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small wood carving from France. Short update last page

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laojia posted on Fri, Feb 6, 2009 1:19 AM

hello everyone, I landed on TC with small pieces of wood...

A gift for my wife:hei matau in wengé polished

Hei tiki in Wengé wood not yet polished:

hei matau in pink ivory wood, work in progress:

criticism and advice are welcome...

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Hi Laojia, First, Welcome to TC Happy you found this site with many pieces of wood in your pockets! What you have done so far is Very impressive. That Wenge' is a beautiful and Hard wood, how are you carving it, with what tools?
The Hei-Tiki looks to be a beauty too and I'd Love to know what material you used to inlay the eyes? Definitely post photos of it and your other piece when they are finished!
How long have you been carvng? It certainly looks as though you have many fine pieces under your belt already! Can't wait to MORE Stuff.

laojia posted on Fri, Feb 6, 2009 4:36 AM

Thank's for welcome Benzart!
That's a lot of question ... First, the tools: I use mostly knives Japanese sculptor, fine rasp and riffer,but also trad carving gouges... (next time I'll post photos)
Second, inlay eyes of hei tiki is pink ivory, wood very dense with a grain very end. I think Monday finish this piece, I carved a break during my work.
Third, long ago I worked wood,I'm joiner , I sculpt for fun in the winter because the workshop was too cold to make furniture...
I hope to finish some pieces before spring, there are the full sketchbook.

thank you for the support


Laojia...Welcome. Your carvings are beautiful. Looks like you have the right skills. Looking forward to seeing more of your work. My cousin (from Turino, Italy) has mentioned Langres and Nancy. He travels to France on his vacations and loves your region.

laojia posted on Fri, Feb 6, 2009 8:12 AM

thank's for welcome and support drgoat456.
I greatly appreciate the link you put on Bill Reid ,the Haida carver, very interesting, really

virani posted on Fri, Feb 6, 2009 8:33 AM

Very nice. Welcome here.


Welcome great start. you have found the right spot.


Welcome aboard.

Your pieces seem to be very neat. Wengo and pink ivory are kind of rare in France ! But you carved it pretty nicely.



thank you all for the welcome and compliments.

actually, this precious hard wood don't grows in France....I buy them in germany....where they do not grows...


salut ça fait plaisir de voir des creations françaises,
je ne post plus rien pour l'instant (bcp de travail)
a plus

laojia posted on Sat, Feb 7, 2009 2:32 AM

le plaisir est partagé, tes créations valent vraiment le coup...
The pleasure is shared, your creation is also very well...

laojia posted on Mon, Feb 9, 2009 9:20 PM

Hello, no time to loose, I must go to work...

First, the tools:
Japanese carving knives (in a customized cake box)

those using the more:

The rasps, rifflers and mini rifflers:

The DIY polishing machine:

Finally, the hei tiki polished ...

disappointed, the small chips around the left eye are very well polished

I hope the next better

thank's for looking


very,very nice. dude, you are your own worst critic. it looks great and i love the diy polishing machine. keep up the great work.


ps damn those knives look dangerous.


Hey, Your knives look well sharped and your polishing machine is very ingenious.
The Hei Tiki's a super good carving.
I can't wait to see the next steps of the Hei Matau.



Thanks for posting your tools, Excellent stuff, The buffer IS great, good thinking and the knives too. That one of your favorites is a slight hook, no wonder you use it most!
Your Hei-tiki is cool too, love that wood all polished out. If the eyes bother you too much, send it here and I'll fix it for you but then I'd have to KEEP it here for a LONG time . :o


thank's big daddy, the ball bearing of the drill, they do not tell me thank you.That's the only problem with the diy polishing machine...Whith the knives I'll take care.

Thank's Benjamin, the hei matau continues his journey:

Thank's BenZ, you can keep the faith :P , but i prefer my mistakes keep me near to serve me a lesson!!!

In fact I almost correct the defects by polishing it again with a nylon brush.

Nice day for all!!!


The hei matau in pink ivory as completed, the last steps on pictures:

Debut of sanding, long long time of sanding...

once erased all scratches, polishing ...

