“Inside the Block” is a depiction of a common carving saying that says, “Inside every block of wood is a carving waiting to come out.” The three examples presented in the photographic display were carved using only knives in the Whittle-Carving style of the WOOD BEE CARVER.
The knives used represent an “extreme scimitar” shape that allows for slicing out a gouged out effect as well as extreme undercutting having the face and hands appear to be coming out of the wood. The knives that appear in the photograph are some of the “Other Knives” that have been reshaped and fashioned by the WOOD BEE CARVER as experimental carving knives.
The block of basswood measures six inches tall, an inch and three quarters wide and three quarters of an inch thick and is supported with a triangle shape block for the back foot. The support foot is decorated with free hand and doodled chip carvings. A stain of Raw Sienna artist oil paint mixed with boiled linseed oil creates a contrast of surface to depth values. The two “Inside the Block” that have a stippled effect in what would be the chest area of the man attempting to pry himself out of the wood was created using an awl or ice pic to stipple the wood.
The concept of carving the effect of the subject attempting to climb out of the block of wood much like a baby chick or bird coming out of its shell will lend itself to carving a variety of subjects waiting to come out of the block.
The first attempt was carved in a “Whittle Doodle” supreme as well as in smaller versions of a “Whittle Doodle.” Maybe after all is said and done almost every carving utilizing one’s imagination in partnership with a whittling knife is actually “doodling with a knife.” “Inside the Block” may also be interpreted as what is inside the “block head” of the carver.