Posts Tagged ‘Wood Carvers’

Custom Made & Carved Faux Ivory Pistol Grip for PT 92


Custom Made & Carved Faux Ivory Pistol Grip for PT 92





ivory grip in blog





Thanks Chip…

With the demand for a substitute for Ivory and with the advancement of technology, the market today offers wonderful substitutes that closely mimic ivory (i.e. Vegetable Ivory, Micarta, Bonded Ivory, and Corian).

Ivory: due to the decline in the population of those animals that produce ivory (dentin: a tissue similar to bone), the importation and the sale of ivory in many countries is banned or severely restricted. Pre – banned ivory may be obtained, accompanied by correct documentation, albeit, costly.

Vegetable Ivory:  the hard white endosperm of the seeds of certain palm trees; usually used for ornamental purposes (i.e. buttons, etc.)

Micarta: brand name for high pressure laminates with a wide variety of resins and fillers; composites of linen, canvas, paper, fiberglass etc.

Bonded Ivory: an epoxy filled with natural materials and was developed as an economical, durable substitute for ivory.

Corian: brand name created by Du Pont; composed of acrylic polymer and alumina trihydrate (ATH), and is also an economical, durable substitute for ivory.


Having an unused 1/4″ piece of Corian from another project, I custom made grips to fit a PT 92. 

Following the art work, depicting a dragon on one side and its tail encircling a sword on the other side, I proceeded to carve.

The carving process was relatively comfortable. Undertaking the finish, I used a combination of stains and oils to simulate slightly aged ivory. 


Peruse the photo gallery to see the work in progress….









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Custom Carved Wooden Box

Custom Carved Wooden Box

Recently, I was commissioned by a client to design, build, and carve a wooden box. This was to be a special box; a unique box; a box of heirloom quality; indeed a treasure box for cherished dreams.

It was to be a gift with the receivers initials. A date of completion was set….

What would be a more harmonious design for such a task than a ‘book’ box. For it is through a book, one may travel the world over, visit the past, sojourn in the present, and dream of the future. Thus….

The first part of my journey was to select and purchase the wood (fine Honduras Mahogany); then to fabricate the box  ( by art, skill, and labor).    

Art:  The design and layout, and hand carved (no laser).

Skill:  Simulating the binding and paper; hidden dowel joinery through the stars covered with gold inlay. Solid brass hinges, lock, and screws finished with an acid antiquing process. Contouring the wood to the likeness of the pages, finished with an electric pencil and a blend of whitewash. 

Labor:  To cut and match the wood grain and, ultimately, putting it all together, to finish with a special blend of oil.


Below, is a visual walk through of the process from design to completion.



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Casting models with custom woodcarving in mind.


Throughout the years, Master Woodcarvers, to achieve correct proportions and details, have used clay to make model prototypes.

Why? Clay affords the carver to put forth his/her vision. The flexibility of the material enables the artists to edit the design to the desired finish avoiding any guessing or oops.

In addition, the model may be used to reference size, dimension and intricate details.

Taking this process to the next step is the topic of this article.

The method of creating a mold for casting the original clay design to hard materials as plaster, cement, resins, and wax for bronze casting is a method commonly used amongst sculpturers.

Why would wood carvers go to the next step? Some intricate and detailed wood carvings will take time to finish. A clay model will dry (unless kept constantly moist), change form (losing dimension, size details), and is dificult to use as  a reference with a dial caliper. Thus, a ‘hard’ copy of the original design has the potential to stay for an indefinite period of time. This method also lends to duplicating your work.

Casting Models Gallery:

If a person carves on wood and wants to duplicate the work in plaster or bronze, the rubber mold may be appllied (in preparation to the wood) on the finished wood carving following the same methods.


With this in mind, the artist will still have a choice; to create a basic mold and jacket themselves or bring their finished piece of clay or wood to a foundry. The foundry will do the before mentioned process for you.

Last week, I had opportunity to visit a fine art foundry with a friend and colleague, Yossi Govrin himself an established artist and proprietor of the Santa Monica Art Studios. As opportunity arises I recommend a tour of a fine art foundry.

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