My daughter (4 year old) told me it's like a snail, it is true that he has a strange head

just find a nice cord and the attached

I have many questions on the polished wood, the use of different type of polishing paste, different type of buffer,the importance of speed.If someone have experience or advise, I take

THANK's for looking...


Wow boy, this hei matau is totally awesome.
For finishing pastes you have wax, clear coat poly (i think it is "vitrificateur" in french but not sure), oil and brilliant, mat or satinee varnishes. These are the only I know. I tried wax that is pretty good for the grain without a brilliant looking, oil that's a bit more shiny and finally satinee varnish that is too much brilliant for me.
You have the stains too but with this color of wood, it would be a crime !
What is the paste you used for polyshing ? It looks perfect on this piece.



so very, very nice! and so small. i would wear it in a heartbeat.



Amazing how one small Koru can be So Awe Inspiring. That is one Beautiful piece. Much Respect for this!


Very nice! Beautiful color and greatly done!


Thank's Clarita, I was on the color you like :roll: !!!

Thank's BenZ, compliments of a master is always an honor :o !

Thank's BD, before you wear it I must find a necklace :wink:!!

Thank's for advise Benjamin...I think the varnishes are not indicate for small pieces, you're right when you say "that is too much brilliant".The varnishes as preferable for big pieces or pieces who go outside..The oil (linseed oil per example) doing good results, but fade with time, same thing for the wax...I don't talk about stain, I prefer the naturally color of wood especially in this case.
To polish my pieces I borrow polishing paste a engineering workshop. They have a big polishing machine with a 300 mm buffer cotton fabric. they polish piece stainless steel, bronze or brass.That's why I think I do not use the paste to polish the most appropriate, but 's true what result is correct.I continue to look for other solutions.
To be continued...

I don't have full time to carve ,but I draw:

Thank's for looking, have a nice day



Nice drawings, can't wait to see the waste wood removed!

BEAUTIFUL pieces! That pink is just right, very nice job. The sanding is a bear, but the results are worth it.
The new wood pieces you drew up are gonna be real nice too. They're just waiting to pop out of that wood!


Wow, thanks so much for sharing! The wenge has a great grain, and your use of it is excellent. Thanks for the pictures of the japanese knifes, I'm always interested in finding out what other tools are out there.



cooool! so does that mean i get it? one can only hope.



For buffing the wood I use beeswax and a soft cloth wheel. There are several thicknesses of buffing wheels ans a few different materials from hard felt to soft felt, cotton to lambs wool. I prefer to sand the piece down to 400 or 600 grit the hit it with the bees wax.


Thank's BenZ and Surfintiki, "the waste wood" begins up to "pop out".(And my written english made progress...)

Thank's Mieko, the sharing is pleasure.

On 2009-02-18 14:34, big daddy wrote:
"cooool! so does that mean i get it? one can only hope."
Sorry to break hope :-? : my wife want to wear it on his heart and what women want... I begin carve an other, if you are interested... :wink:

Great thanx for advise, Benz, you talk just right. After some web search and discussion around me, I'll try with a buffing wheel cloth cotton layer, when I have time to repackage an old grinder machine whose axis is distorted. All this does not prevent me from sanding: first: 80,second: 120, third :240, fourth: 400, and sometimes 800 or steel wool 000...Just to write I'm tired!! :lol:

Have a good night!!!


i understand. what the wife wants, the wife usually gets. it is a beautiful piece. merci jerome for the photos. can't wait to see the finished pieces.



Hi Jérôme,

Sorry for the pastes, my eyes read paste whereas my brain understood something else :lol:
The finish you get with the polishing system is incredible, I was wondering about the smooth grain you had because using sand paper with hands is really boring. So if I understand correctly, you use sand paper until the 600 or 800 grit before polishing with the paste ?

Nice beginning on the Hei Tiki.



I've start a new koru slightly différent, pix next time!!!

