Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Hitty-ous Doll?"

My daughter thought that was funny when she came up with it! So I will not post a picture of my second doll, since it is not quite as attractive as the first! I have been researching these dolls and have compiled a collections of dolls that I think are exceptional in appearance and will use those as further ideals to strive for. I was told that it is difficult to recall all the lessons you learn, but that repetition will help. I believe I was told that if I carved about 200 faces/dolls that I would get really good at it. Only about 190 to go!

Smaller faces are easier to mess up than larger ones..... a fraction of an inch is not noticable on a carving several feet tall......very noticable on a face that is 1 inch tall. I plan to cut out multiple blanks for my next attempts, hoping that working on four at a time will produce at least one or two good ones. I'm considering carving multiples of the limbs also, so that I will be able to pick and choose and do final assemblies with the best of my attempts.

I have cut out some additional twisted crosses that I will work on in spare moments. People seem to like them but something interesting seems to occur quite often.... as much as people like them, they always seem to find someone that they want to give them to! It's seems to encourage people to share and give... sometimes in moving ways.

I am just relaxing a bit with some whittling with the box-cutter. After working feverishly on a major carving, I always enjoy just carving something for fun... for the peace it brings. I really enjoy sometimes just starting with a piece of wood and seeing where it takes me, without the restrictions of a design or an idea. This one was with a Lynn Doughty-style head blank, but it may turn into a David Sabol-influenced cane topper. Or it may be excellent kindling! We shall see.....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Balanced Santa Staff

 I had a request to create a staff but it needed to be 60" tall and they wanted a Santa and two elves on it. So I thought about it for a while and came up with this design. I wanted something that looked like a scene instead of a bunch of items just kinda mashed together. The idea of Santa being balanced on a stack of presents kinda led to the whole theme. I decided to use stacked elements with a metal rod epoxied down the middle to allow me to get the positioning and look exactly like I wanted it. The Santa is 6" tall and the entire carved section is about 22" long. The Santa and elves are out of basswood and the rest of the carvings and staff are poplar. I used acrylics and metallic paints on the carved portion. The staff was first stained with Rit clothing dye. After sealing it with laquer I applied red oil paint as a highlighting stain to give it more depth. Comments and advice are always welcomed! Thanks for looking!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Twisted Crosses

 I've been pretty busy with carving and work since my last post. I modified my carving vise and mounted it on a post attached to an old cast iron base that went to a retired patio umbrella, so that I can do more in-the-round carving standing up. It makes it easier to move around the piece and I can use all my weight as leverage.
   I've been working on another doll and a big commissioned Santa staff that I will post pictures of soon. In between I have been making a bunch of little crosses for gifts.
   I have made crosses before of different sizes and I enjoy making them and thinking about how they might be used. It is important that they feel right when held. This is one of my latest design attempts using a spiraled, twisted pattern that looks pretty good on these crosses. They are about 2" tall x 1 1/2" wide. I cut them out on a bandsaw and then shape the twists with a carbide bit in a rotary shaft tool. I used a variety of different woods: lacewood, paduak, holly, ash, zebrawood, cocobolo, bocote, purpleheart, and walnut from my scrap box. Some of the wood was found in my neighborhood and others were gifts to me. Some from other places and other countries, and some from down the street. All different, but all the same. I thought the grouping made a neat picture.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Barefoot Hitty Doll

Here is a doll I started as my second project at War Eagle. Adina is known for her dolls and it was a chance for me to practice an additional female face. I had a lot of fun carving her, but she looks too is strange takeing photos, so I had to buy her a dress! Thanks for looking!