Thursday, June 3, 2010
Bone carving is an ancient art that predates modern civilization and has provided us with windows into the past. Early civilizations worked bone for tools and functional purposes. Many cultures are known today for their bone carvings. In New Zealand, the Maori people developed their own artistic style that is recognized world wide. Tradionally, bone carving was used in New Zealand to tell stories as the Maori had no formal written language.
Today, the majority of reasonably priced bone carvings and bone jewelry such as bone spiral gauge earrings are made in Indonesia, Vietnam or Thailand. Both countries have a rich tradition in artisan wares and their culture is often reflected in their work. In Indonesia, almost all bone carving that is produced for mass markets is made from Water Buffalo bone. Water Buffalo are used as a meat source and all parts of the animal are used. The horn is involved in carving as is the bone.
Techniques for preparing bone can greatly vary. Ultimately, all meat, fat and cartilage is removed and the bone is allowed to dry. Sometimes it is also bleached. Tradional bone carving involved hand tools and polishing by rubbing with fingers or cloth. Modern bone carving involves cut into flattened pieces using a bandsaw or hacksaw. A design template is placed over the bone and stenciled onto the bone creating a pattern. Next the bone is rough cut into the appropriate shape with a jewelers saw, bandsaw or similar device. Once a rough pattern is produced, the item is ground using an electric grinding or sanding wheel to produce the overall shape. Smooth curves are produced by skilled hands which keep the item being carved in continual motion to produce a smooth finish. Final detailing is provided by an electric hand piece and treadle with a revolution of approximately 15,000 RPMs. Various finishing bits are used depending on the desired effect. The item is then sanded with a fine grit sandpaper. The last step involves polishing the item to perfection using a polish such as white rouge and a cotton polishing wheel on the grinder.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Although often classified as an organic material, faceted opalite plugs and other opalite stone jewelry are actually made from a synthetic glass. To confuse consumers, there are some natural stone materials referred to as "opalite", however this is not the typical material used in the making of most jewelry, including plugs.
Opalite is a type of silica based glass that has an opacifier added to it to interrupt clarity and allow greater light refraction. It is also called Tiffany stone or opalized flourite. It is considered an ideal stone for meditation and communication. It can produce a calming effect.
Historically, the first types of glass produced that involved this process are today called "milk glass". In the 16th century in Venice, Italy, a new type of glass made by adding tin dioxide or bone ash produced an opaque or translucent white glass that gained in popularity. Other colours including blue, pink and yellow followed.
Opalite is a popular jewelry material because it produces a luminous, glowing, blue colour on dark backgrounds and in low light, that is certain to gain attention. Milky, blue tinted, white under bright light, it surprises with an amber hue when held up to light and viewed directly through the glass.
Opalite plugs can be faceted by cutting and polishing the jewelry piece at specific angles, creating a light reflecting brilliance, which makes them a popular choice for today's style conscience consumer.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Mahogany obsidian stone plugs are a volcanic silica stone of the obsidian family, which includes other common stones such as snowflake obsidian, rainbow obsidian and apache tears. It is a beautiful natural glass that takes a high polish. The colour is dark red with darker inclusions which is brought about by the high iron content. Mahogany obsidian has been used by ancient cultures and valued for its beauty. Native Americans and the Incas used it in jewelry making as well as the design of arrowheads and spears. It was also used in the stone ages in various parts of the world including Greece as a stone ideally suited for crafting weapons.
Mahogany obsidian is known as "the stone of purity". It is a protective stone and enhances positive outlooks. Today, many people wear mahogany obsidian to relieve stress and to allow positive energy channels to open up.
Visit www.avaiaartisticjewelry.com to see our mahogany obsidian plugs and other body jewelry