Sonny and His Dream Fish

   Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects

Sonny is an avid fisherman whose fish stories are bigger than his actual fish brought home in the fish bucket.  He is always telling about the BIG fish that got away ending up by saying, “I never seen a fish so big!”  Of course those who have heard the same story over and over again agree that he NEVER did see a fish so big.  As his story is told over and over again, Sonny begins to believe his fish stories, so much so that he begins to dream about catching the really BIG fish.  So often has he had that dream the   fish actually lives in his mind and memory.  If only there was a camera that could take pictures of dreams then there would be proof of the BIG fish.

What can not be captured with a “dream camera” can be captured in a woodcarving of the dream picture of Sonny and His Dream Fish. The photographic galley below will present various views of the carving for observation and study of the completed carving. There will also be photographs of the beginning stage of carving to basic form a fisherman holding a big fish carved out of a five inch tall by an inch and half square block of basswood. Following will be photos of the refining of the basic form into which the details are carved as the last step of a carving. ” Form follows Function and Detail Follows Form,”  is the guiding law throughout the carving process. Putting details in before there is a proper foundation of the form is to spoil the carving.  


Turning a dream into reality is very much a part of the process of woodcarving. Imagining a carving project is like having a day dream in which all the angles and shapes of the carving are worked out in the mind. As the subject is turned over and over in the mind the carver can see with the inner eye a carving in the round. A carving day dream figures out the clothing motif and objects that describe who and what the carving is to represent.
In the case of Sonny and His Dream Fish, the floppy hat, the fisherman’s vest, the turned down wading boots, the fishing rod and of course the large fish all tell the story that this carving is about a fisherman and his BIG fish.  Sonny is a caricature in that his nose is exaggerated to be like the nose of Pinocchio because of his exaggeration of the size of the fish he is holding which is also an exaggeration of realism.
“Texture is color,”  which helps to determind the kind of finish applied to the carving.  In the case of Sonny and his fish, the finish is a one color finish of raw sienna artist oil paint thinned with boiled linseed oil that allows the grain of the wood to show through. The texture of the carving facets provide the color on the contrast of light and shadows reflecting off the texture of the carved wood. The fishing rod with it draping line and the teeth of Sonny were soaked with super glue which impeded the color of the finish from staining those parts. The result being a lighter appearance creating a contrast is color. 





The first three photographs above are of the beginning stage of carving to basic form while the last photograph is for  comparison with the finished carving.  The next photographs will be of the next stage of refining the basic form in preparation of the detail carving that comes at the end of the process.





Dreams do come true as dreams are worked on to become reality. Dreams in the mind are part of the process but dreams only become reality when they are acted upon. Dreams are always perfect while reality strives to be the best it can be under the influence of a dream. Reality can only achieve being the best it can be without ever achieving perfection. It is in the trying that dreams become reality and reality is to dream another dream. Which is another way to say, “Would be carvers would be carvers if they would carve wood.”


This entry was posted on Friday, May 6th, 2011 at 10:32 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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