Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects

Don Mertz, the WOOD BEE CARVER  is pictured holding the Seminole Indian Bust in his carving room in which the journey of carving is explored on a daily basis.  “Would be carvers would be carvers if they would carve wood,”  so the best way to learn is to carve as often as possible and in as many subjects that are captured in the carver’s imagination. The Seminole Indian Bust  is a most recent learning project.

Every carving project is a learning project to sharpen the carver’s ability and whet the creative muse of imagination becoming reality.  The Seminole Indian Bust  is a commission carving for someone who favors Florida State Seminoles athletic teams.  The team mascot as well as team logo were used for the beginning of research which led to historic photographs and written history of the noble people known as Seminole.  One of the chief characteristics of the Seminole people was the wearing of ostrich plume feathers in a head band or turban.

The photographic journey begins with the basic form carved and continues with the finished Seminole Indian Bust.  Study each photograph for an imaginary carving exercise of learning by observation. (click on photo to enlarge)


A mental image of a Seminole Indian with drooping ostrich plume feathers guided the opening up of a block of basswood eight inches tall, six inches wide and three and half inches thick.  The block of wood began to take on the shadow image of an Indian head framed with ostrich plume feathers as gouges removed wood to expose the basic form. Five feathers were incorporated in the design for artistic effect of a halo of radiating beams of texture and color.  Research guided the coloring of the feathers with one red, two white and two black with white tips to add serendipity of movement through color as well as the curling flow of each plume.


The team logo was incorporated into a medallion and the colors of face paint and head band reflected team colors. The head is turned slightly with an upward gaze that implies a contemplative remembering of the past and a hopeful search of the horizon of the future. The borders of the face paint were lightly carving to outline the painted stripes as well as keeping the paint from bleeding into an adjacent color.  Artist oil paint mixed with boiled linseed oil was used for the coloration.  When the paint dried an application of Deft was brushed on with an artist paint brush.

“Woodcarving is more the journey than the destination,”  which means that when one carving project is completed, it is on to the next carving project because it is the process of carving that is the fulfilling aspect of why we carve.  So it’s on to the next carving project that waits in the creative sanctuary of imagination to be set free from the block of wood in the carving process.



This entry was posted on Sunday, February 19th, 2012 at 7:46 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.

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