As my co-op's maintenance manager, I get to fix things. Like faucets. Which means taking out the truck to Lowe's in search of such things. On this trip, I couldn't find the proper one, but I ended up in the welding section and found this treasure: for $2.31, seven sticks of soapstone, clouded with grey and eminently carve-able, stonework for the tight of budget.
What you need:
• soapstone (used for marking welds, apparently): hardware store
• small, sharp flathead screwdriver: hardware store
• damage-able surface
I had a look at the dark swirls in the stone, with the sun behind it and also by wiping it with a wet cloth, to see what sort of pattern would fit.
I made two pieces: the grey area above became clouds, and the other part got cut (score and snap)...
...and became a feather.
The form starts with a lightly scratched outline, and then I start scraping around it with the flat of the screwdriver head. I slope the scraped part inward, so as to create the illusion of a raised design. Details are added, the grades are run over a few times for smoothness, and we have our design.
Fortunately for me, the pieces of stone are cut somewhat roughly, not polished; in this case, the cross-hatching from the saw became texture detail on the feather. The clouds came out less satisfactorily, but I still like the piece.
The first one got a touch of Russian - "летай", the imperative "fly". The second didn't really need anything more on the front, so the back got "небо": "sky". I may do a couple more and make it a series...
As a final touch, I put my stamp on the side.
Et voilà! Two pendants, perhaps a few dollars, and marvelous occupation for an hour or two as the job search continues.