Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects

The center focus of the Railroader with Lantern is the lantern.  Of course, our eyes see the railroader’s face, his cap, his bandana hanging out a back pocket, but it is the light of the lantern that is held high to capture center stage.


Carving the Railroader holding his lantern has always been a fun project for this old carver.  When I began carving in the mid 1970’s there were very few books, magazines, seminars, shows and of course no YouTube videos. In the few books available it was noticed that some projects, for example a hillbilly carrying a rifle in one hand and a jug in the other, that the figure was carved and a hole was drilled in each hand. A rifle was carved and then inserted into the hole in the hand and a jug was carved and a string was tied to the jug and looped through the hole of the second hand.  This did not look natural to me so in my naïve learning mode I sought to learn how to carve hand held objects into a carving project to make for a more natural appearance.


It became important for my development as a “learning by doing” carving artist to try to be true to my quest to accept the challenges of creating carving projects that were carved from one block of wood without add on accessories.  This required the learning of how to work with and in spite of the direction of the grain of the wood and the strengthening of fragile areas of thinned cross-grained sections of the project. Thus, the example of the lantern held in the hand of the railroader, it is carved as part of the design of the subject with part of the lantern remaining attached to the clothing.  Or if the subject has a smoking pipe coming out of the corner of the mouth, a portion of the pipe would remain attached to the beard.






One rule to follow in life’s pursuits is: “The only right way is if it works for you.”  So, each artist approaches what one does as “Subjective Art” as being subject to the interpretation of the artist.  Art is in the eye of the beholder and is in and of itself to be self-developing by not conforming to the style of what others are doing.  Art is personal as a reflection of the artist’s imagination. Art is exploring one’s own trail through the territory of imagination.  Art is as art does by following the rule that the only right way is what works for the artist. Be true to oneself by doing the best in one’s growing abilities of becoming.  As someone has said, “Practice makes progress rather than making perfection,” because we are always on a journey of becoming who we can be. Follow the lantern of becoming.




This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 6th, 2023 at 9:44 am 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.

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