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
Thanks to Rick and Theresa of Little Shavers for the great carving lesson. I like Rick’s idea of do two at once so that you can have something to hold on to. Another good idea in the lesson is using a felt tip marker to go over the pencil lines to keep your pattern while you work.
I have not used the Course Pumice Gel by Golden Paints tm Rick talks about. Will have to investigate. Let me know if you have tried it, how it works, what tricks you have learned as you use it.
I hope you enjoy the lesson. I am going give it a try.
“A ruler who oppresses the poor
is like a driving rain that leaves no crops” Proverbs 28: 3
Every wood carver learns from all other wood carvers. Any debate on this? One might say that a Phil Bishop or a Lynn Doughty could not learn from a raw novice, but even they would admit to learning something along the way from “newbies.” Perhaps they would not learn a new technique or great improvement of style, but newbies ask questions that are “outside the box.” Those questions make the expert carver think differently about their own work.
Having argued that we all learn from each other, it should also be no matter of debate that we learn more from an “expert” in a field than from a novice or newbie. Experts have meditated, applied, refined, and sweated over the details. Someone like Fred Cogelow has poured thousands of hours into the art of wood carving. Experts teach us more quickly because they have often walked the road we are on, they have experienced what we are struggling with. So, look for experts. Here is a clip from a sculptor I enjoy, Philippe Faraut.
I would encourage you also to look for his book “Book 1: Portrait Sculpting: Anatomy & Expressions in Clay by Philippe & Charisse Faraut.” The pictures here come from his book. There are many more.
If God be God, then no insoluble problem exists. And if God be my God, then no problem of mine is without its appropriate solution. —Maurice Roberts
What is an adjective? A word which….. Stunning, delightful, breath-taking, delicious, how do these all fit into one story? And carving no less. As you have already seen, the watermelon carvings below are gorgeous. Skill, experience, and artistic ability all contribute to wonderful carvings. See the link for all 75 carvings below.
The birds below are my wife’s favorites. She has a substantial collection of them in wood, glass, metal, fabric, porcelain, and even a gourd. But this one she won’t keep, other than as a photo.
Now how do they do that? I know that in wood carving, if you break a piece off you still have a chance to glue it back on. What do you use when a piece of watermelon breaks off? Ice? Hmmmm. Adds to the difficulty if you ask me.
A God who could pardon without justice might one of these days condemn without reason. —C.H. Spurgeon
It is wood. Well, at least it began as wood. I know, it isn’t in the traditional form, but wonderfully carved none the less. I have shown other book carvers, but these are really fun. Have you seen Petras? Guy has done a masterful job of giving us the feeling of the place.
The rest of these book carvings are also eye appealing. One reminds me of a Pueblo of Southwestern USA. Another has to be named Pagoda. Not sure if I see it correctly, but one looks like it has a grave at the top – are those flowers? What do you think? Another I call “Oriental Mountain.” It reminds me of scenes from China. The final one, which also looks oriental, I have named “Overunder.” It has a great feel to it.
CARVING TIP: You will notice the good lighting that the photographer used when taking these pictures. A good tip for wood carvers. I am trying to learn the ropes of lighting. One site I read mentioned setting up a photo area. Have the camera, lights, materials and any thing else needed for photographing ready in one place. Then, when you have a carving ready, it is but a moment to take a few shots and you have something to post.
I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels. —John Calvin
Finding inspiration in all kinds of places takes work and a willingness to see, for a moment, the world as others see it. Artists catch a glimpse of the world’s beauty, translate it, record it, comment on it in a variety of mediums, display it in many creative ways. One of the things I like to do is browse the art work of others. Their pieces inspire me. I ask, “How could I do that in wood?”
So, here are three stain glass pieces by my friends, Mel and Joy VanEssendelft. Sorry, these three were auctioned of recently, so if you like one like them you would have to contact me or track them down.
How might you use their ideas for a piece of your own?
This could be a pierced relief to let the sunshine through when it is completed.
I believe that this piece done in wood has to have a textured back ground. This would give the same feel as the clear diamond pieces of glass here.
The yellow “picture frame” around the daffodils would look good as a strong wood border around flowers set deeply into the wood.