intended to be realized in three-dimensional form.




In figure 3, the design is transferred to laminated block of basswood (similar to lime wood in the UK) 4 inches or 10 cm thick. The transfer was done with a projector, but the grid system works well also, and I have used both. The intention here is to transfer only the most basic forms, essentially the positive and negative spaces.




Figure 4 shows how the rough waste material has been removed by drilling and sawing to prepare for the following steps.










The shape is gradually refined in figures 5 – 8. At first, the essential silhouette is carved, and then a roughly blocked shape is created to define the planes of depth. The forms are then rounded and given a basic shape, and undercut from behind. Finally the details are refined and the carving part is finished. There is very little sanding involved, except for a quick pass over some of the crevices to remove fine fuzzy shavings which are otherwise difficult to eliminate. Otherwise, the surfaces seen here are largely carved smooth.






In preparation for the gilding, the surface must first be sealed. In figures 9 & 10 the surface is primed with ordinary white paint and painted with various tones of oil based enamel to add depth to the gilded surface. Yellow is used for the highlights, reddish burnt sienna for low lying areas, and burnt umber for the deep shadows. As the gold leaf used is extremely thin these colors affect the appearance of the gold in the final product, and add to the depth and richness of the finish.




Once the under-painting has thoroughly dried, the size is applied, as in figure 11. This is a pre-prepared oil-based varnish specifically formulated for this purpose. It is available in various formulations, usually noted for their drying time. A 24hr size was used in this case, meaning that the gold should be laid down 24 hours after the application of the size. However, this is not always the case, and the drying times should be monitored closely as the size gets older. The size is applied in a thin even layer, being very careful that it does not pool or run anywhere. Once it is almost dry, that is to say, when touched it feels just slightly sticky but doesn’t come off, it is ready to apply the gold.




Figure 12 shows the necessary gilding tools including, from left: gilder’s leather-covered pad with a cut sheet of gold leaf, gilder’s knife in hand, two black-handled mopping brushes, two gilder’s tips, small and large, and a book of gold leaf.


The pad is used to hold the gold while working, and functions like a tray and cutting board. It is often advantageous to cut a large leaf into smaller sections, particularly when applying to complex surfaces, small areas, or lettering.


The knife is very similar to an older-style table knife in shape and sharpness. It has a very fine clean edge, without the slightest hint of a burr, but can be run across the hand without cutting.


The mops are used for pushing the gold around once applied.


The gilders tips are a fine flat brush made of squirrel hair pressed between two flat cards. They are used to handle sheets of gold from the book to the pad to the work.


The gold used is 23 carat hand-beaten leaf, sold in books of 25 three-inch square sheets, each separated by a single later of tissue. Most gold leaf is produced in Europe, and the better the quality of leaf used the better the working qualities and end result. The choice of gold is extremely important and can not be taken lightly when it comes to work on any scale. Gold is also sold in various colors, which can be a factor for consideration, depending on the desired effect. Some colors are quite warm with red or dark yellow tones, and others can be cool with green or blue tones.






In Figures 13 & 14 the gilder’s tip is used to lift the leaf from the pad and transfer to the work. The handling of gold leaf is often one of the- most difficult and frustrating aspects of gilding to master. There are several factors to consider. Gold is the most ductile element, and as such can be beaten into unbelievably thin sheets. So thin in fact that static electricity plays an important role in gilding. Static can be used to control gold by brushing the gilder’s tip through your hair immediately before picking up a sheet of leaf. Using this technique, the gold actually leaps up off the pad onto the tip, and is held there until applied to the surface of the work. Again, the quality of the gold is important. Heavier gold handles more easily. The humidity in the room is also important. If it is too dry, static will work against you, in that you can become positively charged to the degree that the gilder’s tip will actually visibly drive the leaf into the leather pad making it impossible to transfer to the work. Some gilders actually wet the floor right before gilding to control static, which actually works quite well. I keep my pad on a chair next to the work to further isolate myself from and build-up of charge. Your footwear can be a factor as well, in that rubber-soled shoes will isolate you from ground and you will become more easily statically charged.




When the gold is transferred to the work, the tip can be used to a certain extent to manipulate the gold into the surface. The leaf immediately sticks to the high points on a complex form and breaks as to flows over. It is important to apply enough gold to fill all surfaces, but not to waste the material. Using a soft brush as in figure 15, to mop the gold, or push it into the crevices allows it to flow over all surfaces, and spreads the small pieces around seemingly paint-like to flow over the surface. This is without a doubt the most satisfying part of the process, watching wood turn to gold.




Once the gold has been applied the gilded surface is finished by toning it down as desired using a variety of possible techniques, according to personal taste and expression. In this case it was desirable that the three-dimensional aspect be emphasized, since the sculpture will be seen from a slight distance. In figure 16 a light dry brushing of artist’s oils in burnt sienna and burnt umber have been applied to the recesses to add shadow and warmth.




Figure 17 shows the piece finished. The gilding has been toned with a very light coating of asphaltum varnish to tone down the brightness, and varnished with clear acrylic varnish to protect the surface. The red on the wreath has been finished with artist’s oils.


Any and all comments or questions welcome



1709Fri, 13 Mar 2009 00:36:27 +0000
How to create usfull gravering tablehttp:// will be very short tutorial but I hope It will help someone.

I create for myself (some time ago so it is well tested) nice and very practical rotating table for gravering. I used typical rotating wooden bard for fruits. I tare off rubber from bottom, attached copper circular plate and cut one side to adjust for my table and at the end I put some tare. That's all. Cost about 20-30$, little work but works great. To stop rotating just use wooden peg. I using it for tsuba but I image that you can use it for many objects.






