Sunday, January 1, 2012

I Actually Carved an Owl from a Rock

My friend Kathy & I saw this fabulous owl 
in a garden center and she fell in love with it.
It was very expensive and so she passed on it,
but kept talking about it and how much she loved it.
 Soooo....I thought "maybe I could make one"....
How hard could it be. 
It looked like a fairly simple design...
I could give it to her for Christmas....She would crack up!

So I got a rock

There just happened to be this stone and rock place near me and so after Church one Sunday we stopped in, and asked if I could buy a rock.  The man was so nice and helped me pick it out....climbed on the rock pile himself, so I wouldn't get hurt, and gave it to me for free

  Now I had to cut the bottom of the rock flat so it would stand up

Since I don't have a tile saw, I needed to cut it with a circular saw and a masonry blade.  All fine and good except I forgot that the rock was thicker than the saw blade

I needed a 7" masonry blade....well actually 2 of them but they are inexpensive at about $5.00 ea

Don't forget the safety glasses and the hammer & chisel were very useful
You have to make sure the rock is wet because the blade gets very hot.....and work in small time 5 minutes at a clip                      

It actually went through the rock pretty easily but there was one thing I forgot.  The saw blade is not as deep as the rock so I had to work from all sides.  At the end, when I had cut as deep as the blade would allow, I had this lump in the middle....not so good
So my husband suggested that I cut lines in the lump and chisel them off....worked great.  The bottom was not as smooth as the Garden Centers owl but it would stand!   OK on to the next step!

 I printed out a photo of the Garden Center Owl and then proceeded to sketch something similar to it on the rock, allowing for the difference in the shapes of the rocks. 
It looked like a demented ghost....I got nervous!

But onward I would press, so I started with the Dremel.  What the bad could it be?  What had it cost me so far....$10.00 for blades and 2 weeks of cutting a rock off at the bottom in my spare time.
 The first layer came off quite easily but as I went deeper it took longer to make any progress.  I knew now that I would      not get that nice deep crater that made the eyes on the original owl.   Mabye it would come out like a demented ghost.....we'll see.

I kept at it, in my spare time, for several weeks....going through about 6 or 8 Dremel tips, but at about $3.00 each, it was affordable.  I would have gone through less but I broke two before realizing that it worked just as well even when you didn't press down with all your might.  Like my Dad used to tell me "let the tool do the work".  The old paint brush was great for brushing the dust and eye protection and a dust mask were necessary.

New dremel tip    -    Used dremel tip
There were many kinds of tips to choose from and towards the end I started finding
larger ones that lasted longer and went deeper. 
 Now it was time for the finishing touch - The eyes.  I scoured every bead store in a 50 mile radius and the best I could come up with was these lifesaver shaped black glass they would have to do.
I was happy with the final result......owl or demented ghost?   Owl I think

A little epoxy

Get him to lay level while the glue sets

And Here He Owl

 She was quite happy with her owl 
and knew it was made with lots of love
Merry Christmas Kathy!