Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects


A Treble Clef proudly stands erect on a base in the form of a Grand Piano with the name of the recipient carved into the music rack.  This carving out of butternut wood was a commission piece for a birthday gift to the wife of a loving and appreciative husband.  As a commission piece the commissioner offered the general idea of a grand piano to be carved for his wife of fifty years who plays the piano.  The carver was instructed to come up with a design that would by symbolic of a musician who is a pianist.

Coming up with a design idea is very much like hatching an egg in that it takes twenty one days for a hen egg to hatch into a baby chick.  In other words the incubation process takes time be it hatching an egg or hatching a carving idea.  In the mystery of the creative sub conscious at work during the incubation process many ideas are fed into the processing center of the sub conscious.  In time an idea will be filtered into a refined idea that becomes the final design.

The incubation process can not be rushed or forced into a predetermined deadline if true creativity is to be allowed to develop.  Like the twenty one days to hatch a baby chick if one tried to hurry up the process by increasing the incubation heat the embryo would not survive and the egg would spoil.  So it is with  creative incubation needing to have time to develop into a final design.

Part of the incubation process is to do research of musical symbols, the shape of a grand piano and especially the correct number of black and white piano keys in the correct order.  There are eighty eight keys on a piano with thirty three black keys and fifty five white keys.  The black keys start out on the left with one black key, then two, then three and subsequent formula of two and then three keys across the key board.

The Treble Clef is the universal symbol for music which became the main focal point on this musical sculpture as the eyes follows the curving, twisting and intertwining line of the Clef note.  Next the eyes notice the Treble Clef is sitting on a base in the shape and design of a grand piano.  Finally the eyes spy’s a name carved into the music rack which makes the carving very personal.

Butternut wood was chosen as the medium for this sculpture with a finish of boiled linseed oil and finish coat of Deft Clear Wood Lacquer Finish.  The Treble Clef is six inches tall by three inches wide and three quarters of an inch thick.  The base in the shape of a grand piano is six inches long, four and half inches wide and three quarters of an inch thick.  The legs are three quarters of an inch tall and were designed that height to make the grand piano  to be a base for the Treble Clef sculpture rather than a scale model of a grand piano.

The piano keys were carved using very narrow U gouge and narrow V tool along with knife cuts to separate the keys.  The black keys were wood burned and the white keys were painted with full strength acrylic white paint.  A chip carving knife carved the name into the music rack.

Commission carving pieces offers a challenge to carve subject matter different than what one normally carves.  A challenge that is welcomed to expand one’s carving horizon and stretch ones ability while exercising the creative process.  Like all carving projects, “woodcarving is more the journey than the destination,” making this musical journey one that sings a joyful tune.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 13th, 2010 at 12:01 pm and is filed under Carving Projects. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.