DUSTY JOE ~ A Hobo Study

   Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects, Tutorials

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Dusty Joe is a depiction of a character from earlier times who traveled around the country side working when necessary while enjoying a certain kind of free spirit freedom.  A hobo’s life was a hard life that is romanticized today as harmless adventures of traveling men.  Hobos have become fictional figures of nostalgia which takes away the reality of the struggle and difficulty of that way of life.  Today we turn our heads away from the homeless as not being the idyllic hobo of yesterday.  Today’s homeless have fallen on their own hard times complicated by the addition of illness, addiction and prejudice of society.  The hobo is the “comic figure” while the homeless are the “tragedy figures” of the drama of life. So in no way does Dusty Joe make fun of the tragedy of social sorrow but seeks to perk up the inherent worth each person possesses no matter one’s station in life.

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Study the four photographs above to see in the first one the sense of movement in the shirt tail and coat lapel as well as the crooked stick.  In the second photograph study the exposed toes peeking out of the shoes.  The carved toes were soaked with super glue to strengthen the fragile cross grained digits. The third photo shows the tension in the bindle bag as the hand grasps the top of the bag.  The fourth photo is looking up from the feet to study the head from that angle as an illustration to look at a carving from all angles to have a good overall perspective on how the carving looks.

Imagine then, that Dusty Joe is a gentle soul kind of person who has delightful stories to tell of his travels here and there along with the colorful people he has met in his travels.  He clothing and shoes may show a scuffed up wear and tear of a rough row to hoe and yet they fit comfortably like an old pair of shoes.  He chews on the stub of an old cigar and carries his possessions in a bindle bag which is patched much like his well-worn clothes.  As a “Comic Figure” a hobo is very much like a clown, both of whom are funny and sad at the same time.

Dusty Joe begins as a six inch tall by and inch and half square block of basswood and is carved to basic form and then in detail with carving knives.  In the beginning photos of the carving progressive steps he stands with two of his carved friends for comparison of their similarity and yet individuality.  The photo trail is a self-guided tutorial of studying each photograph by clicking on each thumbnail to see a larger photo and read the words posted on some of the photos. Use the back arrow to get to the next thumbnail. (Sorry for the inconvenient in this method but that is how this blog is designed to operate to give each viewer time to look, read and think about what is being presented)

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These last four photographs are of the WOOD BEE CARVER carving on Dusty Joe as an example of how a carving is carved throughout the entire process.  The instructional photographs that follow travel down the dusty trail of learning by observation and imagination while mentally carving along with each step depicted in each photograph.

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Dusty Joe is off to his new home to tell his stories, most of which never happened outside of his imagination, but then that is like many of our own stories that get better with age and distance of time from when they first occurred.  There is a little of Dusty Joe in each of us, so be comfortable on whatever journey the road may lead and carve a little along the way.  Remember that carving is “more the journey than the destination,” just as life is a journey.  Happy trails and happy carving fellow travelers of the carving way.


This entry was posted on Friday, March 22nd, 2013 at 5:11 pm and is filed under Carving Projects, 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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