Benjamin, don't worry for the understanding, me too je comprend beaucoup mieux le français...The sanding with hands paper is not boring, it's just hard and long, not boring.This little piece was sanded with a 400 grain before polishing...

following next time, I must go wake up my daugther, soon school for her ,and working for me...



laojia, very nice work! Great colors and design! Keep us posted with new pics. The grain of that wood is really incredible. :)


Thanx BigT (all texans are big? :wink: )
In fact the wood grain is so tight that the polishing is done quite easily, after a 400 sanding. The little koru was working on the wood butt, that's also the reason of thin grain.

Yesterday,I've try for pearl inlay, I think I've the solution...
Advise are welcome...

Have a nice day.



moi aussi j m appelle jerome et j suis lorrain (longwy)
bon j vais pas tarder a poster des photos de ptits sculptures


Et moi originaire de Thil , à côté de Villerupt...This world is small...


Beautiful start on the Hei-Tiki, you make it look SO Easy! Looks like you Have solved the eye inlay issue. That one is excellent.


On 2009-02-24 21:28, laojia wrote:
Thanx BigT (all texans are big? :wink: )

LOL! No, I guess we just have a fixation with big. :lol:

The wood grain really gives your pieces a strong personality.

I also loved the pink Koru and can't wait to see what your Hei Tiki will look like when they are done.




Thanx Benz, For pearl inlay I cheat a little...In fact I proceed by double hole and I wedge a tiny cylinder of wood in the center...
I've find some old carving, made maybe in 2004, before big work in our house and birth of our daughters. It was ten or twelve but I've gave all the pieces at friends or old coworkers.There I keep two, not finished (maybe the worst):

I'm glad to refind them.

Thanx for LOL reply Big T!!!
Today I keep my baby, but I can't stop carve even in the kitchen! :o Am I severely affected??
the advantage is that I can eat chips!! :roll:

Thanx for coment Aweulekuula!
Excuse my ignorance, but what's the meaning of your name?

Last picture before sanding on small koru,I marked an edge,he look different than the first

work in progress for the twin side hanger hei tiki.I have yet full of work...

Have a nice day



i'm glad to see it's not only me who carves vegatables!!!
Can't wait to see the tikis finished


Maybe this is contagious? Did you try the potatoes?


Today I keep my baby, but I can't stop carve even in the kitchen! :o Am I severely affected?? the advantage is that I can eat chips!! :roll:

This one is very charming. I like it! Also the new ones are very nice.

As for the carrots, they are great, but I was taught never to play with my food! :lol: :lol:

heheh, you ARE seriously affected. You have a great start even with the carrots. I love it.


WOW boy, you're an addict now ! I think that addicted to tiki is the best addiction :lol:

Everything's cool on your update my friend.
The old tikis are nice, the carrots are great, the hei tikis become fantastic and the Koru is simply unbelievable: the edge you marked makes it totally.
Did you try potatoes ? (I tried :lol: ) Potatoes seem to have rings like wood.

Thanks for the link, one of the pictures will help me in carving a bigger marquesan I have begun a while back.



cool Stull here too. If it turns out bad just eat it and no one will be the wiser.


Thank you all, guys!! Yesterday I've leave my work 2 hours before... for an escape in museum! The temporary exposition ends soon...
I share with you some pix of the art of the ancient marquesans:

Museum entry

Subject of this exposition: A war club in ironwood.
Look at the beast:

The head

fine details

fine work

Now two Tiki in "breadtree" wood:

The first (33 cm)

detail, like striations on the chest

The second(26.5 cm)

He wear a curious appendix on his back

exhibition is also embellished by many design and engraving of explorers (notably Cook).
Well, it's all for today...



After a walk to the museum, back to carving or rather sandingsandingsandingsanding....AND polishing :

(Bd you have an option on this...if you are still interested...)

Now, adjust the focus to what we see behind the koru...

Twin side-hanger Hei Tiki who admires the sunset...
Advice (especially for the necklace) and criticism are welcome.

Have a nice day.


Jérôme, beautifully crafted hei tiki and the koru is carved to perfection!

Thanks for sharing the wonderful Marquesan images!

I can never see enough of that type of work, such wonderful detail in it.

You are very lucky to have an exhibit of that type.

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