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    I am not real sure where to post this, so General it is!
    Do any of you folks who do birds burn, stone or both on your birds?
    I have done a few ducks and I always burned everything. Our club is doing a chickadee project and we are burning the tail and wings, but stoning everything else. I have never used the stoning technique before. It seems as though I remember hearing of a process where you stone a surface and then go back and burn over it. Has anybody done this? What were the results? o you stone the entire area and then burn the entire area or just burn portions?
    I will probably cut out a chunk of scrap and try different processes, but I was just wondering what others did.
    THANKS! in advance.

    Jim

  • #2
    Jim,....perhaps animals and birds header would give you a better answers .....I stone which creates a high gloss area, although you have make sure it does not burn the area. I use all and any method to get the results I want...and times that means creating new methods or trying all kinds of things. I am not a bird carver so I am sure they could answer you better.

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    • #3
      Hi Jim... yes and yes, to both. When you are doing birds there is only two things too remember. Soft feathers are stoned, flight feathers (or stiff feathers) are burnt. In others words the belly, under tail covert, back, head, neck and chest are usually stoned. The flight feathers of the wing are burnt. I hope this helps and is clear, please let us know if it is not.
      ~ Dwight
      "Hello, I am the Friggin' Happiness Fairy and I just sprinkled happy dust on you, so smile damit' this crap is expensive."

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      • #4
        image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
        Originally posted by Dwight View Post
        Hi Jim... yes and yes, to both. When you are doing birds there is only two things too remember. Soft feathers are stoned, flight feathers (or stiff feathers) are burnt. In others words the belly, under tail covert, back, head, neck and chest are usually stoned. The flight feathers of the wing are burnt. I hope this helps and is clear, please let us know if it is not.
        Absolutely. This is great advice. Also if you try and burn in all the feathers it will be TOO detailed and can end up looking my like fish scales. It also is too distracting to the observer. In reality when we look at birds we do not see every detail so if you rough in the detail with a rotary stone or ceramic spike and later go over and just add a few split feathers, it will look good without being too distracting.


        This is an example of a smaller bird with mostly roughed in feathers.

        The wood duck 's feathers are more detailed in areas because it's larger, has different types of feathers and has been carved to represent it swimming.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Spiritwolfe; 09-05-2016, 04:13 PM.

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        • #5
          THANKS!! All for the replies!
          VERY helpful. I think I might be headed in the right direction!
          Jim

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          • #6
            Ahhhh, feathers the nemesis of bird carvers ─ appropriate since birds are covered with them. It has been fairly well described in previous posts and I hope my comments will expand on them.

            Here is an information tutorial that I used for my students.

            Think of birds as having two types of feathers ─ soft feathers and hard feathers.
            • Hard feathers: Flight feathers (wings and tail both top and bottom). They are also on the back up to the neck.
            • Soft feathers: belly and sides. I include the head as having soft feathers, although on many birds these feathers are far more like hair than feathers.


