Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects

The Wood Bee Carver is primarily a knife carver and the carving classes he taught over the years before he retired from teaching at the end of 2019 were “knife only” classes.  With tongue in cheek I would warn students that if I caught them using a gouge or V tool on class projects or even heard of such tools other that a knife being used I would confiscate those tools.  That branch of humor was revived in later years to refer to the use of any carving tool other that a knife would be “carving on the Dark Side.”

Well, confession is good for the soul and I must admit that on rare occasions the Wood Bee Carver does slip over to the Dark Side to use tradition carving tools.  Such was the case in the carving of a commission project recently of a stock car racing vehicle.

The project began with a nine inch by three and half inch by two- and half-inch basswood block.  An inch-wide number nine gouge was used to remove the excess wood in the roughing out portion of the project. Research was done on the computer to find images of a 1957 Chevy Bel Air to match the original photo of the driver and racing car.  In the search an image of the blue print style of drawing was found and enlarged to fit the basswood block.  This drawing was used to draw an outline pattern on the block of wood to guide the roughing out stage.  Additional photos of a 57 Chevy were studied through the process as reference to keep the design as close as possible for authentic look.

This carving is intended to be a representative interpretation without being a photographic copy cat image.  Also, it is the artist’s intent not to sand the surface but to leave the tool marks exposed to indicate that the car is carve. The finish is a thin wash of artist oil paint thinned with boiled linseed oil that allow the grain of the word to be seen as another indication that this is a wood carving.

The center of focus is on the outer appearance of the stock car racer with its 91 number on the side.  It is not a scale model, only a representation, thus the interior, roll bars and the driver are not carved. Rather windows were carved all around even though there would not be windows in the actual stock car racer.  Also, the wheels do not move and the bumpers are only representative and not authentic.  In other words, it is one block of wood carved is such a way to look like and be representative of a stock car racer. Imagination will read between the lines and fill in the rest of the story by the recipient of this commissioned carving.

This old knife carver still prefers to do knife carving even though the use of the Dark Side carving tools is therapeutic in the creative process as there is a quiet and soothing feeling as any sharp tool slices though the wood with a pleasing swish of a wood chip exposing the imagined form appearing with each chip removed. Carving brings life to wood and to the carver at the same time.  As a good friend, Michael Keller coined the phrase that guides the journey of carving by saying, “BEE CARVEFUL.”



This entry was posted on Saturday, June 26th, 2021 at 2:53 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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