Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects, Knives


Rich Smithson of HELVIE KNIVES commissioned a carving of an old-time football player who wore the marks on his face of a rough game.  Notice his left eye is almost swollen shut, black and blue around the eye as well as on his broken nose and a tooth has been knocked out. The strap on his leather helmet has been torn during the game and yet he now stands with a stoic stance holding on to the football.  The name “HELVIE” is on the back of his jersey and the number “3” is on his chest.



Research for the carving began with a search of images of an old-time football player with an appropriate photograph saved to be used as a guide for a mental image that would guide the carving process.  A basswood block nine inches tall, three inches wide and two and half inches thick was chosen in which to carve the figure.  The first opening of the wood was the carving of notch cuts to establish the base for the figure.  This was followed by removing the corners at the top to begin to shaping the area for the leather helmet and head.


While the dowel shape of the head area was shaped, the shoulders were also established in the process of gradually sizing and shaping the helmet and head into a basic form.  The knife in the photos is long curved scimitar blade called a Dragon Bee that reaches across a wide area as well as making tight curving slices to shape between the neck and shoulders and carving in the major landmarks of the face.


Once the head is carved to its basic form the rest of the body of the figure is shaped to its respective basic form.  Notice in the photos below that hand and football are gradually shaped in the progressive photographic steps.  The knives pictured besides the Dragon BEE previously shown include the Side Kick and two Dragon II knives with smaller blades used for finer shaping.





Once the figure is carved to its basic form, detail carving is done to the various areas of the figure.  The two photos below show three Little Stinker detail knives that were used to carve the details of the face, fingers, shoes with spikes, number “3” and the “HELVIE” lettering and carving in the clothing wrinkles and contours.


The final series of photographs are showing the close-up details of the face and hands.


The old-time football player was colored using artist oil paint thinned with boiled linseed oil in the Painting Softly process as described under the BEE HIVE section of this blog.  The knives used to carve the HELVIE Football Player were the WOOD BEE CARVER Signature Series knives made by HELVIE KNIVES.  The number “3” on the jersey represents the three people who make the HELVIE KNIVES ~ Rich, Holli and Skylar Smithson.


This entry was posted on Saturday, May 26th, 2018 at 6:31 pm and is filed under Carving Projects, Knives. 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.