Now this area brings up the age old debate with carvers, do you sand any or just carve. Well for the extreme veterans carvers I would say it is safe to say that most do not utilize any sanding. There are some that do though, two that come to mind are Ian Norbury and Mark Gargac. Both of these carvers are open to utilizing any tool that will enhance the carving, Mark has said that sanding can enhance the face and help soften the features. Ian is a sculptor and he utilizes sanding in his work and even has made custom sanding sticks to reach areas that are hard to get to. Both will advise that if you use sand paper make sure to clean off the wood before you continue with carving due to the fact that the sand paper leaves behind residue that will damage the edge of your tool.
So where do I stand on this, simple, I am not to the level of carving that I was successful in not creating fuzzies on my cowboy so for this carving I will either use a diamond file set to try and clean it up or I will use some mesh sandpaper to try and clean up my mistakes. Either way I will do what it takes to complete this carving to the best of my abilities, putting ego to the side and getting it ready to be painted. It is the end result that matters in a carving. The test for me is how much time to I spend with a piece when it is completed, that will be the final factor in how happy I am with the carving. So until we meet again,
Carpe diem carving