re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

# 59 Wood Carving: M R DUCKS and things you discuss as you carve 2

Y I B,  M R DUCKS* (see translation at bottom of post)

Believe it or not, this little five-line scribble makes for a whole afternoon conversation in my Junior High carving classes.  We take it apart and explore what it could mean.  Mostly nonsense it seems.  I usually put it up when the first level carvers get to their second project.

Turned, not carved, wooden eggs


The first project is an egg.  They begin with a square block of wood.  We learn to draw on the lines without using a ruler.  That drives some students crazy.  They want to measure everything, worried they will get it wrong if the lines aren’t straight.  Don’t get me wrong, we do want straight lines, but we want to explore other ways to accomplish those lines.  They are taught how to hold a pencil with several fingers and how to let the rest of the fingers act as guide.

Template for ducks

Sample of duck begun

Detail of  hardest part

The second project is a DUCK.  The class receives a duck rough out or blank.  The difficulty level increases from egg to duck.  On the egg the class learns to deal with different types of cuts and end grain of the wood.  On the duck we learn how to deal with compound curves on a square hunk of wood and how to deal with wood grain.  The wood grain makes carving the ducks neck difficult.  Wood grain requires learning different types of cuts and watching how the wood comes off.  More on that later.

Detail of rock and tail

Cedar duck – fire rescue piece

Burn marks visible on head/back

Of course, the ditty at the front end of this post drives them crazy until they get it.  Then they have loads of fun with it.  And we get to try many other versions of it.  I borrowed this “alphabet” idea from William Steig and his books “C D B” (See the bee) and “C D C”(See the sea).  Lots of fun.  Try it.  C what U can do with M, O, I B impressed.

I found a site which gives you a taste of Steig’s creativity:

On page 8 a hen sits contentedly on a nest of eggs. The letters above her say “D N S 5 X.” which creatively translates into the words “The hen has five eggs.”

On page 13 a boy is pointing down at his pet dog with the admonishment “I M A U-M B-N. U R N N-M-L.” which translates into “I am a human being. You are an animal.”

Page 15 shows a deer standing in a bush of green foliage with the caption “D D-R S N D I-V.” which of course means “The deer is in the ivy.”

Source of the material above –

I C U later.

*Translation:  Them are ducks.  Them are not. Oh, yes they are, see the itty bitty wings. Why, I’ll be, them are ducks.

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”  Proverbs 16:9


7 responses

  1. Very clever!

    February 16, 2011 at 9:52 pm

  2. Dave Bonnema

    I was wondering when you were going to get to the MR DUCKS thing, after I suggested that to you several weeks ago! You haven’t put it on the board in the science lab yet, either.

    February 17, 2011 at 3:19 am

    • Thanks Dave, It goes on the board today. They are finished with the eggs – some will sand today. We get the opening lesson on the duck – of course – after we discuss important stuff like – I C M. U C M 2? S, Y? And good stuff like that.

      C U 8R.

      February 17, 2011 at 6:50 am

  3. Dave Bonnema

    Will the others either fry or scramble their eggs? :-D :-P

    February 17, 2011 at 10:39 am

    • Some of them are already fried, Dave. Others have been doing a great job. Of course, we haven’t discussed who is scrambled. Best leave that untouched. The yolk might be on us. ;)

      February 17, 2011 at 9:01 pm

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