Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Making of a Winter Sunset

It is an amazing thing to watch, the making of a winter Sunset in NC Mountains, we do have a fantastic place to just step out in the yard or just look out the window and watch it develop.
We really enjoy seeing the dark clouds part and scatter to form interesting patterns as the sun starts to set and then watch Creator do His art work with His sky brush, such beauty is nearly impossible to duplicate but we do get the chance to capture it with our digital cameras and rush in to upload the photographs to our computers and try to pass along to others the wondrous sights we see.
I hope you enjoy our sharing of these pictorial moments . As always , you can click on the photographs to enlarge for better viewing.

Diamonds,A Lapidarians Best Friend

I had an old bracelet laying around for several years that had three pieces of Blue dyed Agate in it and it had been begging for me to do something with it.

Since I could no longer look at the bracelet the way it was, I started to envision it with some other stones in it, I decided to cut and polish some very nice Arizona Turquoise that I had in my stash of rough Turquoise.

I had a very nice large piece of blue/green Turquoise with brown matrix in it so I decided to slab that up on my Diamond slab saw and proceeded to mark the slabs with the shape needed and then took them over to my Diamond band saw and cut out the shapes.

The next step was to take those shapes and mount them on dop sticks with melted dop wax for shaping and polishing.

I then took the dopped pieces to my Eight inch All Diamond Flat Lap for shaping into Cabachons and for polishing. The All Diamond Flat Lap is a Lapidarians best friend because here you can start with a 100 grit Diamond lap for rough shaping and then change the lap to a different Diamond grit such as 350 grit and work down to a final lap of 1200 grit Diamond for the final step...note the small white cup above the Diamond lap..that is for water to flush away ground off particles of the gemstone and to also cool the stone and must be kept full and running all the time so the stone does not fracture from the heat of grinding.

The final step on these stones was to then give a final high polish with Zam on a Muslin Buff and they were then ready for mounting in the Bezels on the bracelet and using a Bezel rocker and burnisher to push the bezels down tight around the stones to hold them tight with out the use of any glue.

Diamond Band Saw

Some of the sawn out pieces 1/4 inch thick

Diamond Flat Lap With 100 Grit Lap On

Diamond Lap With 1200 Grit On

View Of Bracelet With Mounted Stones

Another View Of Bracelet

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dance Stick---Finished

This is a final update on the "Dance Stick", using a Buffalo Rib Bone.

Here is the finished "Dance Stick", all beading done and 4 pieces of real Turquoise cut and inlayed into the bone then sanded down flush with the bone and polished.

I also added a nice piece of Turquoise that I cut and polished to the very end of the stick.

Next was to attach the leather and feathers to the front and add the wrist thong to the rear of the handle.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dance Stick Update

Here is an update of the "Dance Stick" in the making, it is now polished and beaded in two sections, with one section where the leather is to be completed and then any decorations I choose to be added after the beading is done. I will also cut and polish a nice piece of Real Turquoise to be attached to the back end of the bone.

Close up of beading first section

Close up of beading second section

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Buffalo Roundup

This morning I was chatting with some friends in a chat room and mentioned that I helped a friend with the roundup of his Buffalo at his farm.
Then we got to talking about Buffalo meat and how good and healhty it is and some of the people in the room said they had never seen a Buffalo, so I said I would post some pictures that I took while helping with the roundup.

The American Buffalo (Bison) used to run wild in this country before the advance of the white men coming and expanding their conquest of the country and claiming new land for their own use from the American Indian, the Indians depended on the Buffalo for meat,clothing,hides for sleeping on and also for making shelters.

With the advance of the white man, the Indians were put on reservations after being conquered, and were no longer allowed to hunt for the Buffalo, the white man and the Government set about to eradicate the American Buffalo as a way to subdue the Indian and control him.

Enough of the sad history of the Governments treatment and genoside of the American Indian and also the American Bison (Buffalo).

Following are some photographs of the Roundup at my friends Buffalo Farm.

Dance Stick Project

My newest project is making a "Dance Stick."

The "Dance Stick" is used by Native Americans in dances and ceremonies, usually by "Fancy Dancers" in the dance, or others in different dances, which may include medicine dances or healing ceremonies.

Each "Dance Stick" is usually personalized by each dancer, bringing with it His personal markings or medicine,thus making the stick His and His alone and not meant for any other dancer.

I am posting two pictures, the start of making a "Dance Stick", in which I show the product that I am using to make the stick from. I start with a Buffalo rib bone in the raw, then I sand it smooth and free of all bleach residue, sanding down to at least 600 grit, with wet/dry sandpaper.

The next step is to polish it to a high gloss so that it resembles Ivory,this is done so that it seals the bone, as well as making it look good.

I then glue on leather in the places I wish to do beading on and do the beading using the "Peyote Stitch" also known as "The Gourd Stitch."

I will post other photographs as I progress with the project.

Shown With Leather for Beading

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Today's post is of a Commissioned Gourd Art I did.

