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coagula December 31st, 2013


Welcome to Jackbird Arts!

Herein you’ll find a record of my adventures in small-scale metalwork and carving, as well as occasional writings.  Enjoy!



Bonnie Henderson-Winnie



bear + fish + stars March 18th, 2019

Bear + Fish + Stars

sashi netsuke and ojime set

ebony, bloodwood, salvaged piano key ivory, mammoth ivory, 14k white gold, sterling silver

7.2cm x 2.5cm x .7 cm (2 and 7/8 in. x 1 in. x 3/8 in.)

The second of three sashi netsuke and ojime sets based on three-card combinations from the Lenormand oracle deck.

(additional views of fish ojime here )

Clover + Key + Sun and  Bear + Fish + Stars.  Now just Tree + Heart + Book to finish!

fish ojime July 20th, 2018

Fish ojime
(companion to Fish+Bear+Stars netsuke, in progress)

mastodon ivory

2.9cm x 1.1cm x 1.1cm (3/4 in. x 7/16 in. x 7/16 in.)



schreger patterns in ivory as fish scales/water pattern








bottom of bead


(roughed beginning)

crow inlay for sparkly guitar April 17th, 2018

Crow inlay designed for an extra sparkly Fender telecaster.

ebony, eggshell, pigment, turquoise dust, crow feathers, stage glitter, poetry


Ink tracings of several versions.

Ink tracing of selected design positioned and applied to inlay field on guitar.


Inlay channel cut, leveled, and poiia planted at the bottom. (Lines from “Two Legends” by Ted Hughes, from “Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow”, Faber & Faber 1972)


The binder.


Crow feather threads.


Feather threads laid into first layer of ebony.


More ebony applied, countless stars appear.


Then clouds.


Internal lining cut and inlaid with powdered eggshell, pigment, and powdered turquoise.


Bright eye in progress.


Completed inlay.


Reassembled guitar, back in action!




Clover + Key + Sun February 5th, 2018

Clover + Key + Sun

sashi netsuke and ojime set

ebony, bloodwood, salvaged piano key ivory, mammoth ivory, 14k gold, sterling silver

7.3cm x 2.5cm x .9 cm (2 and 7/8 in. x 1 in. x 3/8 in.)


commemorative disks March 6th, 2015

Commemorative disks for The Red Door Project’s August Wilson Monologue Competition (Portland)

copper, 1″ x 1/16″

hand-stamped, patinated



Protected: prototypes II March 2nd, 2015

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Protected: prototypes January 14th, 2015

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flesher October 13th, 2014


Nox Luna

Sol 2o* Libra

Luna wn 69%v at 1*Cancer



Fleshing knife with hand-forged carbon steel blade. Handle of carved and inlaid pink ivory wood, bronze, salvaged piano key ivory.

28cm long, 15.2cm x 2.5cm blade  (11 in. long, 6 in. x 1 in. blade)




















fly eggs & larva inlay July 28th, 2014



Carving the fly eggs inlay for knife handle in salvaged piano key ivory.





more larvae!


flesher_larva inlayhandleloose

pre-fitting one of the larva inlays into roughed handle





closeup of fly egg cluster after inlay, before light staining

in progress July 2nd, 2014


sketch, carved guards (bronze), handle rough (pink ivory wood), and forged blade for “Flesher” knife


flesher in progress

Runic talisman February 17th, 2014

Talisman to Assist in Runic Studies (gift)

Nox Saturnus

Sol 27* Aquarius, Luna FULL  in Virgo

Stag antler, brass, camphor wood, red ocher (iron oxide), jet, pigment

9.5cm x 3.2cm x  1.9cm  (3.75 in. x 1.25in. x .75in.)









critique: first forged knife February 4th, 2014

Nox Luna

Sol 15* Aquarius, Luna wx 30%v at 14* Aries

Hand-forged steel, brass, ebony, mosaic pins

about 8.5 in. long




– It’s a functional knife! Not too thick, not too klunky. Nice weight and shape. Feels good in hand. I think it’s a pretty good for being the first one. This was one of three blades I forged in the first class day. The other two were ugly and not usable. Getting consistently good results and achieving what I set out to make each time will take a lot more practice.

-It sharpened up quickly and has a very fine edge. Time and use will tell if it holds the edge well.

-It was SO MUCH FUN.



-The edge bevels should have been deeper and cleaner. Use correct stance at the belt sander!

-A deeper finger guard notch would have been nice.

– The blade has a slightly thicker area about an inch back from the point. It may actually be a happy accident in that it gives the tip more strength, but it wasn’t intentional.

-The point ended up being quite rounded. Had to reshape the point after T sharpened it. I was pretty grumpy that I overlooked it.

