CARVING FRIEND – Steve Prescott

   Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Friends, CCA Related

STEVE PRESCOTT  is founding member of the Caricature Carvers of America which was founded in 1990.  He has written two books on caricature carving entitled “Cowtown Carving”  and “Block Heads”  with numerous of the projects in the books the subject of rough out carving blanks.  He is an instructor in the art of Caricature carving and has been instrumental in advancing Caricature Carving as an Art.  I first met Steve at the original War Eagle Seminars in Arkansas in 1994 and took a class from him there in 1997.  Our friendship has grown ever since and he continues to be an inspiration to me and countless other woodcarvers.  Visit his web site Cowtown Carving Company.

Steve has given me permission to post some photographs of his recent carving projects as an extension of his encouragement in Caricature carving.

Woodcarving is a “learn by doing” pursuit which also means that most woodcarvers are more visual learners than being verbal learners.  Visual learners like to look at pictures by allowing their eyes and imagination read between the lines to mentally learn the carving process.  As carvers grow in carving experience, carvers become more observant of subjects that will become a part of the carving project. Such observations then become a part of the imaginative planning phase of the carving process to bring more realism and interest to any carving project.

Every carving should tell a story through the pose, sense of movement and action and accessories that describe the carved subject.  It is even better if there is a story within a story that is within the overall story.

Steve has done this through his carving of a sleeping Santa.  The original design came from a simple rough out of a Santa asleep in a chair covered with a lap robe and feet resting on a footstool designed by Adair Rucker.  Steve received the Rucker rough out blank as a gift from his wife Pat.  The more Steve looked at the blank his imagination grew a simple design into a story within a story within the overall story.  The original simply shows a tired Santa asleep in a chair with feet resting on a footstool.  The story being told  centers on a tired Santa following his deliveries on Christmas Eve.


Now study the imaginative carving by Steve to notice that besides a tired and sleeping Santa, there is a pencil in his hand.  What does the pencil have to do with the story?  Looking further at the carved scene there is a “Naughty and Nice” list with names laying on the floor beside the sleeping Santa.  The story now takes a new twist in that Santa is tired from all the preparation and pre-Christmas Eve deliveries.  Looking further for what else is in the scene one discovers a curled up cat asleep on a round braided rug which is covering part of the wooden flooring. Even though Santa is in a resting position with the back of his head and neck resting on the back of the chair, yet the sense of movement in the carving is in the folds and wrinkles of the quilt and the snaking stripes of his night shirt. The left hand which once held the list, is relaxed allowing the paper list to rest on the floor just left of the foot stool.  At any moment one can expect that the pencil will also fall to the floor. Santa’s mouth is open in a snoring position. Another sense of movement is the contrast of a round braided rug on the plank flooring in rows. The edge of the boards has wavy lines and the grain wood in each board have lazy-curving lines. Curvy lines rather that straight lines in any carving always convey a sense of movement.

In his own words Steve say: The cat, pencil and list, I know were not in the original. Most people think that you can only carve one thing from a dupli-carved blank. I look at it as just a starting place to carve whatever I see in the blank. I saw this as a Santa before Christmas, exhausted from preparation and long hours. He has fallen asleep, late into the night while double checking his Nice-Naughty list. I’m sure a lot of people feel this way before Christmas arrives. I haven’t settled on a title yet. I might let the viewers draw their own caption. Steve

Caricature carving works best when a story is being told through the visual effects of the carving.  Caricature Carving is an “exaggeration of realism” as humor is an “exaggeration of reality.”  Good Caricature Carving leaves little to the imagination other than what the viewer wants to see in the carving.

Thank you Steve for helping us to “see” and to be inspired through your carvings of what can be exaggerated in a Caricature Carving.









This entry was posted on Thursday, December 8th, 2011 at 1:31 pm and is filed under Carving Friends, CCA Related. 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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