Many times as a wood carver we have a set design in mind when in the process of carving down to every last detail. Most times for me it's a simple I am going to carve a; and away I go. Sometimes we have as we are carving the carving changes, maybe we don't like the direction the carving is headed in or maybe half way through we realize we were looking or thinking it all wrong and modify where we were headed.
Sometimes it takes an act of God, or simply a clumsy carver, who mumps the drawing table and down goes the cowboy. A few times mind, just a few, this very same clumsy carver bumps the same said table numerous times or moves it while the carving is standing up and down he goes.
Well one of the times that this cowboy went down the brim of his hat broke and so the decision needed to be made. My first inkling was to carve the brim to match on both sides and so I did. You may have noticed that there are no images of this effort, yes it look so ridiculous that I wouldn't take a picture of him that way.
So now there is nothing left to do but simply remove the hat. At this point the only other question was did I have enough wood up there to do something with it, well luckily I did and now he is possibly one of my favorite carvings to date. There was a song that the main lyric was,
"Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone"
I would say no truer words were spoken I had no idea what I had till the hat was gone.
Well things here are jumping lately got three carvings done recently the first was the old gent on the left then followed that up with the cowboy on the right. The third in the final picture is the unpainted cowboy on the left, he has a whole story all his own so today, let's just focus on the first two.
The gent in the top hat is a re-visited design that I thought I would tweak a little and see if I could improve upon the original. The cowboy is my second of this kind and I just wanted as the previous just to give it another go. These were both carved on a corner block piece of butternut, the same wood I utilize with the carving of my ornaments. The main difference is many of my ornaments are 4" long and these pieces are 6" long to give me more to work with for detailing. I am pleased with the design aspect of the cowboy as I feel he has enough detail to tell the story but I have left out enough to not make him an larger piece than I was hoping for. No sooner was the cowboy carved and painted he was sold to a good friend who seems determined to own all my designs in regard to my carvings.
as I say the third cowboy has a story all his own and i will share his story in the next posting.
Well after donating the pilot I had taken a break from carving to work on the finishing touches on my book. Then this past Friday I had the chance to go visit a friend of mine, Bob Soderholm at his home and bring along a friend and veteran with me who is now interested in carving. Bob and Ed spent some time discussing different aspects of carving as well as various cuts and some terminology for carving. Then they got started on Ed's 1st project with Bob. While this was going on I listened in to what was being taught and of course got out some wood and began carving. I didn't have a game plan but ended up carving a new pilot as the previous one has been transferred to c temporary duty station awaiting his permanent assignment at the end of the raffle. At first I was considering carving this one in the same design as the previous but once I got home I decided to change things up on my newest recruit. This one is a bit old school and still enjoys a cigar when the opportunity presents itself. The first image is what I got done during my time hanging out with Bob and Ed, the ones on the left shortly after having applied the paint and the third was after the sealant had been applied.
Happy with the way he ended up, I carved some bags under his eyes and decided not to dry paint his beard. I also used a different technique in painting the goggles and am happy with the results, may be my new way to paint them.