Friday, January 29, 2010

Carolina Wren completed

I finished this carving, finally! I started it over 20 years ago, but didn't touch until about a month ago. When I first got it, I didn't have the equipment or skills to finish it after I reached a certain point. I had some time waiting for the Quigley challenge to start, so I picked it up and found I was able to proceed. It was a lot of fun and turned out OK for my first one. I hope to get better with my future birds and I plan to try some more. They are very challenging, I suppose because the level of realism is so exacting. Everything has to br just so.

I have finished my Quigley entry but I won't post any of those pictures until after the contest ends on February 3rd. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but I probably don't have much chance of success against all those other entries. But I liked it, had fun, and learned a lot!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I've been quite busy so far this year and haven't had much time to post. I am working on several projects simultaneously and participating in a carving contest! I have sold most of my canes and have started on a new one from some wood I harvested in Alabama around Thanksgiving. I believe it is hickory and it has an interesting root that will be the handle. I have removed the bark and currently have it treated with Petacryl to keep the wood from cracking as it drys. I have shaped the handle a bit and drawn a few designs, but I'll let it marinate a bit while I work on other things. It will be a really neat cane! I am playing with some leaf and flower designs from an old leather carving book, and I may try to use the new woodburner I got for Christmas.

One of my other projects is a realistic life-size Carolina wren. I had a gargage full of wrens lat year after one built a nest over by my clamps. I started this over 20 years ago, but did not have a wood burner or the skills needed to finish it. I picked it up a few weeks ago, and I completed the carving. I guess since I have started back carving, I can "see" things better.....I could see details that needed to be carved better or that were missing. I got the carving completed and stoned and burned the feathers. It is really looking good with the eyes mounted. I will finish painting it after the contest is over. I am thinking about using a coffee cup or something as a base.

My main project at the moment is the Out West Gallery Caricature Carving contest ( ). Lynn Doughty has challenged non-professional carvers to create a caricature bust of Tom Selleck as he appeared in "Quigley Down Under". You have 30 days to complete your carving, without assistance, it must be under 15" including the base, and he will decide the winner. The prize is his version of the same subject, which I would love to have! So I am focused pretty much on this contest. I want to make sure that I take plenty of time for the carving, painting, and photography, so that every thing is the best I can do, at least for now. It is looking pretty good, and I may actually have a shot at it. It would be quite an honor, since there are over 50 entries from the US, Canada, UK, Mexico, and Israel! I'll post some pictures when I get a little further along.