The digging is almost over and the inside is fairly smooth. I think it will need finishing by hand with a piece of ‘wet and dry’ sandpaper. This would bring out the colours which are relatively muted at the moment but will become much stronger with each progression through the grades of paper. How strong I want them to be is a difficult question to answer. Normally when working with less ‘glamorous’ stones my tendency is to err on the side of a fairly matt finish. I find too silky a finish distracting from the form which I suppose I consider to be the most important thing in sculpture. With this onyx however it is so ‘glamorous’ I am going to let it shine like some glorious multi coloured bird of paradise. It would seem very churlish to hold it back even if I am more accustomed to less glamour. This fantastical bird is so alien to me, unlike the muted browns that we find on our native birds for instance, or the clothes on our native peoples for that matter. In the picture I have wetted a patch to show how the colour will change.