Sunday, February 7, 2016

ornaments, really?

Yes, ornaments, I spent the last two nights dusting off the carving tools and carved two ornaments. I haven't carved in a bit as I usually take some time off after the holidays and let the tools cool down. These two guys have something similar to most my carvings but also have something that is not that similar to my carvings of late. As you see the two carvings are Santa ornaments which is not unusual for me to carve though usually not at this time of the year. What is unusual is these two are carved in bass wood opposed to butternut. This past year the majority of my ornaments have been done in butternut wood and honestly will probably continue to be. I get a wonderful antique look for my ornaments with this wood with its strong and expressive grain. Yet this year I will be carving more bass wood or at least at present time this is what I believe to be my goal, but things can change so don't hold me to this.

 The first of the two is a squinting happy Santa with as you see a big smile on his face. One thing I do is to keep very simple lines when it comes to the teeth, for my ornaments there are times when less is more. I could carve out each tooth but sometimes this can make the carving seem busy. For most if they see a carving with a mouth wide open and a large white area they simply accept this as the characters teeth, not needing to see every one of them carved in detail.

The second is a Santa trying to catch a snowflake on his tongue. I have penciled in were the eyeballs may be painted but may change this once the paints are out. I have considered having them either looking up more as if to be trying to find the perfect snowflake or having them looking down at his nose, possibly verifying that what he caught was in actuality a snowflake. Either will help with the telling of the story and this is what we try to do with each carving, convey an expression that your mind can attach a story line to. This is what after all the faces I have carved continues to make carving faces a joy and challenge.

as always, 
"Good night and may God bless" 

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