Gandalf , the wizard of Lord of the Rings fame, was carved using a Signature Series knife made by Helvie Knives as per my design. This particular knife is called a Universal Scimitar or U-2 in the Helvie Signature Series catalog of knives (click on “Helvie Knives” under “Cool Links” to get to their web site catalog). It is called “Universal” in that it can be used for all types of “Whittle-Carving” as both a roughing out blade (full length of blade) and a detail blade (quarter inch of tip of blade). The convex curve of the cutting edge allows for a slicing cut as it is pushed or pulled through the wood. The concave shape of the back of the blade in the Scimitar blade shape allows for reaching in areas where other blade shapes cannot reach as well as provide an easy roll out of slicing cuts. The handle is a fat cigar shape that fits the palm of the hand comfortably allowing for the knife to be rotated easily so that the blade can cut upside down, right side up, sideways and in any direction needed to make a slicing cut. The tang portion of the blade between the handle and where the cutting edge begins is extended to allow for reaching across a large area without being impeded by the end of the handle. Also this design allows for the index finger to wrap around the tang portion of the blade when choking up on the blade for precise slicing and detail cuts. Read the rest of this entry »
Once again Don Stephenson has honored me with a gift of one of his special drawings. One of the very first drawings he gave me was a little wizard, which I carved and gave to him. In doing research for the carving of Gandalf, Don was very helpful with drawings. A recent carving of Gandalf inspired Don to allow the Idea Monster within him to come up with a drawing of the WOOD BEE CARVER as a carving wizard who magically guides his carving knife to carve a likeness of Gandalf. Don has captured a caricature likeness of me with his whimsical creativity. The gift of his artistic ability guided by his creative genius is only surpassed by the generosity of his friendship. Thank you Don for all your gifts in your art of friendship. Read the rest of this entry »
Don Mertz, the WOOD BEE CARVER is pictured holding the Seminole Indian Bust in his carving room in which the journey of carving is explored on a daily basis. “Would be carvers would be carvers if they would carve wood,” so the best way to learn is to carve as often as possible and in as many subjects that are captured in the carver’s imagination. The Seminole Indian Bust is a most recent learning project.
Every carving project is a learning project to sharpen the carver’s ability and whet the creative muse of imagination becoming reality. The Seminole Indian Bust is a commission carving for someone who favors Florida State Seminoles athletic teams. The team mascot as well as team logo were used for the beginning of research which led to historic photographs and written history of the noble people known as Seminole. One of the chief characteristics of the Seminole people was the wearing of ostrich plume feathers in a head band or turban. Read the rest of this entry »
The Indian bust carving project is another “Journey in learning” for the WOOD BEE CARVER who is primarily a knife carver. This Indian bust project is carving a subject larger than what is normally carved as well as using traditional carving tools rather than just a knife.
The photographic journey begins with square cornered block of butternut, continues through carving to basic form and concludes with several views of the finished carving.
The Indian bust began as a seven inch by five inch by three and half inch block of butternut. The gouges used for this project were made by Everett Cutsinger many years ago and continue to be a pleasure to use in the carving process. The large knife used for removing excess wood in the roughing out stage was made by John Dunkle. Read the rest of this entry »
“Face Study Stick – Three Version” found under “BEE HIVE” is a visible and printable instructional aid for practice carving faces. The top exercise is carving a ball out of the one inch square at top of the stick. The ball is later used to carve a face that is looking sideways and upward. The second practice face is carved on a corner to illustration that the face fits into a ninety degree space from tip of nose outward to the cheek bones. The third face at the bottom of the stick has been carved to emphasis the width of the face as being two thirds of the length of the face. Read the rest of this entry »
Whittle Dwarfs are whimsical whittlings that are primarily all head with the semblance of a squatty body and small feet left to imagination. Whittle Dwarfs begin as an inch square by an inch and half tall block of basswood. Their eyes are covered with a hat showing a nose protruding from under the hat. The rest of the face can be carved with a variety of mustache and beard styles as well as some with a toothy grin or a mouth carved with various expressions. Read the rest of this entry »
Jim Hecker of Elk River, Minnesota has graciously granted permission to post photographs of one of his carving projects he calls “Old Jim,” as well as share his carving philosophy. In the Fall of 2011 Jim added a carving studio/shop to his and his wife Sue’s house that is 14’ by 24’. He is pictured in his new studio with a contented smile on his face. Another photo shows a display case with some of his carvings. Read the rest of this entry »
Steve Prescott , caricature carving artist, has demonstrated through his latest caricature carving- COWBOY LIMO a “caricature concept” that grows into a caricature carving. A “Caricature Concept” is the ability to create an idea that is a caricature before it becomes reality as a caricature carving. Caricature is an “exaggeration of realism” that often begins as an “idea that becomes exaggerated.”
COWBOY LIMO is a classic example of caricature carving that is exaggerated both in its carved presentation and as an idea or concept exaggerated into a caricature. Read the rest of this entry »