Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects, Tutorials

indian pin head                indian pin head                indian pin head 004

Carving heads into wooden clothes pins is a novel way to practice carving heads and faces since every face carved in never a lost effort because there is always something new to learn.  This brief visual tutorial about carving on a clothes pin is another way to reinforce the process of face carving. (click on photos to enlarge)

During this process the simplest definition for wood carving will be employed: Woodcarving is shaping a piece of wood using a sharp cutting tool to round square corners and flatten round surfaces.

Study the three photographs that show the front, side and back view of seven steps of carving an Indian head. Look at all three photos to follow along the verbal explanation of each numbered step. Number 1 is how the clothes pin looks before it is carved.

Number 2 depicts the two feather head dress being carved to basic form in the ball shape of the pin as well as angled planes sliced to begin the foundation for the hair, forehead and back of head.

Number 3 depicts the shaping of the forehead, hair framing the forehead and the beginning of the feather medallion, which begins as a diamond shape that will have its corners sliced off to make a round shape.

Number 4 depicts the eye sockets opened up with two slicing scoped cuts, the hair lined on the right outlined with a flowing S shape, the texture of the hair on top side and back textured with scoped slicing cuts and the feather medallion rounded.

Number 5 depicts notch cuts under eyebrow to open up area for the eye mound, the nostrils of nose outlined with notch cuts in the form of a wide V with angled planes sliced to begin forming the dental curve, cheek bones and jaw line.

Number 6 is a smaller head to illustrate the same process can be done in a different sized head.  In this depiction the form of the upper eye lids with flat plane for where the eyes will be carved have been carved.  The nose has received continued shaping along with the smile line, dental curve and mouth mound established. The neck and chest area have been shaped as well.

Number 7 shows the completed Indian head carved in detail with braided hair, bone pipe breast plate, detailed feathers and hair texture.

indian pin head

The photo with illustrations A, B, C. and D give an enlarged depiction of the front view that corresponds with Numbers 4 through 7 in the previous photographs.  Notice that even though there are two different size heads, yet each face follows the Rule of Three for Facial Proportions, namely, Hairline to Eyebrow; Eyebrow to Bottom of Nose; and Bottom of Nose to Bottom of Chin. So whether it be a smaller head or a larger head the proportions of the face look right proportionately.

The same process for carving a head and face in a clothes pin can be applied to any size piece of wood because the same principles are used or adapted.  The key to learning to carve faces is to “carve faces” in a variety of wood sizes and shapes in the “learn by doing” exercise. The exercise is to apply what has been observed and processed into the mental images of imagination to guide in the shaping of wood using a sharp knife in a slicing action that becomes a carved reflection of the mental image.

As my good carving friend Jim Hecker says, “CARVE DIEM” (carve the day).

This entry was posted on Friday, March 21st, 2014 at 9:57 am 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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