Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Friends, Knives

The four photographs above represent the most recent carvings done for Helvie Knives to add to their collection and their generous charity project.

The first two knives in the photos above are representative of the basswood handled dummy knife projects Helvie Knives provides for carvers to carve their own handles in a knife with a dummy blade.  The third photo above shows one of the knives provided to chosen carvers to participate in the Disabled American Vets charity fund raiser. Helvie made the knife that was used to carve the three inch tall pirate and the winning bidder was Jay Garrett who received both the carving and the signature knife for his winning bid.  The Fourth photo shows a Tree Noggin carved in a basswood tree limb using the knife that is in the photo.  This carving along with the carving in the second photo above were the result of testing the prototype blade in the knife pictured.


The Indian bust utilizes the dummy blade as part of the design to become a steel feather. The monochrome one color finish is artist oil paint Raw Sienna thinned with boiled linseed oil.  A one color finish highlights the carved texture of the surface to illustrate that “texture is color.”


The Nutcracker style solider utilized the dummy blade as part of his helmet.  The polychrome coloration of multiple colors dresses this soldier who sports ear rings and braided hair. The large knife blade with its scimitar shape allows for a slicing action to shape the wood as well as doing detail carving cuts.

The three inch pirate and the knife used to carve this character are depicted in these two photographs. The small scimitar shaped blade with its extended tang allowed for making a variety of cuts in the shaping and detailing process.




The basswood tree limb still wearing its bark was eight inches tall and two inches across the width.  Using only the large scimitar blade for both the shaping and detail carving allowed for the utilization of the slicing cuts.  The first phase was scalloping the top edge of two portions of the limb that was followed by slicing off a portion of the bark to expose the white sap wood.  Notice that the bark removed an area in the form of an “S” shape.  The second photo shows the waves of the hair that were carved using a slicing oblique action of the cutting edge simulating the action of ice skating while rolling the slicing cut.  Also, the second photo shows the hairline and forehead separated, eye brow notches and nose nostril notches with appropriate planes and angles.  The third photo shows the first step in opening up the eye with a three cut triangular cut in the upper corner of the eye.  Also shown is the three cut curving triangular cut at the nose nostril, smile line and upper dental curve plane.  The fourth photo shows a notch cut at the bottom of the eye mound with the upper eye lid ridge established. The fifth photo shows the eye ball carved between the upper eye lid ridge and the bottom eye lid stop cut.  Small triangular cuts at the inside corner of the eye and the outside corner of the eye give the illusion of roundness to the eye ball.  The pupil is carved making a pointed stop cut under the upper eye lid followed by a scoping slice cut to remove a divot chip that creates a shadow illustrating the pupil.  The sixth photo shows the completed detailing of facial features and texturing of the beard and mustache with oblique slice and roll cuts. A coat of Deft was applied to the carved portion of the basswood limb while leaving the bark natural.

Each of these projects were carved using only Helvie Knives and only the one knife pictured in the photo.  Using only one knife is a challenge that is also a teacher of the lesson in learning to use a knife in more ways that one expected.  Slicing cuts are to key to getting to most use out of a knife while realizing that it is not always the force used but the slicing action that really creates the finesse of carving. The tip end of any knife blade, no matter its size, is always the detailing portion of the blade.  Learning the secrets of any blade is in using that blade in as many ways as possible to discover what all it can do.  Carving, all phases of carving, is learning by doing and the more a carver does the more is learned.

A final comment is needed in that beside making high quality carving knives backed up with reputation and dedicated service, Rich, Holli and Skylar are very generous in sponsoring worthwhile charitable services and endeavors.  Thank you Smithsons for all you do for so many.  You are a “cut above.”



This entry was posted on Monday, December 30th, 2019 at 2:06 pm and is filed under Carving Friends, Knives. 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.