Carving eyes is always a challenge that gives the carver the opportunity to experiment and practice in order to find a method that will work for the carver. The WOOD BEE CARVER is primarily a knife carver who carves eyes using a combination of three cut triangular cuts, notch cuts and delicate slicing cuts. Carving eyes underneath carved glasses presents another step in the challenge of eye carving and yet the same basic method works the same. The photo above shows two faces, one with the form of glasses with a blank flat plane and the second with eyes carved through the frame of the glasses. The left face with the flat plane glasses illustrates the carving of the basic form of the glasses fitted on the face. The right face with the eyes carved inside and behind the frame of the glasses illustrates the end result.
The next series of photographs illustrate the seven basic steps involved in carving eyes inside and behind the frame of the glasses.
These illustrations present a drawn shape of the frame of the glasses sitting on the nose. This will be followed by a written descriptive tutorial for each step while studying each numbered illustration.
In the photos above visually study illustration # 1 while following along the written directions. With a pencil draw the inside of the frame for each lens opening. Next make a stop cut along the penciled line followed by a second angled cut that ends at the stop cut to remove the lens portion of the glasses. Illustration # 2 a three-cut triangular chip cut is made in the top inside corner of each lens opening. First cut begins at top inside corner under the top of the lens opening going about one third across the top of lens opening. Second cut slices down along the nose side of the lens opening about half way with the third cut slicing from the end of the two previous cuts slicing down towards the inside corner of the lens opening to take out a triangular chip.
Illustration # 3 illustrates the making of a second three cut triangular chip cut at the top of the lens opening opposite to the first triangular chip. First cut is to slice from the outside top corner of the lens opening under the frame opening going two thirds across towards the end of the first triangular chip opening. Second cut slices down the outside edge of the lens opening from top corner down to bottom corner. Third slicing cut slices from the end of the two previous cuts towards the inside of the outer corner of the lens opening. If necessary, look at the photo illustration again and reread these instructions to get a clearer understanding of this step.
Illustration # 4 illustrates the making of the upper eyelid ridge and flat plane between the position of the upper and lower eye lids. Make a slicing stop cut across the bottom of the lens opening that is followed by a slicing angled cut down the flat plane about two thirds of the lens opening area. Visually study illustration # 4 to see the upper eye lid ridge in order to gain an understanding of the end result of the second angled cut. It should be noted that it may take more than one slicing cut to accomplish the end result of the appearance desired. “One cut is not a cut to end all cuts, it is only the beginning to be followed by additional cuts to achieve the desired results.”
Illustration # 5 illustrates the beginning of opening up the eye lids to carve in the eye ball. A three-cut triangular cut in the bottom inside corner of each eye creates the tear duct opening. First cut begins at the bottom inside corner of the eye and slices up under the upper eye lid about one third distance of the eye with the second cut beginning at the inside corner and slices along the bottom of the eye. Where the two previous cuts end, the third cut slices down towards the inside corner of the eye to take out the triangular chip. Look again at the photo illustration while rereading these instructions to understand this step.
Illustration # 6 illustrates the completion of the upper eye lid opening and the rounding of the eye ball at each corner. Slice a stop cut underneath the upper eye lid ridge from the end of the triangular tear duct cut down to the outside corner of the eye. Next, slowly slice an angled cut up to the stop cut under the upper eye lid to establish the eye ball fitting under the eye lid. Continue to take small slicing cuts to shape the inside and outside corner of the eye ball to give the appearance of its roundness. Visually study the illustration again to follow the instructions.
Illustration # 7 illustrates carving the eye pupils by making a small stop cut under the eye lid followed by making a slicing U shaped cut under the stop cut to form a divot in which the point of a lead pencil can be rotated in the divot to create a pupil. Underneath illustration # 7 is the carved eyes behind the glasses of a carved study face.
A tip to add strength to the finished eyes and glasses is to soak those areas with thin super glue and let dry on its own as illustrated on the carved face in the photo.
Anytime a carver is learning a new procedure in the carving process the carver should realize that practice is the best teacher and as the Old Carver sez, “The more you carve the better you carve because every carving project is a learning experience, so keep carving and carving will keep you carving.”
There are many ways to carve eyes and one way is not any better than another. Under the column MAIN MENU in this blog is a posting entitled “The Eyes Have It” which shows numerous examples of a variety of carved eyes, one is not any better than the other but each fit the carving in which they appear. The key is to experiment in trying various styles of eyes and the only way to learn is to carve. “Would be carvers would be carvers if they would carve wood,” The WOOD BEE CARVER.