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Encaustic Carving & Incising Tools

Disclosure: Diamond Core Tools sent me two free tools to review.

Artists painting with encaustic use clay tools for scraping, incising and carving into the wax. Thanks to this Instagram video from Cathy Nichols I discovered Zebratools by Diamond Core Tools! Diamond Core Tools is a manufacturer of high-quality tools for ceramic artists.  I am so happy to introduce these beautiful Zebratools to the readers of the All Things Encaustic blog.

I have both the P1 V-tip Zebrawood Pencil Carver and The K1 V-Tip Zebra Carver. These carvers give more control than any other carving/incising tool I’ve used! They are both beautiful but I do have a slight preference for the Pencil Carver. You can adjust the blade angle of both tools but the Pencil Carver also has a built-in stylus and a comfortable foam grip.

As you can see from Cathy’s video demo, the V-shaped tip of the Pencil Carver glides effortlessly through the wax leaving clean narrow incised lines—no burs!

NOTE: Use on soft wax. Carving on cold, hard wax will bend and can break the tip. If this happens to you, don’t despair, replacement tips are available from Diamond Core Tools.

Zebratools are sharp, much sharper than ordinary loop tools and the blades are self-sharpening. The carvers are constructed of hand-made exotic zebrawood handles and designed to be ergonomic to minimize fatigue and muscle strain.

Today I took the tools with me to The Hive Encaustic Studio at The Alton Mill in Caledon, Ontario. Six of us tried them out and it was unanimous. We all thought they were wonderful!

At $36 US, they are an investment to be sure but one you won’t regret making. You’ll reach for this tool time and time again for years to come and every time you do you’ll appreciate its beauty and design.

About Ruth Maude

I enjoy experimenting with a variety of encaustic materials, techniques and tools. Everything I learn pushes my creative journey in new directions. I share what I've learned with other artists through my blog All Things Encaustic.

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10 thoughts on “Encaustic Carving & Incising Tools”

  1. I was wondering if you could use this tool for writing words in wax. how well does it do small curves like in the letter ‘a’ – and how small could you go? You mention two types P1V and K1V and I do not understand the difference between the two.

    1. I haven’t tried to carve words but I think it would work well. These are used a lot by potters. The difference between the P and K tools is just in the handle. The P is a pencil style handle and it is my favourite of the two.

  2. Dee Gutowski-Smith

    Thanks Ruth. I read the article, went right to their web site and my carvery is on the way to my house. Excited to try it. Dee in Johannesburg, Michigan.

      1. Just realized I have not sent my review. I ordered the wrong tool for my needs. I need a stronger scraper. First pass, it bent…I do love the thin pencil like shape. I use the pointed end often, but use the ‘business ‘ end only for delicate carving.
        Thanks for all you do to keep us informed.

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