I spent this weekend at a two-day workshop with the amazing carver Owen Mapp – learning to make small tools suitable for bone carving. He bought a selection of tools to show us, mostly examples that he’d made, but also some neolithic bone tools (I don’t think I’ve ever held a ‘made thing’ so old before). He also showed us some fabulous carved objects, most with great stories behind either their creation or discovery.
My own humble tool making efforts are pictured below; two small knives and three gravers of different sizes. I tried out a variety of woods for handles and for the blades used a mix of new commercial blanks, and (for the two on the left) an old rusty file I found in the shed. I particularly enjoyed shaping finger holds on the linisher, and making something that will fit my puny hand perfectly.
Next month, another workshop with Owen, this one a whole weekend of bone carving. Although, I suspect I won’t be able to resist trying out my new tools before then . . .