Bone/soapstone for carving?
September 2, 2018 11:32 AM   Subscribe

Where in New Zealand do I find bone (or antler?) and soapstone for carving?

I recently decided to try my hand at carving bone and stone (I work primarily with wood, examples via the link in my bio). However, as with many things in NZ, bone and soapstone seem to be things that can be difficult to get your hands on locally.

I can obviously order both from overseas, but soapstone will be expensive in terms of weight, and MAF might take bone I try to import. Any ideas for where to find these locally? I'd prefer to get bone that has already been cleaned and ready to carve - antler as well, though I reckon that will be more difficult to find?
posted by New England Cultist to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
I'm an American but it seems like most of the elk meat I buy comes from New Zealand- antlers too (dog chews). Maybe look into dog chews? They obviously have bones too-- my brother made me an awesome combat shovel with a handle made from bone he carved out of a big dog chew (cow femur I think).
posted by The otter lady at 12:25 PM on September 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

The otter lady - never thought of that, thanks for the tip!
posted by New England Cultist at 1:36 PM on September 2, 2018

Definitely trade me for the antlers.
posted by poxandplague at 3:37 PM on September 2, 2018

My cousin's husband Mike is involved with the Mokau bone carving group in the Taranaki region (Facebook page and site for their annual Easter workshop). Contact details can be found on the workshop website.
posted by Tawita at 4:17 PM on September 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

So... When we carved bone in high school (in the 80s) we just got it from the butcher. Polished up nice eventually.
posted by gaspode at 8:31 PM on September 2, 2018

gaspode - I would have preferred already-cleaned bone because I have little knowledge of the process of cleaning bone properly. I eventually picked up two cow shin bones yesterday from a butcher and buried them. Now to wait two months for nature to do its thing. I decided on the natural approach because apparently, boiling undermines the integrity of the bone.
posted by New England Cultist at 10:03 AM on September 3, 2018

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