In my projects list I have a Bat wand. Though I gave it to my friend, I told him that I wanted to inset garnet eyes and would need it back eventually. Recently I discovered Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop (link) in Evanston, just north of Chicago. About time i found a decently priced and reliable gem resource. I found garnet eye cabochons.
So I got the wand back and started to carve away, but then thought I would document and post it here. :)
Here is the bat prior to eye surgery. The eyes are flat and dead.
One eye was done before I grabbed the camera
I start like I would be making a mortice.. drilling with the tiniest drill I have and finger spinning it to the depth I want.
Then I carve into it with dental tools, which I shaped into tiny 1/32” chisels.
Patience, and always pulling the tool into the cavity so the pressure of my work won’t crack the eyelid.
I keep test fitting the cabochon until I have the depth I need for an inset eye, only 2/3 of the cabochon will be visible, so it really looks like the eyelid could close.
The dark wood and shadow from being so far inset, made the cabochon dull and flat, so I used a silver sharpie to have reflection off the bottom of the eye cavity.
I use west system 2 part epoxy to hold the eyes, because I know this wand will be getting wet this summer.
Now he looks much more alive. :)
-- ~ Eric P Jorgenson: Jorgenson Design