Sunday, September 30, 2012

wood spirit hair

Well I had most of my family saying I needed to do something with the upper portion of the wood spirit so I did. I have to admit it does look complete now, so hope you enjoy. If you don't, "don't tell me I don't want to know".

Famous quote from what show and who said it?

There were some issues with this but if you didn't catch them by now, I'm not going to be the one to point them out.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

cottonwood bark

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.     

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

with color

 Here is the final product. I am thinking of re-sanding the base and doing something different with that but other than that issue I am fairly happy with this one. I left the beard plain and think it works well for this carving. I also watered down the paint so the grain still comes through even through the uniform blouse.

Next I will try another bust but maybe change him to a WWI pilot or possibly a dough boy in honor of my grandpa who served in France in WWI. This was a nice change of pace though and am anxious to get started on the next one like it. Will do an ornament or two while waiting for my wood order from Heinecke wood. Will be a small window on this since I put it in an order a few days ago. I won't have too much time to wait they ship extremely fast, at least I think so.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

something new something old

 Well finally I have carved something different, so for the two of you who visit my blog a bit of variety. I carved a civil war soldier bust and am happy with the end result. I based this one on a Carving Magazine article from my buddy down south, Mark Akers. I didn’t do this in the proper size, it should be carved from a 3” block, and mine due to my scroll saw limitations was cut from a 2” block. Don’t make my mistake, take the time to read the article and not just glance at the pictures. Do most of you do this too, is the part of what makes people able to carve also present a contrary attitude towards the written word? I will put some thought into this and get back with you and of course anyone that has an opinion, chime in.

So here is the carving, the head was done separately as you have seen and then attached to the body. I believe the original had a 1/2” hole drilled in the body to insert the neck. Because of the size difference I drilled a 3/8” hole and it seems to work fine and is just snug enough to hold it steady. I did have some issue with the brim of the cap, I actually broke it at one point after the carving was done.Wood glue works wonders and now the cap is fixed. Maybe I carved this a tad thinner than I needed. I will be more cautious in handling it on my next attempt. Just like the Santa ornaments I will revisit this carving to see what lessons learned moments might occur, there are always lesson learned moments. I know I want to slow down and put more time into the beard and hair. I thought I rushed this a bit on this one, lesson learned.

Monday, September 17, 2012

more faces

Here are three faces from the same rough-out corner cut. I have been playing around with the faces to carve a variety. There are one or two things I still want to do to them before I go into the painting process. I know I should only show one at a time to make it look like I am being productive each day with my blog but it looks to be a busy week so better get this posted while I can. I will also experiment with the rough-out and not cut as much into it to give me more freedom in designing the character.

 I will be experimenting with the colors as well. I want to do one in camouflage but not sure if I have a good grip on how to paint this and make it look realistic. Bad camouflage just looks bad, ya know. Well to quote my fellow Nebraskan, Larry the cable guy, I better finish this and go “Git R Done”. Now that’s funny, I don’t care who you are.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

This past Thursday

So this past Thursday I went up to Richmond and spent time with the James River Wood Carvers. It was about an hour to an hour and a half drive depending on traffic from my home. It was at the local Woodcraft store on West Broad Street in Glen Allen. They meet every Thursday, I believe the official time is 1:30 but I got there around 1:00 maybe a little after and there were people already there. I think it broke up around 3:30 or 4:00 and still people were staying around talking about painting techniques and more. There was almost every style of carving being represented the day I was there. It was a good time and I am sure I will be heading back up to carve with them when my schedule permits.

This is a must for any carver to get involved with other carvers whenever the opportunity presents itself. It’s not just the carving time but it is also the shared conversation during and after carving that brings value to the time invested. There must be some value to it if I am recommending it. For those who know me, I am not known to be one who joins in with groups or functions. This is just not part of my make-up, really, ask my wife. From the time Thursday, I was also connected with a carver about 30 minutes from my home. He and I got together on Friday and spent 3 to 3 ½ hours talking about carving, families and faith. We will in the next few weeks get together to carve and share tips and techniques that hopefully will benefit both of us. 

If you have the time and you are near Richmond please go by to meet the carvers at Woodcraft on any given Thursday. They are there every week and are welcome to any and everyone who wants to carve. For those not near Richmond check in carving magazines and Woodcraft stores to see if there is a group near you. If you have the time to carve you have the time to carve with somebody.