This is my 200th post. That should be something special. The picture below combines two of my favorite hobbies. One is obviously wood carving. The other is reading. What better thing to carve than books. (By the way, I just finished an excellent and informative book entitled, “China’s Examination Hell.”)
The books are carved from several different types of wood – white pine, basswood, and cedar. I enjoy trying to create pieces that look like old, leather-bound, well-loved books. Most are in private collections in Michigan.
Some day I may find time to tell you about other hobbies I have – learning foreign languages, collecting sand samples, drawing, propagating succulents. What hobbies do you have?
“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” Prov 15:13
The carving shown here is a work in progress. It is made out of aged white pine. One of the neat features is the insect trails left in the wood, most likely made by carpenter ants. One goal for the piece was to save as much of the insect “carved” wood while creating the carving.
A challenge with pine is to carve across the grain without splintering or tearing while trying for a smooth cut surface. That gets more difficult as the detail gets smaller. This snowman will eventually be finished with a little paint to the hat, scarf, gloves, nose and facial features. Natural pine coloration will be the “snow”. Any suggested colors?
“Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.” Prov 13:3
A few snow days and some quiet hours have given me time to carve a small waddle of penguins. Check me out, the term is correct, when they are on land anyway. When they are in the water you call them a raft of penguins. And if they are chicks standing around in a group you have a creche (kresh) of penguins.
The penguins shown here have been carved in several different types of wood. The first few photos here are a carving out of white pine. Several things to like about this one, I think. You don’t have smell on your computer, but the wood has a great aroma. Also, I really like the grain and the effect it has on the piece. And one more feature I like about this carving, the blank was cut out of a piece of white pine splintered off a log. The block of wood was about three inches square. The carving still has some of the rough edges on the piece. I like the effect.
One of my favorite materials for carving is cottonwood. I really like the effect of the rich, dark red coloring of this penguin. It also looks good on the uncut bark, giving the wood a “rock-like” appearance.
This little guy is my daughter’s favorite. He is done in butternut. His plumb little body leans into you. He has a cute charm.
The piece, like the mini, is out of basswood. Basswood is one of the favorite materials for American wood carvers. This piece is an attempt at creating tension and movement. The uphill climb is real.
The final two pictures are of small piece done in cedar. The smell is great and the colors add a nice touch to the carving.
Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. Proverbs 15:32
One of the joys of wood carving is working with found wood. I will say much more on the subject in a later post but I wanted to introduce the topic here. “Found wood” is material for carving which you the carver go out and find. The carving presented here is such a piece. This snowman was carved from a white pine branch which was picked up after a severe Michigan wind storm. The branch was cut to four foot length and
stored in my garage for several years. After curing/drying it
became useful for carving.
A part of the pleasure in carving found wood is the satisfaction which comes from making something beautiful out of a piece of wood many would
burn or just throw into the trash heap. This snowman, with its remaining bark, reminds the viewer of its origin in the forest. And that reminder makes using “found wood” all the more enjoyable.
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Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.