Thursday, August 30, 2012

Durante Claus ribbon winner

What a difference a week makes. This was truly a good week for me. I got a new “old” roll top desk on Sunday. This has always been a dream of mine to own one, don’t know why just love them. This one was made by the T.G. Sellew Company in New York a few years ago.

If that wasn’t enough excitement for the week, I also entered in the Caricature Carvers Competition this past week. My first time entering a carving competition so was very happy with a ribbon. The interesting part of this was along the line of a conversation I had with another carver a few weeks ago. What would the classification of the carving be? Since this carving was not a “carving in the round” a carving done on all four sides, it was classified as a relief carving. A relief carving is usually done from a flat piece of wood, and the carving appears to rise out of the wood. Technically since Durante Claus was carved from a corner cut piece of wood it would be considered a high relief opposed to a medium relief. The back of the carving has been hollowed out to make it as light as possible since it is meant to be hung on a Christmas tree.

For those of you getting into carving for the first time learn the terms and styles of carving. This will help you understand what tools you will need to pursue your newly found interest. There are a number of sites that you can go to to learn the terminology, Wood Carver Online is a good one as well as Chip Away. As always  check out a magazine or two and see which one matches your interest in carving. Remember, the more you know the more you grow.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Making Politically correct history

My youngest son decided to watch one of our many cartoon collection DVD’s, we have a wide variety from “Tom and Jerry” to “Droopy”. Even though the cartoons vary by character there is one thing that is the same, a disclosure or an apology at the beginning of the cartoons. Someone, usually a Hollywood type politically correct in every way, explains how these are insensitive in there depiction of someone or something of that era. 

I know you are thinking this is about the cartoons of today and how they are nothing like the cartoons we grew up with and you would be right but no, even though I could make that point, not today. No this is more about the idea that we now have to apologies for everything that has ever happened in history that was either offensive or intolerant no matter how long ago it was. Now normally this is about wood carving but today I have to rant because I am sick of Hollywood making my kids and me feel bad for watching "Tom n Jerry" opposed to the crap on t.v today, yes crap. Obviously we know better than they did we don't wear those weird clothes that they used to wear, do we? My question is why do we have to do this? Are we now in such a perfect state, sinless in all that we do as a society that we now may pass judge on all that have come before? Maybe we should focus on today, getting today right and then tomorrow, preparing for tomorrow. It was once said that you can’t drive a car spending all your attentions in the rear view mirror. Maybe we need to refocus our efforts, instead of looking back in pious judgment on those who came before maybe we should focus on who we are and try to improve upon our short comings, if we actually have any that is.
Oh and LIGHTEN UP it’s a cartoon for goodness sake

Monday, August 13, 2012

another tool time

 I have talked in the past about some of the tools I have, referring to carving knives. Here I will cover the power tools I utilize in the carving process, and there are not many, but not many needed. At present I own a Shopsmith band saw (needs a blade) and a scroll saw. The scroll saw is a 16” so cutting 2” is about as deep as it can cut.  Since I am currently mostly working on Santa ornaments carved from a corner cut this works just fine for the current project. Some day I hope to take my Shopsmith mini and set it up to run the band saw straight from here. I still have the old motor from the unit, so all I will need to do is purchase a pulley system to connect the two. For now I can hook it up to the big Shopsmith the standard way, yes I have a regular and a mini Shopsmith.

Previously I showed how I create a rough cut using a homemade template and I have to say it works really well and a time saver to boot. The other day I made another homemade carving aide, this one helps me cut blocks into corner cuts. Made totally from scrap wood. It is in a 45 degree angle and has room in the back to use clamps to hold it in place. In the future I will build one that is “V” shaped, this style holds the block in place firmly, but due to the depth that my scroll will cut I had no room to play with here. Most of my corner cut ornaments are being carved out of 1 ½ bass wood so in cutting a corner cut this means I am cutting a 2” depth. I don’t get a perfect cut from these and I am not always getting a perfect cut down center since there is some slight movement with the scroll based on the thickness of the wood.

That’s the good news, the bad news is that I hit my finger on a table saw blade, removed a layer of skin and won’t be carving for a week or so. This happened last Wednesday and so far it is healing up nicely so won’t be too long before I can put pressure on it again. Tried my carving glove on the day or so after it happened, bad idea, really bad idea. 

Live, learn then don't do it again