Best Bartosz

1306Sat, 02 Feb 2008 17:28:49 +0000
basic basic basic chisel makinghttp://'s a start for those of you who want to try your hand at making your own chisels. It's for my second steel carving chisel, but the theory applies to wood carving and stone carving tools as well. My caution for thin wood carving tools it to not let the edge get too hot. It's easy to do and you'll find you always get an edge that won't stay sharp.


Enough ado....


The following link is no longer avialable: www.alchemyforge.net/chiseltutorial.html


I'm completely open to suggestions, additions and "What the hell were you thinking?!" type comments :huh:

298Fri, 23 Sep 2005 05:25:31 +0000
Sharpening Honinghttp:// ForgeI ran across this site searching for tools. It has 2 pages on it for sharpening and Honing, Thought some might like to check this site out.]]>472Thu, 16 Feb 2006 23:01:05 +0000Deborah Wilson Jade Carving DVDhttp:// Wilson is one of the most respected Jade carvers in the world and I just received a new DVD that will be for sale on my website soon. I thought it would be nice to let all on the forum be the first to know that this DVD has been made and will be available.


I received the DVD’s yesterday and watched it last night. It is very well done and her insight in Jade carving comes across clearly. I would recommend this video for anyone out there that has an interest in carving Jade or is already a Jade carver. My favorite part is when she shows a finished Jade barnacle, absolutely beautiful.


As soon as I have this on the site and ready for sale I will let the forum know. I don’t like promoting my business on forums but this is a rare time you will see me do it. I hope to have this ready to go after this upcoming weekend 11-8-10 it should be on the site.


All my best ........... Danny


2269Thu, 04 Nov 2010 18:15:30 +0000
Making a display boxhttp:// don't know if there is any interest for this, but here it is. I found this type display on Tom Sterling's web site and adapted it to my knives.



In making this display case I followed the basic design of Tom Sterling as shown on his web site. I made the case larger to accommodate the size knife I wanted to display.


Step 1. I begin by selecting a piece of stock (A) and cutting it to size. Then outlining the knife on the selected piece of stock and cutting it out on my band saw. This could be done with a coping saw or a jig saw. The small knife I used was approximately 3/4" thick and I used 3/4 material for this part.


Step 2. The sides are 3/8 thick material that I ripped on my table saw. Material is available in several different dimensions and thicknesses at Lowe's Stores which is suitable for this project. I cut the sides (B ) 1 1/2 inches wide X 11 3/4 inches long X 3/8 inch thick. These will be glued to part (A) using gorilla glue.


Step 3. The top is cut to size, 2 1/4 inches wide X 11 3/4 inches long X 3/8 inches thick.


Step 4. Cut part (E,the bottom) to size. It is 8 inches long X 2 1/4 inches wide X 3/8 inches thick.


Step 5. Glue part (E) to part (A).


Step 6. I make the pivot piece (D) by gluing stock together to get the thickness I need. In this case it was 1 1/8 inches thick X 1 1/2 inches wide X 2 1/4 inches long. This is glued and doweled to the end of the top piece ©. Be careful to keep the dowels back far enough from the edge that you have room to put the pivot dowels in place.

Step 7. Drill the dowel holes in the sides and the pivot piece, drill the dowel holes in the top and pivot piece and glue the top to the pivot piece. Put the dowels into the top and after it dries, sand them level.


Step 8. Assemble the sides (B)and bottom pieces (A,E which are glued together) and clamp them together to dry.


Step 9. Assemble the top © with the bottom (A) and sides (B ), put a drop of glue into the hole in the pivot block and push the dowels into place. Be careful not to get glue on the dowels where they contact the top.


Note: The distance between the pivot block and the body of the case (A) is relative to how far the top will open. I wanted to use the case as a display stand and so I made the distance 3 3/4 inches. This allows the top to open far enough that it will stand up easily.


OOPS! I found a bad measurement. On the side view of the bottom section the 3/8" measurement should not be there. It should only show the thickness of the bottom as 1 1/8". When the top is added to the measurement it becomes 1 1/2". The top fits between the sides.





2061Sat, 13 Feb 2010 05:13:57 +0000
Bracket Fungi inlayshttp://


Prepare suitable material.. I've chosen Boars tusk.. but walrus would be OK as well.. both are hard and yet very tough.. unlike hippo which would be hard but to brittle.. mammoth would be too porous and large grained.. . I think the pictures tell the story but if you've got any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
































Repeat 144 times adding seasoning to suit

1970Mon, 23 Nov 2009 03:18:21 +0000
New "How I Do It' posted a new Hidi in my website.I hope this is the right place to post. I would not mind at all posting the whole thing on this website, but it seem easier to just supply the link. Anyway, hope you all enjoy it.

Go to http://www.meevis.com/jewelry-making-class-list.htm and scroll down to the bottom, Making a Hollow Onion Pendant.

Cheers, Hans

1185Fri, 26 Oct 2007 14:27:04 +0000
Fairy Hidihttp:// all,

I put a a new 'How I Do It' on my site. It explains plique-a-jour enameling,( at least, the way I do it ) .



Cheers, Hans

1489Mon, 28 Jul 2008 13:37:19 +0000
PHOTO IMAGE SIZE, PAY ATTENTION TO THIShttp:// was, and is still, very strongly recommend that the image pixel and file size to aim to FIT WITHIN THESE GUIDELINES!!!


- 72 dpi

- JPEG works great

- around 640 x 480 pixel dimension

- and around 50 K file size



Help the forum members who have slow, land line, computer modems, by posting the above recommended file sizes for your images, and also help the forum by taking less storage space in the forum's file storage area.


Thank you!


1454Mon, 07 Jul 2008 18:02:48 +0000