re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

# 40 Wood Carving: New whale coming.

New whale is laying on the table. It is to be a humpback whale.  This whale is easily identified by its distinctive fins and its “hump” when it dives.  It also has unique spots on its jaws, upper and lower, and on its fins.  The humpback tail is also rather ragged looking, with gaps, gouges or notches along the edges.

Here is a  good beginning, the fins look kind of cool, but need more work.

Humpback, upsidedown, 12″ x 3″ x 3″

The tail doesn’t look right yet, but it has potential.  There is plenty of wood in the tail section.  I am trying to get some movement in the whale so I left a large block on the end and I am working to twist the spine of the whale and thus the tail.  When complete it is to look like the whale is heading for the surface, twisting its tail for power.  and I lost the picture for the mouth/eye set up. Good thing there is a computer to search.  Now it needs all the bumps and grooves to make it look less like a block of wood.

Rough form, some detail begun.

The next picture shows the beginning work on the whales head and jaws.  One account says the species can be identified by its “knobbly” head.  The knobs are called tubercles, which are hair follicles.  It is more difficult than I thought it would be to keep the general shape of the head and get the knobs to look like they belong.

The jaws will be closed.  The knobs here are adding even more difficulty to keeping the shape intact.  The space behind the knobs on the head will need to be narrowed and made to come to a blunt point to hold the blow hole.

Closeup of head and jaws

Twist in the spine for movement

The fins are attached after the body has been shaped.  I drilled holes into the body and then, having left extra length on the fin blanks, I shaped them to fit into the holes.  I have to work at how to make this process go faster and allow for more experimenting with the position of the fins.

The pectoral fins on along each side do not quit have the movement in them I had hoped for, but perhaps edges and surface will capture some of the whales’ qualities.  The movement of the spine can be seen in the last picture.  The whale is going to be supported on a base tail down, head to the surface.  This will show off the fins and the tail twist.  Not quit a breaching humpback, but a good beginning.

“Dear one, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.” Proverbs 3 : 20, 21


2 responses

  1. Is that basswood you are using? Are you going to make a stand for it or let it sit by itself?

    I wish I had the time to learn to carve.

    Be well,


    December 20, 2010 at 6:54 am

    • Good morning Yaakov. Yes, it is basswood. I have added the fins, also basswood. I have a burl, manzanita,on which I will fix the whale – a painted dowel, I think at this time. The pin hole will go on the left side between the fins and the flukes. He will be pointed upward as if rising out of the sea. Pictures to follow when painted and assembled.

      December 20, 2010 at 7:05 am

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