-I didn’t anneal and flatten the brass liners before bonding them to the blade and ebony pieces. One of the visible “wing” projections that extend out on to the blade on each side (I put my maker’s mark on one of them) had a little bit of upward bend, pulled away from the blade.  It’s slight, probably half a millimeter if that, but it’s there. I had to fill it in with epoxy to be sure it was all sealed.

– We didn’t put the ebony on another piece of wood when drilling through, and so of course it chipped out in a couple of places on one side. Filled with ebony dust and glue. Not too ugly, sealed and solid.

-I didn’t rotate the mosaic pins so that the axes of their patterns aligned. Even reminded myself to do this beforehand, but forgot. D’oh!

wasp pointer December 27th, 2013

Nox Venus

Sol 6* Capricorn

Luna wn 18%v at 9* Scorpio


Wasp Pointer

Lector’s pointer of cedar, rose cane, mammoth ivory, Siberian jet, copper, iron, ebony, sterling silver

63.7 cm X 1.9cm   (25 in.  x .75 in.)


The main shaft is made of cedar, a remnant of the piano sacrificed during Moe Staiano’s Moe!kestra improvised orchestral performance of “Death of a Piano”. The handle grip is made from thick rose cane hollowed to take the shaft, which is wrapped in alternating layers of iron and copper wire. The wasp on the carved section of mammoth ivory is inlaid with Siberian jet.






















wasp pointer: in progress December 26th, 2013








broken stones pendant August 17th, 2013

Dies Venus

Sol 24* Leo

Luna wx 74%v at 24* Sagittarius


Broken Stones Pendant

Commissioned talisman pendant made with client’s recently removed gall stones.

Sterling silver, brass, resin, gall stones

3.8 cm X 2.5 cm   (1.5 in.  x 1 in.)




A diminutive golden arrow breaks through the mass of stones.



abyssus abyssum invocat July 18th, 2013

Dies Mercurius

Sol 26* Cancer

Luna wx in Sagittarius, 78%v


Abyssus Abyssum Invocat

ebony, bloodwood, pink ivory wood, narwhal horn, brass, sterling, gold

11.4cm diameter X 1cm   (4.5 in. dia. x .40 in.)






“Abyssus abyssum invocat in voce cataractum tuarum;

Omnes gurgites tui et fluctus tui super me transierunt.”

-Ps. 42:7


on the bench- a.a.i. July 18th, 2013

Work on the disk continues…

Next, the interlocking inlay pieces for the Khepera and Sun obverse are cut and filed (and filed, and filed) until they fit tightly together. The Sun disk is a slice of narwhal horn, and the wheel-corona is made of a thin slice of ebony.




These pieces are then test-fit onto the foundation disk. Their outlines are marked, and a cavity is routed to allow the inlays to seat down firmly into the (itself inlaid) recess.




Once adjusted and fit, The narwhal horn pieces are fixed in place, and the floor of the “grub cave” is covered with a mix of red woods similar to what constitutes the inlaid red circle at the perimeter. The wheel and scarab are installed next, and the process of final refinement and cleanup begins.


The installation and rough carving of the heart panel on the reverse has just been done in this image.


The same side after more refinement and polishing. The silver signature cartouche is visible at the bottom.


on the bench – grub April 29th, 2013

Making the scarab larva from part of the narwhal horn slice:










Burnishing the inlay of gold leaf in eye socket.






shots from the bench- currently in progress: a.a.i. April 2nd, 2013



Wall of hearts: a plethora of sketches for the reverse of the disk.  It’s taken a year + for the elements of this piece to become clear, and the selection of just the right image for the reverse concluded the initial design process. It’s not unusual for talismanic pieces for a particular individual to take months to formulate. Some come quickly, others take time, depending on the complexity of the forces to be housed and my ability to determine right relationship between the appropriate images and materials once they are discovered.


Version selected- this image will be transferred to the bloodwood panel, and the image will be carved into it once fixed to the ebony base.



The foundation is made: two pieces of ebony, with one layer of bloodwood between them are laminated together between steel pressing disks. When cut, a thin red line will show in the center of the outside perimeter face.


Parts and patterns for obverse and reverse of disk.




Khepera emerges from an ebony blank.


A recess is made in the center of the finished ebony/bloodwood foundation disk plate, and a single 2mm pearl is placed inside. The hole is then filled and sealed with ebony.

pearlinthehole_clsp The hidden pearl in the hole at the heart of the disk.


The hole in the center has been completely sealed and cured, and next the hand-cut and inlaid motto in bronze 220 is itself inlaid into the cavity carved in the disk.


Next, the bloodwood panel is inlaid and the entire piece is placed under the pressing disks for 24 hours.

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