Saturday, April 30, 2016

carving tool handles

Well recently I tried my hand at carving some of Steve Browns tool handles, not my best work, not my worst but not my best. This kind of took me out of my normal carving procedure since with my ornaments I carve from a corner block and these are flat. Now I could have taken my time, did some research and came up with a game plan but instead I took out my knives and just started carving, not the best approach. Made me wonder how many times in life I do this, you know the old "damn the torpedoes! Full steam ahead" attitude.

There are times in life this is not only the preferred approach but the only approach, but this was not one of those times. I tend to do this a lot, for example, many if not most carvers draw a portion of what they are getting ready to carve as guide lines but for the most part I just carve away. This is not necessarily a good or bad thing this is simply the approach I take. But in regard to the handles it would have been better to come up with a game plan and think through my approach before carving. None the less the damage is done and the carvings are complete and in some ways I like the end result and how I made lemonade out of lemons but I think I could have done better and will the next time I carve these. As for the design aspect of these carvings I think they have some fun detail and overall I don't hate them. But they can't all be the prize winning pig now can they.

as always,
Good night and may God bless 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

game plan 2016 pt 2

Well it took a few days painting here and there when time permitted but this group of ornaments is now painted with protective sealant applied. I can honestly say I am happy with this group and the progress of the game plan thus far.

Now that they are complete it is time to regroup and either carve a few more ornaments or begin working on illustrations to either be potential carving patterns or water color illustrations for a possible coffee table book. I need to make a decision on this and also on how soon I will begin to put some of the ornaments in the shop. I also will need to decide how many I will carve for the upcoming year but I overall I feel comfortable that I am off to a good start. I do have a few design ideas floating around in my noggin and hopefully will have something to show in the upcoming weeks.

as always,
 Good night and may God bless

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

found wood carving 2016 pt 2

Well this guy is done and I have to say as he slowly came together I began to really see a wonderfully fun carving. Of course there were some disappointing moments along the way like the small branch that would have been an appendage broke while carving in some additional detail. Once the final detail was carved into the stick character and he was painted I was taken aback by his legs connecting to the base, to me he looked incomplete. Now the issue, he was a skinny piece of wood and I would need to figure out how to carve some feet that would match up with the rest of the carving.

To have a better chance of things matching up I cut a piece of the same wood that he was carved from to what I thought would be a good length and then cut that piece in half. This would be the starting point for his boots. Since he looks a bit hobo-ish I thought I would continue that theme and give him some vintage looking boots and one of the two boots would have a hole with his toes sticking out of them.

Being that this can be a bit of a hard wood for knives I got out the old reliable Dremel. Once I knew it was the basic size and shape that I liked I would come back with the carving knives and wood burner to complete the detailing process. Originally I had the carving centered on the base but now I would have to shift him to keep from having the boot protruding beyond the base. I use copper wire to attach the carving to the base and for this one I used two pieces of copper to keep them from turning on the base. Once the boots were painted and the sealant applied I knew this was the right decision and well worth the extra effort. What makes this guy special is every piece of wood counting the base was gathered from the family farm in West Va.

as always, 
Good night and may God bless

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

found wood carving 2016

 Some may remember the found wood carving that I did last year and ended up garnishing a 2nd place ribbon at the CCA competition. Well we had some time to visit the family in WVA again and I found a few more pieces of wood to consider carving. This is the first one of the new batch, I really like him and think he really has a wonderful personality. I am never sure how I am going to carve these guys so it is fun for me to watch the carving slowly transform. The base that he is on is from the homestead as is the branch that is making a makeshift arm and hand of sorts.
 The only thing I wasn't happy with was the bald looking head so I carved in some very simplistic hair right below the hat. I thought this broke up the space better and gave more detail to the overall carving. Unfortunately while carving the hair in the little twig broke so I will have to either just not have any hint of an arm or come up with a new way to approach the idea. I have an idea in the back of my head so will consider this and see if it plays out the way I am thinking it will.

Yet arm or no arm for a found piece of wood overall I am very happy with this one and look forward to the next one I carve.
as always, 
Good night and may god bless 

Friday, April 8, 2016

game plan 2016

Every year I usually stop carving from January to the middle to the end of February. I do this because I am so active carving and painting from November through December for my shop. Of course then March rolls around and I begin to carve different things, bust carvings and maybe an entry or two for the CCA competition in August. All of a sudden it's October and I realize I need to get busy preparing some ornaments. This has been my process for the past two years.

Once again I have decided for the upcoming year to think outside the box and see what else I may want to carve and to date I have no plans to enter the CCA competition this year. The exception to all this is that I have told myself I want to carve a few ornaments each month so that I have plenty by the time we get to the holiday season. I don't want to be pressured during the season that I need to fill up my shop to the point that I can't enjoy the holidays with my family.

So to date I have carved about ten ornaments, two were carved last year. I of course will need to have a painting party soon to get caught up but so far so good. As long as I see a variety in my work I am happy. I will be ordering some more butternut soon since I believe this wood matches my style both for carving and painting. You have to love it when a plan comes together.

as always, 
Good night and may God bless