Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Tu Tor Plus, Tutorials

Carving an ear

Carving an ear in the Whittle-Carving style of carving only with a knife is presented here using notch cuts and a three cut triangular cut procedure.  Such cuts are ways to open up an area of wood for additional shaping and refining with detail carving.

A notch cut is made using as much of the cutting edge as possible in a slicing action with two angled cuts that meet together at the bottom of the first cut to form a ditch or trough.  This notched ditch allows the knife blade to continue to shape the wood where stair step levels need to be accomplished.  The three cut triangular cut is used when a hole is needed to begin shaping another area where stair step levels are needed.  Both kinds of cuts are beginning cuts that anticipate additional cuts to follow the opening that has been established.  “One cut is not a cut to end all cuts,”  is a rule to be remembered when making particular cuts that either begins or continue the carving process. Often a cut may need to be repeated or deepened for the shaping process to begin to look as intended.

Carving an ear

Study the photo with six progressive steps for carving an ear with a knife.  Then follow the written description of each step as it relates to each illustration.

Begin by making two notch cuts in the shape of the number 7 for one side of face and a backwards number 7 for other side of face. Number 1 shows the notch cuts as a 7.  Number 2 shows the beginning of rounding the basic ear shape by notch cutting the corners.  Number 3 slices the face of ear shape down to where the ear joins the face and this sliced chip is removed by making a notch cut between the side-burn and base of ear as seen in Number 4 illustration.  Number 5 shows the tragus and ear opening made by making a three cut backward triangular chip cut > and then scooping out a half moon chip. Number 6 shows a completed ear with notch cut grooves that detail the inner shape of the ear.

Complete the tutorial exercise by carving with a knife the six steps in a practice block of basswood several times to become very comfortable with carving ears in this method.  Every carving project is a learning experience and the more one carves the better one carves.  The only way we learn to carve is to carve as in: “Would be carvers would be carvers it they would carve wood.”


This entry was posted on Friday, July 12th, 2013 at 8:27 pm and is filed under Tu Tor Plus, Tutorials. 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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