Aging the limestone panel carvings
The carved detail in the limestone shows up if you have the lighting just right,
otherwise it tends to get lost since the coloring is only slightly lighter in
shade from the surrounding stone.
The chariot panel with the brass, carnelian, and the vulture and cobra medallions
glued in place.
A portion of the hieroglyphics carved into the chariot panel. The symbols are
arranged top to bottom, left to right, and may be reversed to face the same
direction as any large carving is facing.
To antique the appearance and add contrast to the details, acrylic paint is
scrubbed over the surface and into the carving with a fine-bristle toothbrush.
A damp paper towel is then used to wipe the excess off of the surface, but enough
paint is left in the grooves and pores of the limestone to add color and contrast.
The paint step can be repeated with additional colors of paint to shade different
areas in color, or where too much of the previous paint was wiped off. On this
panel, I used dark brown for the hieroglyphs, black on the horses and dogs,
and a reddish-brown on the chariot and driver.
Acrylic paint is rubbed into the carvings and then wiped off with a damp cloth.
The finished chariot panel. Hieroglyphs are tinted brown, the chariot and
rider are tinted red-brown, and the horses and dogs tinted dark brown.
On the doors I wanted to get really fancy. I pulled several designs from
some Egyptian jewelry, one featuring the winged-goddess Nut, and the other
with baboons and a scarab beetle.
I cut a channel around the outside edges and glued alternating square cut
malachite, carnelian and lapis cabochons. Short lengths of brass rod were
placed between the cabs to add interest to the pattern, adjust the spacing
slightly, and to reduce the total number of stones I would have to cut.
A channel cut around the edge of the top and bottom door panel is filled with
alternating carnelian, malachite, and lapis, with spacers of brass rod. Square
cabochons and rods are glued into place with clear epoxy.
The inlayed medallions would be the focal point for each of the doors, but
the lower door also had to somehow integrate some LED lighting and a power
switch. By using an all-black plastic push button, and a small piece of jet,
I made the power button appear as a cartouche symbol below the scarab. To
conceal Power and hard drive lights, I chose carnelian and mother-of-pearl,
both of which are translucent and would allow light to pass through from the
rear. The bezel settings for these would be open on the back, and a hole drilled
through the limestone and brass door to mount bright white LEDs.
On the lower door, I recreated a medallion with two dog faced baboons facing
a scarab beetle. The three figures are placed on a boat of green malachite;
the baboons are positioned with mother-of-pearl (shell) disks symbolizing
the moon above their heads, and a carnelian sun disk over the scarab. For
additional contrast, I used nickel silver alloy for the moon and scarab and
brass for the rest of the channel work. The lapis lazuli for the scarab was
roughed out, but not set until after the rest of the medallion had been ground
and polished flat. Then the scarab sections were hand carved and polished
in place to give the beetle a raised 3-d appearance.
The baboon and scarab medallion are ready to glue into place. Mother-of-pearl insets
sit above the heads of the baboons. The carnelian and mother-of-pearl settings
have an open back to allow light to pass through the stone and shell material.
The carnelian sun symbol has its backlit LED connected to the hard drive,
and flickers with the drive access. The white shell moon symbols are attached
to a meteor-light LED controller that allows you to select from a variety
of different glow or blink patterns.
The completed lower door with baboon-scarab medallion is in place. Two carnelians
are inset in the sun symbols along the bottom. The black power button blends
into a cartouche design mounted above a small oval piece of jet. The LEDs
behind the mother of pearl moon symbols were set to a slow fade on and off
cycle for the picture.
Checking the scale and position of the channel pattern for the Nut inlay.
The completed upper door with the vulture-winged Nut figure and gold-leaf
The upper door has a medallion recreation of the goddess nut with vulture
wings spread. Nut's wings are malachite and lapis; her body is carved lapis
lazuli with mother-of-pearl, turquoise and red coral trim by the feet; Nut's
hair is carved jet and the face, arms and feet are opal. To provide some additional
bling, the two carved hawk-headed sphinx figures have been given a covering
of gold leaf.
Close up of the winged Nut figure, showing the hand-carved opal, lapis and
jet in the figure. Her robe has a band of mother-of-pearl and an inlay of
turquoise, red coral and mother-of-pearl along the bottom.
To "top it off" I needed a suitable guardian. Enter, one stuffed
Anubis, guardian of the dead, in his jackal (dog) form. (from the Chicago
Next time: A suitable mouse and system build summary.