            Creating hard feathers:
            Draw the feathers onto the bird. I find it easiest to go from tail to head. Do your research to find how the feathers lay on the bird you are carving. It is easy to fall into a pattern that looks more like fish scales than feathers. Basically feathers are larger and more pointed as they get lower on the body. As you move upward on the bird, make them smaller and the bottom more rounded.
            Once the feathers are drawn in, go over them with a v tool. This creates an excellent guide for the knife.
            Think of the feather is being in the shape of your hand if you hold it palm down, cupping your fingers and lowering them slightly. Your fingers will be pretty much in the form of the bottom of a boat. Thus the feather is lowest at the top ─ allowing the feather above it to slightly overlap. The sides are lowest at the top and gradually get shallower as they move to the bottom of the feather.
            To begin creating your feathers the first step is to create a feather in the middle of the bottom row, preferably on the back side of the carving. Use your knife to make a shallow stop cut along the top and sides of the feather using the V cut as a guide. The stop cut at the top of the feather will be the bottom of the feather above. Move to the center of the feather and remove the wood from there to the stop cuts. Take some wood away from the feather from the middle to the bottom, lowering this area but leaving it slightly above the stop cut for the top of the feather below.
            The same process will be used to create the adjacent feathers with one major difference. Feathers overlap. Pay attention to your reference as the feathers join. One side will go under the adjacent feather and the opposite side will go over the adjacent feather.
            As you continue pay close attention to the flow of the feathers and the direction of flow.
            The next step is to "join" the feathers. I use a sanding stick to smooth the edges and create the effect of one feather overlaying the next. The area of joining should be gradual, subtle and not a hard line.
            Once all the feathers are satisfactory ─ it's time to burn. I like to set my burner at a point where it will create a dark charring. As I make the barbule I push down fairly hard to create a good channel for the paint. Try and have the burning pen in motion before you touch it down and lift it off at the end of the feather sot that the burn disappears gradually. The goal of birdcarvers is to end up with 45-50 lines per inch. I find it easiest to put the knife down at an angle away from the previous line, then lift it to vertical and make the burn with my eyes following the previous burn.
            Now that the burning is complete, it is time to remove the charring as much as possible. I go over the burned feathers with scotchbrite. I cut off a piece about an inch square and put it on a mandrel with a 1/8" shank and use my foredom flexshaft. The micro-motors do not have the torque for this job and soon overheat. Safety glasses are an absolute must with this step. Small pieces of wood and scotchbrite will ge thrown everywhere!
            Once I am satisfied with the work of the scotchbrite, I go over the burned area with a brass brush. Pay close attention to the flow of the barbules.

            Creating soft feathers:
            Again use your research to lay out the grouping of feathers on the belly. These will not be as distinct as the hard feathers.
            Use pencil lines to define the groups and the flow of the feathers from the neck down. Now make some shallow marks in the shape of a smile within the groups. These will hint at individual feathers.
            Working on soft feathers from the neck down ─I cut in the groups and use a 1/8" coarse diamond ball to define these feathers. Then the real work begins. Starting in an innocuous area, that can easily be sanded if necessary, I use a method taught to me by Marlen Downing. I begin with the white stones. I lay the micro handpiece in my hand with the stone facing my thumb. I put my thumb against the carving, and stretching my fingers out and hand with knuckles up, I pull the handpiece toward my thumb. I make sure that I move my thumb (fulcrum) as continue. This starts the cut in different locations and avoids lines.
            As I work the white stones, varying the amount of pressure put on my fingers ─ varying the depth of the cut, I occasionally put in shallow ˄ cuts. I vary the length and depth of the sides. This makes the feathers separate and adds interest. I also use the flying saucer shape to widen and deepen random areas.
            I use the burning pen on a setting that will give me a light colored burn to put in random lines following the flow of the feathers. Do not over do this burning.

            Feathers on the head are soft but made differently. I like to keep a photo of the head of the bird I am carving as reference. Pay close attention to the flow of the feathers and draw in lines as a guide.
            I use the 1/8" diamond ball to create grooves so the feathers of the head are not flat all over. Then follow the process above for using the white stones. Once complete use the diamond disk to create some deep cuts in the feathers.
            I use the burning pen on a setting that will give me a light colored burn to put in random lines following the flow of the feathers. Do not over do this burning.
            Use Scotchbrite and brass brush to clean up the soft feathers.


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            • #7
              THANKS! Again!
              I feel like I should be paying a class tuition!
              I will be doing some practice pieces and trying to use all this help.
              I SINCERELY APPRECIATE the time you folks took to help me out.
              THANKS!
              Jim

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              • #8
                I'm not a bird carver, but what a read Paul, enjoy it
                . . .JoeB

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                • #9
                  People on this forum are just so darned helpful.Thank you Paul, I'm sure there are lots of folks out there that REALLY appreciate the info and time you took to give it.

                  Tinwood

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