So in keeping with the soldier scenario, I started a new carving within the past few days. I of course have done a few pilot ornaments, yes, my most recent garnered a 1st place ribbon in the most recent CCA competition. I have also done a few soldiers like the one I recently posted the movie about. Well I thought I would do a soldier with the old pilot crusher cap like they wore in WWII. So far I am happy with what I have started and will try and get some work on it in the next day or two when time permits.
Well the excitement of the ribbons just like Christmas morning has
passed and now it's back to work. I went to Kroger last week and the DAV had a table set up, passing out pamphlets and business cards. Well low and behold their office was on the same street as the recycle center that I was preparing to go and drop off some crushed cans. So I decided to stop in and introduce myself and see if I could help out. Of course my way of helping out had a carvers twist to it.
I had previously carved a soldier that I wanted to donate to a veterans group somehow and when I couldn't make that happen I gave it to our vet, Veterinarian that is. He is a wonderful vet as well as an Army vet. He has taken care of our animals for 22 years. He served as a Vet in the Army so it was fitting that it goes to him.
So I now have carved another soldier, this one has been given a Butternut wood base and I placed an old Army button on the front to help decorate the carving. He will be auctioned off for the local DAV chapter. I will see if I can get more information on the auction once it is set up and will post it here and on my Facebook page for those who may want to participate. I am pleased with how this one came out and more importantly I am honored to help our local DAV in even my small way.
Many or at least one or two may remember back around the 6th I had everything ready to ship off to the CCA, Caricature Carvers of America competition. Well as you see they made it home today, just as every year before since my 1st entries back in 2012 it's like Christmas. Your package arrives and even though you part of what is inside there is the other part you don't know. How did they do? Well this was certainly a wonderful Christmas for me as my pilot carving won a blue ribbon, first one that has been brought home. I thought last year's second place would be the highlight of my carving career. I am slowly becoming known for my Army Air Corp pilots as well as having carvings with pipes and cigars so this guy represents me well.
Many know the verse
Matthew 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the seas; and there was great calm.
Well in this house it's more like "O me of little faith". I actually told my youngest son that I would probably never win a blue ribbon to which he replied, "what is the best you have received so far?" and I told him it was the red that I received last year. His reply was simple, "so you can win 2nd but don't think you could win a 1st". And you wonder why we are called to have the faith of a child.
So will this change my overall confidence, probably not. Will I ever doubt my abilities as a carver compared to some of the talented carvers I know, probably so. Yet for this one moment in time I can bask in the joy of my efforts and be thankful for the gifts I have been given. As for tomorrow, it will have to take care of itself.
Well the holiday season will be fast upon us so this summer even though I had projects that fell by the waste side the one thing that I got done was to carve an ornament or two. Here is the line up so far but more should be coming soon. The ones in the movie are just the ones that fit on the display, there are more that will be in the shop in the up coming weeks.
All painted and awaiting some sealant. This little guy ended up being a fun project and he has convinced me he would be a fun carving pattern for the "book". I really had fun with the painting process with this one, after the basic colors were done here are a few things I did to enhance this little guy.
First off I took some of the orange and yellow left over from the flame, added a bit more water then painted it on around the upper portion of the candle to give the feel of the top becoming illuminated from the flame. I also mixed up some black, dark blue and white to paint around the upper lip and the chin area to give a hint of a five o'clock shadow. I also used a bit of this right below the eyes to soften the color in that area. Many people have asked me about painting the flame and it is as it looks. First I paint the whole flame with yellow, then around the base of the flame I come in with some watered down orange and take that up a bit shy of half way to the top. At the tip of the flame I paint some white then come back with a wet brush and blend it towards the middle of the flame. For me this process has worked well for my carvings.
As for the book of patterns, summer vacation is coming to a close and now will begin the time when I get my act together, set a schedule and work the schedule. Not sure if any new characters will be created or if I will simply work from what I have now. That is the plan, and as mentioned in the previous post, the pattern for this guy will be included in the "book".
So I tried my hand at carving my candle cartoon and ugh, didn't like it a bit. Actually during the carving process of the first one I wasn't happy of the direction it was heading so I got out the trusty band saw and roughed out another one.
Originally the plan was to simply throw the first one away and start over but then I thought why not learn from this one in preparation for the next one to carve, and so I did. There is really nothing about the first one that I like but the next one, yeah, I'm liking this one. I changed the way I was cutting him out, making his proportions better prepare me for the carving process. The funny part here is I had a more narrow rough out from the second one but ended up with a thicker candle in the process. I also left some body on the candlestick width wise and believe this was a wise call to make. Overall I am extremely happy with him and can't wait to begin the painting process. On a side note if and when I put a book of patterns together watch for this one, he'll be in it.
Back on July 12 of this year I had shown a study stick and the how to steps for carving a nose. Well one evening I decided to flip the stick over and to carve a nose or two on the back. Well this idea snowballed and before I knew it I had carved in a face, then another and finally one more. All three faces have a bit of variety in the length and shape of the nose and all three have different facial features from each other.
This ended up being a fun little project and I plan to do more down the road. I have to say that the last face carved is my favorite, I could see him as a farmer or a cowboy or who knows, maybe a baseball player. If you look real close you may notice he has a bit of a bulge near his lower lip, looks like he has "a pinch between his cheek and gums". Maybe the next one I will do will have eyes on one side and then who knows maybe ears. I recommend this for all caricature carvers to give it a go, you will be glad you did.
So when we last saw this one he was carved and ready for paint and I was thinking that after the painting process it would give me a better feel for how I felt about him. I do have to say that I did like the way he came out in the end and I was surprised by all the positive feedback he received. In the end to me he looked like jockey more than anything else with the shape of the cap and the goggles mounted on top.
In the end, though I wasn't happy with the way he came about, I am happy with the way he ended up. So much so that he joined the ranks of the CCA competition entries that I have sent off this year. They have already arrived in Converse and are awaiting the judging which will be on the 18th of August. The judging is private and I won't know how I did till the carvings make their way home. Below I have posted my full line up of entries. This will be my 4th year entering the competition with last year being my best year by placing second with my found wood carving.
Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptors to discover it. Michelangelo With this carving no truer words were spoken and when I was carving in a way that pleased the wood it would let me know. At the end of carving this one I debated the concept of just admitting my defeat and throwing the whole thing away and forgetting the time spent carving it. At the last minute I decided "OK, you don't like the way it looks well carve away and either completely destroy it or save it from its impending doom" and so I did. At first I took a few major cuts out of frustration and then I slowly saw a direction that I could go that may interest me. So when all was said and done I had a salvaged carving with a unique design to it, did this make me like it more than before, not in the least. I am fairly honest with myself about where I think I stand in the carving community. I know what talents I have and what talents I still lack and I am fine with that. Some say I am too hard on myself yet I tend to believe I am a realist. Either way I hate salvage jobs when it comes to carving. Whether due to my mistake or whether I have come across a less than perfect piece of wood to carve. No matter which it may be, the carving process is complete and he will be given color before I make the final call on what becomes his fate. But I have to say I kinda like the design quality of this one, maybe Michelangelo was right and I was simply trying to carve what simply wasn't there.