Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects


Hillbilly caricatures have been a common theme in the carving of figures.  Roscoe and Rufus are six-inch-tall hillbilly caricatures Whittle-Carved using only knives to shape and detail the basswood block.

Imagination plays a significant role in telling the story of these two cousins who are seen seldom without the “comfort jugs” of liquid refreshment. What is in the jugs may contribute to their slowness of mental exercises for it is said of Roscoe that his corn bread in not done in the middle and said of Rufus that his butter done slide off his biscuit.

One day Roscoe met Rufus walking down a dusty path and Roscoe noticed that Rufus had a bulging gunnysack over his shoulder.  Roscoe asked, “Hey Rufus, what you got in that sack?”  Rufus says with a bragging smile on his face, “I got chickens in this sack.” To which Roscoe asks, “If I guess how many chickens you got in that sack, will you give me one?”  Rufus says, “If you guess how many chickens I got in this sack, I will give you both of them.”  Roscoe takes his hat off, wipes the sweat off his brow with his red bandana and said, “You got five.”

Roscoe is the younger cousin with red hair and beard while Rufus is the older cousin with gray hair and beard.  Other than those characteristics they are about the same.  The photos below, first Roscoe and then Rufus show off their unique appearances.




The next series of photographs are a visual tutorial comparing Roscoe and Rufus with the beginning character in the process of being carved using the guidance of the Rule of Three of proportions.  Once the basic form of the hat and head are carved, the remaining portion of the basswood block is divided into three equal proportions.  The red horizontal lines represent the landmarks of the Shoulder, the Waist, Mid Knees and the Bottom of Feet.  Within these guidelines the various parts of the body, clothing and jug are draw to fit in these proportions and guide in the shaping process.  Study the completed carvings on either side of the center illustration to mentally carve a similar figure.

Roscoe and Rufus may not be a bright as others but they do not know that, so they are content in knowing what they know as a living example that “ignorance is bliss.”  As someone once said, “It is not that some people are ignorant, rather it is that they know too much of what ain’t so.”

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 at 2:44 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.