I am always looking for carving ideas. Now that I almost always have an iPad with me it is easier to capture some of them quickly. This photo hangs in a hallway in my Uncle Georg’s house in western Germany. What caught my attention was the roof lines and the texture the artist shows us. Having done many roofs, what I note is shapes and shadows. Also, on the building to the right, my eye is caught by the strong line near the top denoting the final layer of thatch. The question is then, how can that be replicated in wood. Which tool works best, what will be the most efficient way to make those cuts. For anyone who has not carved, part of the issue is the direction ones cut, up from the bottom of the roof or down from the top. Experimental cuts need to be made to determine what happens to grain wood, how the grain reacts.
Sorry about the quality of this photo. However, for my purposes, this is good enough. What is appealing to me is the roof lines of the buildings, how they sit together, the shadows, and how the artist has created texture. While the photo is fuzzy, the relationship between the buildings is strong enough to be appealing. Hope you have some ideas to share. Or, if you use some ideas from these pictures I would love to see them.
Comfort, comfort my people says your God. Isaiah 40:1
I have been showing the work of others for the past while. Thought it might be time to show something I have carved. These two pieces were begun at the end of last summer. They are now finished and hanging in our house. The work in progress is shown here. Will show the painted pieces soon, after I take a few more pictures. The carvings are roughly 18 long x 4 wide x 2 inches thick.
Both carvings are done in cottonwood bark. Last summer I revisited a lightening struck tree while on a family vacation. For years small sections or pieces have been falling off the tree. This past summer the tree’s entire bark skin came off. The morning we were to return home, while I still had an empty vehicle, I loaded up as much bark as would fit in my small SUV. I found some storage for the bark and was even able to squeeze a few pieces into the load returning home from vacation. Good thing we ate our way through some of supplies from the incoming trip. That left room for some bark.
I found inspiration for the pieces in a carving magazine. One picture gave the idea. The challenge was to get the correct cuts to recreate feeling of the photo. My dentist liked the pieces. Perhaps I will have to replace the bad spot in Big Mouth 1 with a gold filling.
Enjoy. Feed back is most welcome. Inquiries about purchasing pieces also.
“If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked.” Proverbs 29:12
Something to look at
This will be a short post:
I am not sure how to state it. Seems a bit …..well not sure…..you tell me.
I am hoping to increase my subscriber list. I would like to share carvings, carving ideas, carving talk, cool wood and wood stories with more folks. But always, how to get the word out? Could you help? Many of you have stated how much you enjoy the posts – all 70 of them. Would you be willing to invite others to subscribe? Wasn’t hard for you was it? Still looking? Enjoying? Please, consider which of your friends might also be interested. Thank you for your time and effort.
Ask me what happened.
There is a carving idea this photo somewhere. What can you suggest?
“What a person desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.” Proverbs 19:22
First place Caricature
The 35th Duneland Woodcarvers Show is complete. The Woodland Park main hall in Portage, IN was filled with great wood carvings for show and for sale. Larry and Carol Yudis and the Wood Craft Shop from Davenport, Iowa were there. Other vendors provided many materials useful to the wood carving enthusiast. It was my estimation that the Saturday crowd of visitors was stronger than last year’s. Good to see so many children and young people attending the show.
I have lots of pictures but wanted to get a few on line to show you what there was to see. The pictures here are first and second place carvings for Human caricature and for Bark carving. The reason for showing these two categories out of the 40 available will be obvious to the reader.
The first pieces are from the human caricature. First place went to John Sisun. My set of three faces garnered a second.
Green hat two eyes.
The second set of pieces come from the Bark carving category. Ron Muskina again took first place with his Indian bust. Perhaps next year someone will give him a little more competition.
Ron Muskina’s winning bark carving
John Klompaker’s second place bark house
“Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool bent on folly.” Proverbs 17:12
One of the joys of carving bark is dealing with what each piece of bark brings to the table. The challenge, always, is finding ways to incorporate the natural features into the finished piece. In this piece of bark we have a very deep fissure bracketed by two nice, solid pieces of bark.
The fissure itself creates a wonderful negative space for the eye. The dark slash through the piece takes your eye up in to the house at the top. Shadows and light spots add lots of visual interest to the base of the carving.
The two solid masses of wood on either side of the fissure have been dealt with in view of the strong visual texture of the fissure. As you can see in the picture immediately above, lots of bark has been left on the base. This light bark stands in contrast to the dark fissure. But, in order to tie the base to the house above, some rocks have been cut into the bark of the base to expose the redbrown of the under wood. The shapes and the color add another layer of visual interest.
Moving up from the base we come to the house itself. The base has drawn our eye to the color and texture of the house. Small rocks in the chimney echo the larger rocks of the base. The rounded shapes of the chimney rock and base rocks are countered by the strong vertical and horizontal lines of the roof shingles, squared stones of the walls the steps and landings, and door and windows. More shadows and highlights are created by the bench underneath the window.
All in all a piece I really like. Trust you do too.
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:22
Another carving. Three photos to go with our article. Amazing what one can learn. Of course, we aren’t saying how long it took.
A DIFFERENT SLANT ON THINGS.
Cottonwood is one of my favorite materials to use. As you can see, the bark of the cottonwood can be very thick. The exterior layer is usually gray and dark. The fun begins when the exterior is open and the grain of the bark is displayed.
Rich, deep reds, browns and yellows interplay in pleasing and exciting patterns. Before finish coats are added the exposed bark is a soft brown, often unremarkable. When a coat of sealer or wax is added cottonwood bark really stands out.
Cottonwood is a pleasing wood to carve. It is softer than most carving material. It holds detail nicely. One drawback is its fragility. When carving, you always need to be aware of the pressure being put on the various parts of the carving. Flexibility in design is a must when carving with cottonwood.
This piece is for sale today at a 10% discount on the Gift shop price. Contact me if you are interested.