Weird & Wonderful - Skull Carving Tips & Ideas

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, May 30, 2024

Weird & Wonderful - Skull Carving Tips & Ideas

Art comes in many different shapes and forms. From some of the most traditional art forms, to some of the more unconventional ones, it is true what they say that the beauty of art is in the eye of the beholder. For centuries, people found various mediums that allowed them to showcase their skill and create art.

From cave paintings and bone jewelry, all the way to canvas painting, welding and glass blowing, various forms of art have been present all around us. Lately, a trend that has been on the rise is animal skull carving.

While this is certainly not a new direction in art – it stems from a centuries-old tradition – it seems to be gaining momentum in interior design. So, if you’d like to try your hand at creating such a weird, wonderful and unique art piece, here are some tips and ideas.

Find the right skull
Before you begin, you should first make sure you find the right surface to work on. If you already have an animal skull but you are not sure you have the right skills, you can always find an alternative to practice on. There are numerous different materials that are created to act as natural bone, so you can use these to get the right feeling before you move onto the real deal. Once you’re comfortable with the tools and feel skillful enough, get your animal skull and start off with the necessary preparations.

Clean it properly
Before you get down to carving, you will first need to clean and bleach the skull. This process will eliminate any dirt from your working surface and make it smoother, less greasy and odorless. To clean the skull, you will need gloves, a right-sized container in which the skull fits comfortably and scrub brushes. On top of that, depending on the type and the state of the skull, you will also need dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. It’s also a good idea to have a power washer and some plies handy, just in case you need some extra help. First, you’ll need to remove any soft tissue, if there’s still any left. Then, clean and degrease the bones by giving the skull a thorough scrub with some warm water and dish soap. Finally, bleach the bones with hydrogen peroxide by submerging them in 1:3 mixture of water and H2O2, covering the container and leaving it to soak for up to 24 hours. Once this process is done, your skull will be redy for carving.

Use a stencil
The safest way to ensure that your design will fit nicely on the skull is to create a stencil. This way, you can move the stencil around until you’re happy with both the placement and the pattern. If it doesn’t end up looking like you initially imagined, you can always change the design of your stencil and play around with different ideas until you’re entirely satisfied with the outcome. Then, trace the stencil onto the bone by using a soft pencil and prepare for the next step.

Safety first
Before you actually get down to carving, you need to make sure you have all the right protective gear. Safety goggles, ear protectors and a dust mask are your most essential pieces of safety gear. Without these, don’t even think about starting your project. Additionally, if you’re using any type of power carving tools, make sure you have a foot on-off switch for better control and greater accuracy.

Use proper tools
In the end, depending on the style and the technique you want to go for, you will need to get your hands on the proper carving tools. A flexshaft machine is the first tool you’ll need to have if you want to try out skull carving. Additionally, you will also need a micromotor for some detail work, as well as small and precise hand carving tools for the finest of details.

Once you have everything set up and prepared, it’s time to start carving. Remember, not everyone will understand this for of art but the ones that do will simply be stunned by it.

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