A friend brought by a visitor from New York to see some of my work and he liked it so much he asked me to do a Special one for him, asking that I do Wolves on it, because he loves Wolves and would be honored to have me make one for him to purchase, thus began the Commission.

I immediately set about doing some research on Wolves and their habitat and came up with the ideas for the Wolf pictures for this gourd.

The front panel is a Wolf, head on view, which I drew on with pencil, then wood burned in and then colored with Leather Dyes. Then to accent the main Wolf head I drew on a sweeping design around the Wolf picture and carved out the design and then inlayed Real Turquoise that I cut , inlayed, then ground down flush with the gourd surface, then polished to a high shine.

I made three panels of Wolves, each one different, and in one panel I did a relief carving around the Wolf head after wood burning in the picture that I had drawn on, then colored with Leather Dye.

Then next panel is of a Winter Wolf, all white, standing in his winter environment on the rocks.

The final picture is of the bottom of the gourd where I sign it and do my representation of The Four Directions and I used Apache colors for them White, Yellow,Blue, and Black.

Please don't forget to take a moment to leave a comment, this lets me know you are looking.

Winter Wolf (White)

Relief Carved Wolf

Close Up Of Front Panel

Bottom Design (Four Directions)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sky on Fire

"Hey Honey the Sky is on Fire tonight, let's get the cameras and get a few shots."

Out we went, cameras in hand and what an awesome sight, the sky was on fire and Creator was doing His magic with a brush of fiery colors against the deep blue/gray background of oncoming clouds that were moving in with the cold front.

It was quite cold outside, so we zipped up our coats and started walking around looking for just the right places to get the best shots.

Elisabeth went one way and I went another,so we wouldn't get exactly the same shots and angles, I ended up on the hill behind the cabin and standing at the far edge of the garden there.

I would like to share with you some of the shots I got. I didn't do anything to the photographs except to crop and size them and change the Pixels from 300 to 100.

Please enjoy the show and you can click on each photograph to enlarge for better viewing.

My Elusive Hawk Friend

The other day my friend , a beautiful Red Tail Hawk, was sitting in his preening tree when I went outside. I went back in the house and grabbed my camera with the nice long lens on it (70-300) with the VR feature, a must for long distance shots being hand held,and started to take a few shots as I walked towards the tree in the distance.

Slowly I walked, taking shots along the way, so as not to frighten the Hawk as I approached His territory. He used to allow me to walk right up under his tree and I would talk to him as he would listen intently to my every word, however , a couple of years ago...someone or something has scared his and he is now very skittish at the approach of a human and allows no one to get much closer than One Thousand yards before he flys away.

I am putting in a few photographs of him..first of the long distance view and then two of close up zoom photographs from around One Thousand Yards.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thoughts of Spring/Summer

Today I was sitting here thinking of this past Spring and Summer and the beautiful flowers we had here in our flower beds around the log cabin.

It started out today as a rather brisk 24 degrees and only supposed to get up to about 49 today for a high but sunny.

Instantly my thoughts turned to beautiful flowers, after viewing Judith Heartsong's blog and the progression of her painting of a beautiful White Flower.

I am listing a few photographs of some of our flowers this past Spring and Summer, which consist of Tulips and Lobelia photographs and some close up shots of them.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Kachina Dancer Gourd

Today I am putting in some pictures of a Kachina Dancer Gourd that I made. You can click on each picture to enlarge for better viewing and details.

A photograph of the Kachina Gourd with real Turquoise inlay. There are two panels of Kachina Dancers, each one is different.

All the Turquoise is Diamond shaped pieces of real Turquoise that I cut and inlayed, then ground down flush with the gourds surface,then polished.

All Kachina Dancer pitctures are drawn on with pencil then wood burned into the gourd and for color I used leather dyes. I also inlayed Turquoise diamond shaped pieces into the removable top and also used Sterling Silver wire inlayed into the gourd top and Sterling Silver Feathers.

For the top, I made a handle, using a piece of a miniature gourd top which you can see in the photograph with the top off.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Foggy Sunrise

Today dawned as a rather dreary cloudy day and Grandfather (The Sun) was struggling to get up the mountain through all the clouds and fog, but he did arrive and started to paint the sky.

I opened the curtains and started out the door to my work shop to do some more beading and I looked across the road to the mountain about 5 miles away and saw that Grandfather indeed had started to paint the sky in beautiful colors. The ground fog was just starting to rise after a night of light rain, giving the landscape quite a different but beautiful vision.

I went back inside and got out my camera and headed back out the door to capture this unusual sight, the rising fog and the development of a sunrise, a seldom seen picture to be had.

I will share two of the photographs with you today, one being the long shot of the 5 mile distant mountain and surrounding area, and another as a close up zoom photograph of the same mountain.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cedar Flute

This is a Cedar Flute I have been working on (off and on) for some time now. I finally got the "Bird" carved and wood burned after several years of off and on work on the flute and bird,now all I have to do is Tune the flute.

I am including a close up picture of the "Bird" which is an Eagle.