Well I have been learning new things as of late and the newest is carving on cottonwood bark. This is a soft wood and has a strong grain to it so you need to be mindful of this when carving. With this wood it seems like you can peel off layers fairly easy and it does chip easy at least from my experience last night. I have an local carving mentor up in Williamsburg, Bob Soderholm, who has taken on the task sharing his carving knowledge with me and helping me to refine my carving skills. It is his fault that I am carving in cottonwood.
Yesterday during the day we got together and worked on a wood spirit. He used the Mark Gargac video to teach from then he would follow up with additional information while we proceeded to carve the piece. We are probably half way through maybe so I bought another piece of cottonwood from him with the idea that I might carve some over the weekend. Well even though low on sleep from the night before due to our youngest dog who sleeps on our bed and doesn't share space well at times, I decided while still somewhat fresh in my head I would try my hand at what I had learned. Here is a few pics of what I got done so far, might still come in and do some clean up, possibly carve in some detail for hair.
The verdict is still out on the cottonwood. I will share more as I move forward with this and see how the final piece from class comes out.