Not sure why, but one of the things I enjoy doing is rummaging in anyone’s scrap bin, trash bucket, or burn box for the odd piece of wood no one wants. These pieces go home with me, sit in my bags, get taken out and mused over, get drawn on, hacked at, dreamed about. Then one day when other projects reach decision points I am not ready to make, the scraps come out. And, perhaps, an idea gels, a face, a feature, an angle suggests itself. The carrot characters pictured here are the result of such moments. They began as scraps. Now, perhaps, they can bring enjoyment to someone, a smile, a laugh, a bright spot in a day, in a world often dark and fearsome. That satisfies. What about you, why might you hunt scraps?
Jim Redhawk demonstrates how to carve an eagle head from a cottonwood blank. My version posted here as soon as I get photos to share. Enjoy Redhawk’s lesson until then. Shalom.
“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Of course, you are asking yourself what this photo is all about. Well, if you haven’t skipped to the bottom and looked through the gallery yet, it is a mouth full of teeth. Not my original idea, I found it in one of the myriad of carving magazines lying around my carving space. This is a final post of a project shown earlier in 83 Big mouth 1 and 2. This is Big mouth 2 painted.
I didn’t want to make all the pictures large, but I thought at least these two would make a nice showing, giving the full effect of the piece. I really like the strong white on the teeth. It is acrylic white at full strength. I do like the softer blue for a hint of a hat and the natural red or umber of the unpainted wood for the face. Every piece teaches something for the next time. On this piece I would paint the gums a stronger red. Without it, there is some confusion about where the gum is and where the lip begins. Having said that, the piece is fun. Anyone interested in buying it? We can talk.
“Desire without knowledge is not good—how much more will hasty feet miss the way! ” Proverbs 18
One of the joys of wood carving is the opportunity to share things with family and friends. The three carvings shown here are in the collection of our oldest daughter. The first one shown began with an idea connected to a scrap of wood. I have always found it hard to throw away any scraggly, misshapen piece of wood. I recognize the problem. Most master wood carvers wouldn’t think twice about reaching for a large fresh chunk of wood for the next project. I, however, suffer from a smaller wallet and the need to be thrifty. So, each left over gets reviewed for potential carving purposes. This particular piece was a cutoff from a larger block being roughed out for a larger project. It is 12 x 3 x .5 inches. I like the coloration and how the moon/winter sun, as you like it, fits the piece. I scribed the moon on the back and did that first. Then I worked the tree in around the round moon. Snowman and lamp post came last. I was tempted to put white paint on the edges of the tree branches, but that would require painting the snowman and the rest of the piece white.
The nautical theme of these two pieces compliment each other. The lighthouse, top left, the sailboat hidden in the mist, and the ancient sailor are all done on cottonwood bark. The gorgeous cinnamon of the unpainted, exposed cottonwood shows up beautifully against the raw bark and painted sections. The carving on the left is done on a piece of cottonwood found in Michigan, a piece which had been bleached white in the sun after the tree had been struck by lightening.
“A friend loves at all times,and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17
I just have to share a few photos of the Sequoias of California. It was a privilege and a blessing to walk among these great trees, grateful for their preservation and their beauty. I am only half joking about carving them. It would be grand to get some of this wood. I do carve cotton wood bark, so I had gone to the park hoping to be able to find a piece of Sequoia bark. After being there and touching one of the tree, I know better. The bark of these giants is spongy, made up of many small scales or flakes. I suspect it would not make a good base for a carving.
It is difficult to imagine trees this large, and then to imagine how much wood is in one. Not that I am in favor of cutting any of this beauties down, but, wow. I must say that, while the pictures are stunning, being in their presences is even better.
“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam;so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”
The pieces shown here are not done in wood. They are all clay. Home to them is a beautiful new museum in Tianjin, China. So what are these photos doing in a wood blog? Ideas, ideas, ideas. I love looking at how artists take the real world and make it in….you name it…clay, glass, plastic, fruit, yarn, paint, pencil, steel, junk, wire, string, paper, cloth. The variety is amazing, the talent, the creativity, stunning. The main character here has so many great details. Notice the tilt of his hat and the curl of the bill. No American teen could do it better. The shoes, both the one being repaired and his own, also have neat detail – thick soles, the kink of the leather, the stitching on his own, no laces. A wood carver could learn much from the angles of the limbs, head, and body. The fine details in the clothing – marks to indicate shadow or create shadow. And, we haven’t even begun to look at the two characters in the background. Enjoy. Would you share what details you find interesting in the others?
A gentle answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
In a previous post, 96, I shared two pictures from my Uncle’s house, pictures of old fashioned roof lines on old fashioned houses. Here is one of the houses I have worked on. The thatched roof has a mountain home feel. The doors work well, even though they aren’t t he same. After it was completed I thought perhaps I should have put bigger windows on the back side. What do you think? I really like the shadows the deep cuts make in the base. The next carving has more details on the porch. Each carving brings ideas for the next. I would value seeing some of your carvings. Care to share?
Go to the ant, you sluggard;consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summerand gathers its food at harvest. Proverbs 6: 6,7,8