Wednesday, February 26, 2014

my etsy shop

Cartoons 2 carving now has an etsy shop, it only has one item but it is technically open for business. I will need to take some photos to post more items soon so stop back by in the coming days. For those so inclined I do now and always welcome your prayers on my behalf and on behalf of cartoons2carvings. This will still be a part time venture for me so I have no grand expectations but it will be fun to have my work out there to see what kind of response the carvings receive.

On a side note the cowboy carving has headed out west to Nebraska. He now belongs to my Uncle Dean. He was sent out as a birthday present from my mother, his sister and I couldn't think of any better place I would have him. I really liked the way this one came out and miss not having him here, but my carving is now in my hometown in Nebraska, I couldn't think of a better home than that.

happy trails and as always

Carpe diem carving

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

cowboy carving pt3

Well in the last few days I painted my cowboy. After the initial painting he looked pretty, too pretty. After all he is a cowboy. So I decided I would dirty him up a bit so he looks like he has put in a full days work, maybe mending barb wire fencing. Now he looks like he has earned his keep. Back then you were expected to do just that and not depend on hand outs and freebies to get by. But I digress.

After I first smudged him up I realized something. I realized I didn't get a before picture. This would have been good because the first few minutes after smudging him up the change was so extreme it made me wonder if this was a good choice but after letting him be for a bit I went back and looked at him and was and am happy with the results. Unfortunately the lighting doesn't show all of the smudges but you can get the general idea none the less.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

butternut pt 2

Got another carving done in butternut and even though I am still not placing a larger order for this wood I like the way this one came out. I took a page from renowned carver Don Mertz and only used a knife for this carving, ended up only using one knife the whole carving. I am happy with the results but there were areas where I was tempted to get out a gouge while working the detailing.

I have to say as well that even though I love the look of natural wood grain, I don't like it being so heavy on my carvings. This is as I said before a softer wood than bass at least the batch I got is. You have to pay close attention to the grain when carving or it will split along the fault line of the grain. This can be an issue when you are trying to cut a curved area into the wood. I found that making smaller cuts at times on the edge of the grain can give you the edge you need for this.

Didn't get a chance yesterday so will make sure I put the blades on the strop and clean them up some before I do any more work. What I have always heard is that you should use your strop after every full hour of carving, don't know about you but I am not good at putting a carving down to strop my tools.

Happy trails and 

Carpe diem carving

Monday, February 3, 2014

Carving with Butternut

Well I have carved with the butternut wood and I have to say I am happy with my second attempt but so far I am not a fan of the wood. It is a very nice looking wood and the grain looks good but to date, I am not impressed. Mostly the way it carves, it's too grainy and soft for my taste.

I will say this before I go any further. This is the first time I have carved with butternut and the only time I have bought any. I don't know if this is typical butternut or if this is a high grade or low grade version of the wood. Either way so far not my favorite. I don't hate it and am getting used to the way it carves but seems like you have to be real tender in using gouges or it seems to crumble. I will take some time today and put my tools to the strop to make sure the issue isn't in my tools, which it could be. Overall the wood is ok but for now ranks up there with cotton wood bark, not a big fan of this wood either. I quess when it comes down to it, in fish and wood I like bass. Of course one is easier to come by then the other, at least where I fish.

Happy trails and 

Carpe diem carving

Saturday, February 1, 2014

tool storage

Well I am not a big buck kinda guy so I don't have the largest set of tools nor do I have a lot of custom boxes to store my tools. Recently I found a box at Big Lots that stores my knives and gouges quite nicely. It has two levels, the lower having enough room to store extras like my carving gloves, mesh sanding paper, extra pair of reading glasses and my compact strop from Flexcut. The upper level holds my carving knives and gouges. For now I have them laying down though I have considered cutting holes in the floor of this section and having the handles sticking upright. I will use it the way it is for now and see how I like it. I also have a smaller version of the box that I might play around with to see if it would do better but for now I like this the way it is set up. Someday I may try my hand at building a box for my tools but I would rather put my money towards wood or tools those few times I have any to spare.
I recently ordered some butternut wood and will try it out and will let you know how it carves from my perspective. Also from the Art From the Bark Facebook page I got a great tip from Kathy Overcash. She uses chalk mechanical pencils to mark her carvings. She explains it all in her tip of the day so click the link and check it out. I have ordered a set from Amazon and will give feedback on those in the no so distant future as well.

Happy trails and as always

Carpe diem carving