Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects


“THE FUNDAMENTALIST” is a carving of a caricature interpretation of a strong minded person who is so sure that what that person believes is the only truth and he has the proof to prove it at the end of where his finger is pointing.  A fundamentalist could be a preacher, a politician, a lawyer or any opinionated person who sees things only one way, his way and wants to convince anyone who will argue with him the error of their way for not seeing things the way the fundamentalist sees things.

The first “Fundamentalist” was carved in 2002 standing about six inches tall.  A twelve inch version was carved in 2007 to be entered in wood carving show competitions.  In addition four others have been carved to date as commission pieces.  The latest commission is being used as a “journey in carving” for this posting using photographs showing the progressive stages in the carving process.

THE FUNDAMENTALISTThe block of bass wood on the left in the photo is three inches square by six and a half inches tall.  The beginning stage of opening up a block of wood is to carve the head to its basic form without any detail.  Once the head is established then the rest of the block of wood can be divided proportionately for the rest of the figure and the appropriate pose.

Body proportions are determined by using the Rule of Three that divides the body into three sections after the form of the head is established:  Shoulders to the Waist is one third; Waist to Top of Knees is one third and Top of Knees to Bottom of Feet is one third.

To the right of the carving in process is the Original Fundamentalist carved in 2002 that is serving as a comparison model.  The carving tools being used for this project were made by Everett Cutsinger.  Everett and his tools were the subject of a posting on this blog on January 22, 2008.


These three photographs show the progression from basic bulky form and gradually refining the form to be able to carve in the details when ready.  The design of the pose includes the figure leaning forward placing his weight on the right foot while the left foot heel is raised slightly to give the appearance of an “in your face” stance.  The left arm and hand are balancing and holding the book while the right hand  is coming over the top of the book with the pointing index finger boring into the page.  The shirt collar is open and the tie is loosened to add to the drama of the Fundamentalist being “hot around the collar.”


These three photographs offer three views from different angels to get an overall view of the progress of the carving at this stage.  The pages of the book and the shoes have received a soaking of super glue to strengthen cross grain areas that are weak and could break.  When painted these super glue soaked areas will be covered with respective coloring.


The study for these three photographs is to notice how the head has been carved with the basic form of the head with its angles and planes ready to receive the detail carving of the eyes, nose, mouth, ears and facial features.  “Form follows function and detail follows form,” reminds the carver to carve the form of the head in such a way that it will present a good foundation in which to carve in the details.


These three photographs presents three view of the facial details along with the upper torso of the carved figure as a way to study the finishing touches of the carving process.


These three photographs are of three different facial features of three different Fundamentalists.  The one on the left is the face of this blog posting while the other two are of earlier carvings.  They are presented here for study purposes of facial features.


These three photogrpahs are of three different views of the finished carving.  The coloring is the “Painting Softly” method described in another posting on this blog using artist oil paint diluted with boiled linseed oil.


Photos on left show two back views and photo on right is of twelve inch tall Fundamentalist carved in 2007.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 at 9:39 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.