The Beatles were carved as a commission for the HELVIE COLLECTION using a variety of the Wood Bee Carver Signature Series knives made by HELVIE KNIVES. Knives used included the three SIDE KICK knives #’s 25, 26, 27; the Bumble Bee # 13 and the Viper Bee #22 as depicted in the photo below.
Paul, George and John were carved out of a basswood block three inches wide, two inches thick and nine inches tall (base an inch and half and figure seven and half inch tall). Ringo was carved out of the same size block with additional wood added for the drums and an additional based added to compensate for Ringo sitting on a stool rather than standing as the other three Beatles were standing. Additional wood was added to the neck of each guitar for strength. The photos below depict the add on extension with a wooden peg inserted into the main block at the area of the hand as in the before and after photos.
Ringo was a more involved design in that he is sitting on a stool while sitting in front of the drum set. This involved carving Ringo sitting on stool in one block of wood and carving the drum set in a smaller block of wood. The bass drum was the center focal point of the drum set that was carved first. On the back of the drum was carved the foot levered beater with the toes of the shoes that would match the other halves of the shoes on the Ringo figure. Three additional smaller drums were carved and then attached to the bigger drum with whittled pegs. The cymbal was also carved separately and assembled on to a whittled stand attached to the feet of the big drum.
The series of photographs below depict the progressive development of bringing Ringo and the drums together. The first two photos show the planes and angles of the hands before the fingers are carved. This is to illustrate that a good foundation of the basic form has to be established before the detail can be carved into the foundation. The next two photos show the drum set in front of the hands. The whittled drum sticks are inserted in the hands in the second and fourth photos.
Both the Ringo figure and the drum set portion were painted for the ease of being able to paint in the hard to reach places (except for the shoes which were left unpainted until after the gluing assembly.) Once the drum set and its base are connected to the Ringo figure and glued into place, the shoes are carved so that the toe of the shoe blends with the other half of the shoe. The shoes were then painted and a butternut base was glued to the bottom of the assembled carving to simulate a stage riser. The painting stain was a mixture of artist oil paint thinned with boiled linseed oil. When paint was dry a protective application of Deft lacquer was applied. The six photos below show the completed Ringo carving.
The next series of photographs show three views of Paul, George and John.
The last photo present the Beatles as their final tour on this carving concert. Thanks to Rich, Holli and Skylar Smithson for this opportunity to add to their carving collection as a way of demonstrating the versatility of HELVIE KNIVES.