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How To

Carve Jade

The art of carving jade has been practised throughout history, and while modern tools have allowed more complex designs to be made, carving today remains an intensely painstaking and exacting art form. In order to get the most from their raw material, jade carvers need to closely study a stone’s colour, clarity and patterning before commencing the carving process.

Carvers must appreciate the rarity and value of the jade they’re working, taking extreme care not to waste any of it. Those who act hastily and don’t examine the stone thoroughly before carving are at risk of misusing this precious material.

Reading

A Stone

Reading a stone is one of the most important skills a carver can have. Jade has a grain, just like wood, and cutting against this grain can see pieces of the material splinter away. After determining the direction of the grain, carvers cut it into slabs along the grain, inspecting each piece for flaws and cracks. Our artists often find themselves amending and editing their designs after assessing the stone, rather than trying to make the jade fit the design. This keeps the jade, the raw material, at the absolute heart of everything we do.

Patience

Is Key

Regardless of whether artists are carving a classic design they’ve practiced many times or a new contemporary piece, patience and persistence are imperative. Modern living has seen society become accustomed to instant gratification, which is at the opposite end of the spectrum from hand crafting a design in stone. Carvers need to be meticulous, as jade is an unforgiving stone that readily showcases any scratches or nicks. Some types of jade are so tough that a single cut to the boulder can take an entire day to make, while softer stone requires as little as an hour to create multiple cuts. Once the shaping is completed, it’s time to finish the carving. This is often the most time consuming part of the whole process, and should never be rushed.

The Importance

Of Sketching

Artists who progress beyond replica carving towards designing truly unique and progressive pieces of work must be able to sketch. This forms the foundation of an artist’s capabilities, yet it’s one part of the process that many carvers have yet to master. At Mountain Jade, our carvers are always honing their freehand sketching skills and seeking out new techniques in order to produce the best handmade products possible.

How we

Do it

At Mountain Jade, boulders are sawn into blocks and then slabs of varying thickness using diamond saws. When the shape of the finished object is decided, a template is marked on the stone before the smallest of the diamond saws (the trim saw) is employed to cut the rough shape. Next a grinding wheel is used to pre-form the shape before it goes to the carver’s bench, where a high speed air tool running at 80,000 RPM slowly forms the final shape. Pre-polishing is done on a diamond cloth wheel whilst increasingly fine grades of sandpaper and a buffing machine add a gleaming lustre to the resulting piece of jade.

Reading

A Stone

Reading a stone is one of the most important skills a carver can have. Jade has a grain, just like wood, and cutting against this grain can see pieces of the material splinter away. After determining the direction of the grain, carvers cut it into slabs along the grain, inspecting each piece for flaws and cracks. Our artists often find themselves amending and editing their designs after assessing the stone, rather than trying to make the jade fit the design. This keeps the jade, the raw material, at the absolute heart of everything we do.

Patience

Is Key

Regardless of whether artists are carving a classic design they’ve practiced many times or a new contemporary piece, patience and persistence are imperative. Modern living has seen society become accustomed to instant gratification, which is at the opposite end of the spectrum from hand crafting a design in stone. Carvers need to be meticulous, as jade is an unforgiving stone that readily showcases any scratches or nicks. Some types of jade are so tough that a single cut to the boulder can take an entire day to make, while softer stone requires as little as an hour to create multiple cuts. Once the shaping is completed, it’s time to finish the carving. This is often the most time consuming part of the whole process, and should never be rushed.

The Importance

Of Sketching

Artists who progress beyond replica carving towards designing truly unique and progressive pieces of work must be able to sketch. This forms the foundation of an artist’s capabilities, yet it’s one part of the process that many carvers have yet to master. At Mountain Jade, our carvers are always honing their freehand sketching skills and seeking out new techniques in order to produce the best handmade products possible.

How we

Do it

At Mountain Jade, boulders are sawn into blocks and then slabs of varying thickness using diamond saws. When the shape of the finished object is decided, a template is marked on the stone before the smallest of the diamond saws (the trim saw) is employed to cut the rough shape. Next a grinding wheel is used to pre-form the shape before it goes to the carver’s bench, where a high speed air tool running at 80,000 RPM slowly forms the final shape. Pre-polishing is done on a diamond cloth wheel whilst increasingly fine grades of sandpaper and a buffing machine add a gleaming lustre to the resulting piece of jade.

