I think it was Natasha Popova, mammoth carver extraordinaire, who posted this amazing image on "the carving path", a year or more ago. I was so taken with it I saved a copy...and now it seems as though my world revolves around these little creatures.
I've just about finished the final fitting of the mother of pearl wings into the surface of the iron stone, without damaging the natural texture of the iron. At this point I need to decide whether I keep the surface of the wings relatively flat, and allow them to seem more independent of the stone as real wings would... or do I shape them to follow the curve of the stone and create a entirely different, soft feeling, that is at odds with reality but in keeping with the overall feeling I'm trying to evoke with this work.
The thing is, if I keep the wings flat, and straight, then they will appear to be quite thick at the ends and the sense of delicacy will be lost. If, on the other hand, I follow the curve of the stone I can thin them until they are just barely proud of the iron. This way they will be delicate enough but will perhaps appear limp.
This option, the floppy solution, is often seen in Japanese work of the past and although I'm not in this instance trying to follow that example I think I'm leaning toward that option. The other big decider for me is the need for this piece to be very tactile...hmmm, well, I think I've just made my mind up as I've written this, thanks for your help... and for listening ;-)
I'll get back to it and post some more images tomorrow evening.