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California Jade

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Cutting & Carving

Let's Be Creative

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     I can't really tell you how to carve jade (or anything, for that matter).  I can, however, give you ideas and inspiration.  You see, carving requires a lot of patience; there's tons of trial and error, and mistakes, and learning that make a quick how-to virtually impossible. 
     I can also tell you this: start simple.  Don't jump right in and try to carve a miniature Michelangelo's David.  Start by cutting out 2D objects, like a religious or group symbols or first initials.  I started by making crucifixes and some of them turn out real nice. 
     To start carving you will need a dremel.  Corded dremels put out more power.  Cylindrical- and spherical-(tin-can and ball) shaped bits are best, as well as small diamond saw blade bits.  The saw blades can be used as sanders too.  Use the balls to inscribe and the cylinders to hollow out and level off.

If you don't know what a dremel is or what one looks like, click here.

      Use a pencil to draw your design on the jade, then lightly score on your lines with the saws.  This keeps your design on the jade should the pencil wear off.  BE CAREFUL, as jade can shatter if it's cracked. 
     Use pliers to hold the jade, too.  I don't know how many times I've cut my fingers with the dremel (those bits are sharp) trying to hold the jade steady.  Best if you lay the dremel on its side and cut as if it were a table saw. 

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