Monday, April 23, 2012

Roger Stegall Carving seminar

I’ve been replacing the roof on a shed and doing other carpentry work, so I haven’t carved much in a few weeks. But I spent the weekend attending a two day seminar by Roger Stegall, a member of the Central Arkansas carving club, who has won several awards in different Caricature Carvers of America competitions. I had a lot of fun, picked up s few tips, sharpened some tools for other members, and got to visit a bit. I liked a couple of his smaller carvings, a Santa and a mountain man, and both were carved from the same roughout. The cost for the seminar was only $45 and these roughouts were $12 each. What a deal! The club had a good turnout and everyone had a great time. Roger is a good instructor and gave me some really good advice for improving my work. (Roger's website). I managed to get the Santa mostly completed. I still need to burn it, clean up some details, and paint it, but I am pleased with how it turned out. It is the same roughout as the other carving, but you start by carving the brim of the hat off and changing one of the ears into the ball on the cap. The eyes, nose, mouth, and mustache are also carved differently, and it was fun to add other little details to make it look nice. I am anxious to get to work on the other one now! Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Sumac Cane"

I have sold or given away most of my stockpile of canes, so I’ve started working on some just to have something to take on walks! This is a piece of sumac a friend gave me. It is a light-weight wood, with a shallow root that grows to the side, making a handle for a cane. The bark peeled easily when it was green, but I was glad I wore nitrile gloves to keep the sap off my hands. I kept it in a plastic bag between carving sessions, and gradually let it dry out for about a month. No cracks so far! I like twisty sticks that have been shaped by vines, and i decided to do a spiral pattern on the handle that somewhat imitates those sticks. I carved a scale pattern below that, mainly for practice, but it provides a good grip and looks good. Then I did a freehand styilized leaf pattern below that. The sumac was really nice to carve and was a nice white color, but I didn’t want something quite that white….so I used a thin wash of gray acrylic paint to give it a weathered, silver color and used the same wash to darken some of the shadows. Thanks for looking!