There are many things to remember, to think about, to include in a wood carving. One carving skill to work at is texture. The carver’s goal is to create a texture that enhances the piece presented. Texture should help catch the viewer’s eye, move the eye through the carving, and/or cover otherwise bland or blah surfaces with an eye-pleasing pattern or effect.
“Max,” named after a Dr. Seuss character in a story about Yertle the Turtle and a turtle named “Max”. In the story Seuss uses “a type of meter called anapestic tetrameter.” What that meter is exactly is not key for us here, however what is important is Seuss’ use of a kind of “texture” to capture reader’s attention. His “texture” is linguistic. Our Max here is wood and his texture is the small surface marking which give him character.
You easily see the large gouge marks on his shell. Then the smaller micro-gouge marks on his legs. But also note the knife marks on his head having yet another texture. All together they are eye-pleasing.
“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” Prov 19:11
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.”
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
Do any of you remember a childhood book entitled, “Burt Dow, Deep Water Man”? Author Robert McCloskey (http://www.robertmccloskeymemoir.com/) wrote about an east coast deep sea fisherman named Burt who ends up inside a whale in a gale. The story begins with Burt hooking a whooper, a whale. His tiny boat can’t hold the whale, so Burt removes his hook and patches the whales tail with colorful bandage. The story ends with Burt placing a colorful band-aid on the tails an entire pod of whales. You will have to read it to find out about the gale and the whale.
Of course, these photos are not part of Burt Dow’s story, but the whale here reminds me of McCloskey’s whales. And certainly this whale, with the notch out of one side and a knot in the other side of his tail might be able to use one of Burt’s bandages, or two or three.
But of course, this whale could be as friendly and helpful as any of the whales in McCloskey’s story.
I think the smile on this guy comes across really well. Of course, whales don’t smile, but if they did, this is what they would look like.
So, another whale. This one came out beautifully. While cedar is not the easiest wood to work with, an acrylic wash has allowed the cedar wood grain to pour through adding another dimension of texture to the piece. The whale is a stylized blue whale. The piece about 12 x x 4 without the base.
The base is a piece of lake drift wood. Some color has been added to give the feel of ocean floor. The colors seem a bit intense in these photos, but when the piece is sitting on a counter or mantel the colors come through more subtly. The mounting, at angle, gives the piece a little more movement. I really like the last picture. The shadow and light make for a happy face.
This whale is now part of the collection of Mr. Rick Buteyn.
“It is not good to be partial to the wicked and so deprive the innocent of justice.” Proverbs 18:5
One of the great joys of wood carving is the opportunity to share carvings with others. Last June two of my good friends and colleagues retired from teaching. Ron was my principal and Milt was the teacher in the room next door to me. I worked with them for 21 years. We had a great working relationship. And we got to know each other.
Golf is one of Ron’s passions. I am sure he can find time for a few rounds now. So it seemed appropriate to carve a golfer. The design is not my own, the workmanship is. I included a bunch of thumbnail views so you would get the full effect. I am curious to know how well they show up for you. It is the first time I have used the thumbnail feature.
The figure is bass wood. The base is a cutoff from a black walnut branch. Acrylic paint and boiled linseed oil are the main part of the finish. I learned from Tom Wolfe to use felt tip markers to add lines to the shirt and socks. I am pleased with how those turned out.
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Isaiah 55:1
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28