Otis and Sloppy Joe are not only carving studies but also studies in character as they represent the contrast of personalities. Much like the “Odd Couple” characters of movie and television fame, Otis is the neat one while Sloppy Joe is the less refined. Joe chomps down on the stub of his cigar, has no sense of color coordination nor of bothering to button all the way up. Otis gives the polished appearance of a well-dressed man who is prepared for rain or whatever else may come up as his pipe dreams encircle his head much like the smoke from his pipe.
Otis and Sloppy Joe offered carving challenges in design, poses and clothing and accessory motifs. Each was carved using the Whittle-Carving style of using only a knife to shape the one and half inch square by five inches tall block of basswood. Each represents the adventure of carving different subjects with the intent to carve each one a little differently with a personality of their own.
Otis and Sloppy Joe are presented here for a visual study of carving imagination by imagining how each one was carved. When we learn to carve within our imagination then we can carve whatever is in our imagination. Learning to carve happens as we carve. Learning to imagine happens as we imagine. Imagine more and carve more and we will carve better that we can ever imagine.