|Project by Kelly||posted 04-28-2016 06:29 PM||384 views||0 times favorited||3 comments|
Inspired from sales of walking sticks I’d made to a couple of members of the local Wanapum and Yakima tribes, and by a visit to the Heritage Center the Wanapums, recently, built, I decided to try to duplicate some of the old and new things I saw them using there. In the course of that adventure I made a couple rattles.
When done, the the first rattle was a bit plain and, perhaps, too much like Moroccan rattles. For that reason, I [roughly] hand carved a design into it, with the idea I’d fill the carved portion with something.
On a whim, I:
1) bought some colored powders craft folks use to embellish embossed cards;
2) crushed up some oyster shells (1/8” to 1/4”);
3) mixed some two to one epoxy and added the [turquoise colored] powder and crushed shell; and,
4) I pushed the mix into the carvings.
Once dried, I could have used the result as a [really ugly, but colorful] rasp. However, after sanding the hardened mix back down flush with wood (the carvings were nearly one eighth inch deep), starting with 120 grit and stopping with 320, then taking the rattle to the buffer, the potential of the simple mix began to become apparent.
In just seconds, the oyster shell polished to a pearl like finish. With the large and small flecks of shell and the turquoise powder suspended in clear epoxy, the hardened mix might pass for some type of turquoise.
Because the rattle is round and the two to one epoxy mix flows, I am forced to do only a little at a time, or the mix flows back out of the carved areas, even with the powder and shell mixed in.
If I did much of this on round surfaces, I might have to consider a rotisserie or similar to, slowly, turn the project, to keep the slowly flowing mix in place, such as is done when building fishing poles. Alternately, and as was, elsewhere, pointed out to me I could add a special silica based product to limit this problem.
In the end, I like the result enough I’ll try this for other projects. Depending on the application, some, like this, might have a crude, hand carved appearance. On the other hand, others might have dados filled with this or other more carefully placed cut lines to produce crisp, parallel edges.