Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Annual Westcoast Trip - pounamu carving

Wednesday, June 4, 2014
oldbearnews editor

 Ah yes - the last few images to be shown.  All day Thursday night it felt strange - for once I did not have to go shopping for food.  This was done by two other leaders (Squeek and Mr Schick) and they did do a very good job too.  The local scout hall is usually so cold (June - winter here and no insulation) that there is no need to take stuff home for chilling or even freezing!!  So came Thursday night - I was at sixes and sevens, not sure if I was coming or going!  In any-case - this was not the only trolley as I understand it.

Back to the grind-stone.  The paper is diamond tipped - so the grinding / shaping is relatively easy!

At this point I was  on dry sanding.  You start with a 400 grit - then 600 / 800 / 1000 and 2000 grit. One needs to be careful as the stone can get quit warm / hot even.  I must admit wet-sanding sounded much better.  It also would have helped to be less proud and taken with me my reading glasses . . . . . Hmmmmmm  now I do feel old!!

Decided to toss in the street front view of the carving place.  You can't miss it . . . .

So in between carving and working and gas-bagging - ooops story telling - and learning all matters greenstone, I found this piece. 
Some haggling resulted.  I so wanted this piece, as the grain in the Jade reminded me of the nor-west arch / cloud formation often seen in Canterbury.  After some furious haggle - a price was agreed upon and I became the proud owner of NZ Pounamu - just need to polish this up and then mount on a suitable piece of Rimu or driftwood or . . . .     (found a piece of timber on the beach the next day - yessss)   

Often you get / find some stone and you will not know what is inside, until you either polish away from the outside - or cut into it!!  This particular piece was on the shop floor and for me it  was VERY tempting to slice of a piece.  I love the moonshine effect from the grain on this!!  Alas I already spent some cash so - maybe next time - yeah - next time

 No west-coast camp is complete until you do a campfire on the beach (below the high tide mark - so the tide washes away any remnants of the fire).  The other tradition is to try and light the timber that has been laying on the beach - and is always totally  RAIN-soaked - to the point were one needs a lot of, either, magic water or a gas burner in the middle of the timber structure to be burned - before the timber properly catches fire.   Honestly next time I will bring some kiln dried timber from Christchurch  ^^

 A often missed attraction - the Glow-worm Dell.  It is no-where as great as either the one at Te Anau or Waitomo caves - but it is still pretty impressive. You need to walk in quietly and have no lights on with you (so cellphones and torches off!!)  a n d  - watch out for the Hokitika Groper :D   or at least watch out that you snuggle up to your own wife - a mistake some men have made frequently in there, then are surprised with the reaction  they get . . . . .

We stopped at two places on the way back - this is at the Viaduct where the local kea resident population has great delight in entertaining the visitors.  You do need to be careful what you leave laying round - or indeed in or on your car - as anything remotley loose is fair game for this Alpine clown!! They have a way of dismantling anything,  that has to be seen to be believed!  Indeed one unfortunate tourist once  lost his car keys  over the side of a steep cliff/hillside . . . . . .

Have fun

 bear print

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