A Go By Study of faces can help any carver to “see” and imagine what is in a face in order to carve faces in wood. The first photograph above shows a head carved to basic form. The middle photograph shows descriptions of the major cuts at the landmarks of the face at the eye, the juncture of the nostril, smile line and upper dental curve and the mouth mound. These cuts make good foundations for carving in the details of the eyes, mouth, teeth, nose and ears as seen in the finished carved head and face in the third photograph. The Second row of photographs are of three views comparing the two head. Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category
Breaking the tip on a carving knife is inevitable. It happens because the tip is the thinnest and narrowest part of the blade and takes the most stress and pressure when it is used for making entry stop cuts and for carving in a circular motion. It can be slowed down by always remembering to begin the slicing action before twisting the point of the blade to make a circular cut. If the tip bends over or breaks do not panic or blame the knife maker. Simply follow the tip to reshaping the tip of a carving knife described below with a photo tutorial for a cutting edge that curves up at tip. Read the rest of this entry »
In the previous posting on Go By Study the emphasis was placed upon being able to “see” a carving project in one’s imagination, in a block of wood and while carving the project to its basic form. The series of four photographs above shows examples of the progressive stages in carving a hillbilly carrying a jug of corn squeezings. The figure on the left shows the hat, head and chest carved to basic form with the remaining portion of the block marked with guidelines. The center figure is carved to basic form while the figure on the right is a finished figure. The four views provide a visual tutorial of the observation of comparison for a Go By lesson. Read the rest of this entry »
A “Go By” is a term applied to the use of a carved object, partially carved object, a photograph or a drawing that is studied and looked at during the carving process to guide the carver. It is an instructional aid and a visual guide to help see what is being carved. The key word is “see” with the mental eye to get a fix on how a carving that is being carved will begin to look as the wood is being shaped. Yoga Berra in noted for his Yoga-isms like “you can observe a lot by watching.” A Go By helps the carver to see if the carver will observe and imagine what cuts were used to carve the Go By to its present form. This “observation to see” is not a quick process but does require a thoughtful and methodical visual analyzing of the parts and sum total of a Go By. Read the rest of this entry »
Dusty Joe is a depiction of a character from earlier times who traveled around the country side working when necessary while enjoying a certain kind of free spirit freedom. A hobo’s life was a hard life that is romanticized today as harmless adventures of traveling men. Hobos have become fictional figures of nostalgia which takes away the reality of the struggle and difficulty of that way of life. Today we turn our heads away from the homeless as not being the idyllic hobo of yesterday. Today’s homeless have fallen on their own hard times complicated by the addition of illness, addiction and prejudice of society. The hobo is the “comic figure” while the homeless are the “tragedy figures” of the drama of life. So in no way does Dusty Joe make fun of the tragedy of social sorrow but seeks to perk up the inherent worth each person possesses no matter one’s station in life. Read the rest of this entry »
The WOOD BEE CARVER is primarily a knife carver who has developed a style of carving called “Whittle-Carving” to imply carving using only a knife. The most efficient use of a carving knife is to utilize a slicing cut as often as possible. A slicing cut is similar to slicing bread, slicing steak or the action of the guillotine’s skewed blade slicing as it slides down the track of the guillotine. The cutting edge of a knife is made up of very small cutting teeth similar to teeth on a hand saw and it is these teeth when used in the slicing action that separates the wood fibers for a clean cut. Using the knife blade with a wedge cut crushes fibers before the edge cuts the fibers resulting in a fuzzy and cloudy surface. A slicing cut creates a clean and slick surface. The scimitar blade shape with its curved cutting edge slices in both the push and pull stroke. It can also make slicing cuts upside down and sideways as well as right side up. The concave shape of the back of the scimitar blade allows for reaching into tight areas where another blade shape would be impaired. Read the rest of this entry »
A carving friend to the entire woodcarving community is “Ol’ Don” Burgdorf who has been a friend as guest of any carver’s inspiration through his “Doodles ‘n Notes for Carvin’ Folks” and his instructional web site http://artofdon.com . He has granted permission for some of his intellectual property to be resourced on this blog for instructional purposes. Under the box on the right column of this blog entitled “BEE HIVE” and under the title “Ol’ Don Burgdorf Face Study” are four must read and study tutorials that will benefit anyone who carves faces. “Ol’ Don” has a very unique way of coming right to the point through his art work and verbal descriptions of teaching lasting lessons. Study and put into practice what he teaches and carved faces will come alive. Thank you, “Ol’ Don.”
Recently I was given a fisherman/sea captain figure by two carving friends who thought it looked a little like the Wood Bee Carver by its style of beard. It is one of those tourist souvenir carvings that has been around for years that used a “flat plane” style of carving technique to economically produce a lot of lookalike carvings.
Harley Refsal has been the most notable authority on Flat Plane Carving as a historian, carver and author of Flat Plane Carving projects. Flat Plane carving has its origin in Scandinavia countries and may have influenced such carvers as Emil Janel and Andy Anderson and the anonymous carvers of tourist souvenirs in cottage industry seventy five years ago.
The characteristic long and broad whittling strokes that create a “flat plane” on the surface of a carving create a minimalistic and folk art beauty to this style of carvings. Flat Plane carving offered a quick approach to earlier cottage industry for making repetitious carving strokes in an assembly line fashion to turn out carvings as cheaply as possible for the tourist gift shop trade. Read the rest of this entry »