Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pow-wow Dancer -Attachments

Here are a few pictures showing some of the progress on my Native American dancer. I completed as much of the carving as I could on arms, legs and other parts before gluing them on. I use a strip of old inner-tube to hold them on as they are glued one-by-one, and then I carve and sand the joints down and try to keep everything in proportion. I want him to look muscular, but I have to watch the shoulders to prevent it from looking like the arms are just stuck on. I carved the breast-plate and was then able to shape the chest and stomach areas behind it.

The chaps and groin area needed to be carved before attaching the carved breech-clout pieces front and back. The front piece tucks under the breast-plate to hide that joint and the back piece curves over and behind the belt in the back to disguise that one. I have penciled in some of the beadwork designs that will need to be burned and painted before some of the other attachments are glued on.

The feathers and quills on the head are not glued down as yet, so that all the details can be burned and painted before assembly. I have the feather pieces glued up and will use small pieces of wire brads as tenons to joint them to the carvng. I had thought about using toothpicks for the quills but I felt they would be too flimsy after turning them down to more of a tapered quill shape. The brads used will be stronger and will look good after painting. I try to use wood for everything but I don’t want a piece to be flimsy; if I decide to make him into an automaton, he will be subjected to a lot of jarring and movement and everything must be secured well.

My plan is to do a few additional feathers on the spear and a sort of turkey fan decoration in the back. I haven’t decided whether he will be holding a shield or a ceremonial feather fan in his left hand. Thanks for looking…comments and suggestions always welcomed!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pow-wow dancer

Here are a few pictures of the progress made on this carving. It shows the legs roughed out and shows how I played with the positions before gluing them in place. I also decided to switch hands with the spear. Now that I have these things in place, I can start carving all the details and decorations. I am working on a design for a possible commission that is more of a priority thatn this piece right now.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I have little odds and ends laying around my garage….things that i carved for practice, bits and pieces started or just carved for fun, things that haven’t quite simmered enough, or were intended just as proof of concepts. Leftovers, of a sorts. The head on this guy was started just as something to do when I was at a carving club meeting several months back. It was just something to whittle on and I was showing a guy what you could do with a plain old utility knife, a fixed blade box-cutter. Over the months, I have kept messing with it. I wanted to practice ears and to really exagerate the nose to accentuate the cariacature aspects….I think some of my work that I intended as caricatures sometimes has too much of a realistic appearance, not enough humor. Then I tried a new technique I saw for doint eyes. This evolved into a basketball player, kinda Charles Barkley-like, then it started looking like a guy I used to work with! I finally decided I wanted to do something new, at least for me. I have did a few cowboys, so I was wanting to try a Native American caricature. I haven’t seen many carvings with Mohawks, so I thought i would give that a try.
I wanted to work a bit on anatomy and muscalature, so he will probably be shirtless, maybe with a bear-claw necklace or chestplate or something added. I think he will be posed with a spear in one hand, probably doing some type of dance? I am debating whether to try and animate him so that he may actually dance or just have him posed? I may just be looking for something easy….more fun rather than something complex!