Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects

Abraham Lincoln’s likeness is carved in cottonwood bark as a commission carving for a very good friend who is also a carver.  While most carving done by the WOOD BEE CARVER is carved using a knife and carved in basswood, yet on occasions other carving tools and wood will be used.  Every carving project is a learning experience especially those outside the comfort zone of the familiar.

The carving tools used for this project were made by Everett Cutsinger who for years has made carving tools out of flat or spade boring bits.  He is a craftsman with steel and tempering  in his own right and using his special made tools are a joy to use.  Good and sharp tools make any carving project a dream come true as there is a special thrill to watch, feel and hear the tool slicing through the wood on its path to shape a carving creation.

The photographic journey that follows will expose some of the major landmarks on the progress of BARK ABE on  its   way to its final destination as a completed carving worthy to be hung on the wall.


Here is a view of the front side of the Cottonwood Bark with a Cutsinger gouge on the right and a wide number 3 AMT gouge on the left.  Both of these tools will be used to level the unevenness of the back side of the bark as depicted in the next series of photographs.




The first photo above shows a straight edge laying across the back of the bark to show the unevenness that is also depicted in the second photo.  In the third photo a wide number 3 gouge is leveling the back of the bark so that it will sit flatly on the wall when hung.  The fourth photo shows and describes how an internal hanger is carved into the back of the bark.


After studying the front side of the bark to determine the area in which to carve the face, a number three gouge is used to clean off the skin of the outer bark to reveal the inner bark in which the carving will take place.  Next the proportions of the face need to be determined and a cartoon drawing  to be used as a guideline is drawn on the inner bark.  Using the RULE OF THREE of Facial Proportions which states that the face is two thirds wide and three thirds in length.  Within the width of the inner bark available a caliper divider is used to determine the width of face that will fit in that space making one half of two thirds being one third.  Then the length of the face can be determined by placing the divider to determine the hair line to eyebrow; eyebrow to bottom of nose; bottom of nose to bottom of chin.   The four photographs above show these steps along with the subsequent cartoon drawing.


The first two photographs on the left above show the face being carved to basic form while the two on the right show form being caved towards being prepared to receive detail carving.



The left photo shows the face carved to basic form ready to receive detail carving of the eyes, hair, beard  and facial features.  The next three photogrpahs are two profile views and a frontal view of the completed carving.  Woodburning of the iris in the eyes as well as highlighting hair and beard was completed.  The carved face received a coat of boiled linseed oil and when dry a brushed on coat of the brushing lacquer Deft.


This entry was posted on Monday, April 18th, 2011 at 7:03 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.

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