Friday, May 1, 2015

Maori Style Fish Hook or Hei Matau

I had some time off work while recuperating from a medical procedure, so I was looking at some sites online. I saw a beautiful Hei Matau (Maori Fish Hook). There are many great examples to view thanks to the internet. I chose one I would like to make. It was made of cow bone that was charred black. You can find them carved out of bone, wood and a combination of the two. Old pieces were made of whale bone, which is regulated and protected. I don't have any bone right now and if I got some from a butcher it would take too long to prepare. With that in mind I decided to make mine from wood. The favorite wood is Koa which is a gorgeous wood from the pacific islands. It has rich brown and gold coloring with nice density. Once again I didn't have any Koa handy, so we took a trip to the wood store. They didn't have any Koa, either. That was a big let down. I really wanted to make this, so I browsed through the slabs. I found a great piece of Brazilian Rosewood. It's not Koa, but it has a beautiful figure and color similar to Koa. I will order some Koa and make a second later, but I wanted to make one now so I bought the Brazilian Rosewood.

 I drew a pattern with a red pen then refined it with a black pen. After getting a pattern I liked I flipped it over and marked it heavily with an HB pencil in preparation of transfering it to the wood.
I then flip it back over, lay it onto the wood, and retrace the picture pressing hard to transfer the image to the wood.
If you're not real good at making a pattern but find a good printable picture then all is not lost. download the picture and in an edit program (such as Paint, or Photoshop) flip the picture to a mirror image and adjust the size til it prints the image to the full size you what. Print it on a laser printer or copy it on a laser copier. Don't use a color jet type, because we want the waxy hard ink produced by the laser print/copy process to use in our transfer. Take this printout and lay it face down on the wood and use a hot iron to melt the ink onto the wood.

1 comment:

  1. I will post subsequent steps following it to completion as a necklace with traditional lashing.