Reading

A Stone

Reading a stone is one of the most important skills a carver can have. Jade has a grain, just like wood, and cutting against this grain can see pieces of the material splinter away. After determining the direction of the grain, carvers cut it into slabs along the grain, inspecting each piece for flaws and cracks. Our artists often find themselves amending and editing their designs after assessing the stone, rather than trying to make the jade fit the design. This keeps the jade, the raw material, at the absolute heart of everything we do.

Patience

Is Key

Regardless of whether artists are carving a classic design they’ve practiced many times or a new contemporary piece, patience and persistence are imperative. Modern living has seen society become accustomed to instant gratification, which is at the opposite end of the spectrum from hand crafting a design in stone. Carvers need to be meticulous, as jade is an unforgiving stone that readily showcases any scratches or nicks. Some types of jade are so tough that a single cut to the boulder can take an entire day to make, while softer stone requires as little as an hour to create multiple cuts. Once the shaping is completed, it’s time to finish the carving. This is often the most time consuming part of the whole process, and should never be rushed.

The Importance

Of Sketching

Artists who progress beyond replica carving towards designing truly unique and progressive pieces of work must be able to sketch. This forms the foundation of an artist’s capabilities, yet it’s one part of the process that many carvers have yet to master. At Mountain Jade, our carvers are always honing their freehand sketching skills and seeking out new techniques in order to produce the best handmade products possible.

How we

Do it

At Mountain Jade, boulders are sawn into blocks and then slabs of varying thickness using diamond saws. When the shape of the finished object is decided, a template is marked on the stone before the smallest of the diamond saws (the trim saw) is employed to cut the rough shape. Next a grinding wheel is used to pre-form the shape before it goes to the carver’s bench, where a high speed air tool running at 80,000 RPM slowly forms the final shape. Pre-polishing is done on a diamond cloth wheel whilst increasingly fine grades of sandpaper and a buffing machine add a gleaming lustre to the resulting piece of jade.

Patience

Is Key

Regardless of whether artists are carving a classic design they’ve practiced many times or a new contemporary piece, patience and persistence are imperative. Modern living has seen society become accustomed to instant gratification, which is at the opposite end of the spectrum from hand crafting a design in stone. Carvers need to be meticulous, as jade is an unforgiving stone that readily showcases any scratches or nicks. Some types of jade are so tough that a single cut to the boulder can take an entire day to make, while softer stone requires as little as an hour to create multiple cuts. Once the shaping is completed, it’s time to finish the carving. This is often the most time consuming part of the whole process, and should never be rushed.

The Importance

Of Sketching

Artists who progress beyond replica carving towards designing truly unique and progressive pieces of work must be able to sketch. This forms the foundation of an artist’s capabilities, yet it’s one part of the process that many carvers have yet to master. At Mountain Jade, our carvers are always honing their freehand sketching skills and seeking out new techniques in order to produce the best handmade products possible.

How we

Do it

At Mountain Jade, boulders are sawn into blocks and then slabs of varying thickness using diamond saws. When the shape of the finished object is decided, a template is marked on the stone before the smallest of the diamond saws (the trim saw) is employed to cut the rough shape. Next a grinding wheel is used to pre-form the shape before it goes to the carver’s bench, where a high speed air tool running at 80,000 RPM slowly forms the final shape. Pre-polishing is done on a diamond cloth wheel whilst increasingly fine grades of sandpaper and a buffing machine add a gleaming lustre to the resulting piece of jade.

Reading

A Stone

Reading a stone is one of the most important skills a carver can have. Jade has a grain, just like wood, and cutting against this grain can see pieces of the material splinter away. After determining the direction of the grain, carvers cut it into slabs along the grain, inspecting each piece for flaws and cracks. Our artists often find themselves amending and editing their designs after assessing the stone, rather than trying to make the jade fit the design. This keeps the jade, the raw material, at the absolute heart of everything we do.