I'm starting a periodic Quick tips section this month which will run parallel with the Carving tips blogs. I hope you find them useful.
1. How do you know if a fracture is open or sealed? Put a bead of saliva or water across the face of the rock and if the moisture is absorbed along the fracture before the rest of the rock, it's open. Start to make a plan to get around the problem!
2. How do you achieve bilateral symmetry in your workpiece? Firstly, what's bilateral symmetry? It's where the workpiece is the same shape & size both sides of a line or axis. Like butterfly wings are on either side of its body. You trace around your work onto a piece of paper, turn your work over and compare the overlaps. Easy!
3. How do you grind a piece evenly? Try to press evenly on the piece as you grind it - it's easier said than done! Stop frequently, check it carefully, turn it around and grind it again. If not even, add slightly more pressure on the high point. Repeat many times!
4. How do you best avoid having to re-grind your work to remove deep scratches from earlier stages? Grind your work with your current grade in one direction, check all toolmarks (the scratches on the piece) are in that one direction with your loupe (a better quality of handlens which doesn't distort the image around the edge). Then grind with the same grade of grit at 90 degrees to the first. After you are happy with the result, check again for errant gouges in other directions, as well as high or low spots and the shape of the curved/flat surface. If all is good, wash all your tools, the workpiece, the rest & workbench, and begin again with a finer grade of grit in another direction.
That's all for this blog - happy grinding!
On this page I intend to add monthly updates on aspects of jade carving. I also plan to invite more experienced carvers to offer a "master-class" on a particular subject of their choice. With this I hope to enthuse both the novice and the expert in this ancient and beautiful art-form/craft. And comments are welcome!