Don Stephenson, aka: the “Idea Monster” and artist friend who continues to come up with unique carving ideas through his creative drawing has come up with another one that has turned into a carving. This drawing appeared on the back of an envelope that Don sent to me containing other drawings.
This old geezer dressed in his night shirt and night cap is carrying his candle to light his path from bed to the bathroom as old men are prone to do during the night. He is named “Knight Capp” as a play on the spelling of words with an upside down meaning of the term.
Knight Capp is carved out of an inch square by three inch tall block of basswood using only a knife to shape and detail this carving. A Bud Murray Knife #539 was used in the carving. The challenging parts of this carving include carving a mouth without dentures, carving bare feet and the candle held in one hand. An old man without dentures tends to narrow the face, hollow in the cheeks, sink in the mouth with wrinkled lips and protrude the chin. Read the rest of this entry »
Hillsboro Hobo was carved out of a two inch square by six inch tall block of basswood using a Bud Murray Knife # 529. Typical motifs characteristic of the mental picture of a hobo are depicted in this carving. “Clothes make the man” or in this case “make the hobo” with torn elbow of jacket, torn shoulder seams and torn knee of trousers. Patches at the elbow, knee and seat of the pants along with a disheveled shirttail plus the toes coming out of his shoes all add up to the appearance of a hobo. The traditional bindle bag tied around a walking staff complete the attire of a hobo.
The photographic journey that follows presents several views of the completed and painted hobo. The last four photographs show the beginning stages of carving a hobo with guidelines drawn to show where the hobo is inside the block of basswood along with the completed carved and painted hobo. Notice that the hat and head have been carved to basic form which allows for the remaining portion of the block to be divided by the Rule of Three of Body Proportions (shoulder to waist; waist to mid knees; mid knees to bottom of feet). Within these proportional divisions the arms, legs, coat tail and shoes can be drawn to coincide with the posture and stance of the hobo figure. 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 »
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 »
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 »