Friday, October 27, 2006

Charlie Red Hawk

Who says carvings of Native Americans are always frowning? Charlie Red Hawk ought to help put those thoughts to rest. He's a good natured fella on his way to the Ottawa Stomp Dance being help at the new dance grounds outside of Wyandotte, OK. The old grounds are being replaced by another Casino. Maybe that's why he's smiling. They say those casinos are "Red Man's Revenge".

There are photos of Charlie naked and then decked out in all his colors. He really turned out good. I love painting Indians as you can add just about as much color as you want and it all looks good. I've used this basic blanket-wrapped body shape over and over and it always looks different than the last time. I really like the crumpled hat as it gives him a lot of character.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Making Paper Manikins

Several carvers have ask me how I develop characters and what tools I use to help me transfer the idea from paper to wood. Probably the main one is a simple paper manikin.

As you can see by the photo, I have many different sizes depending on the project. They are very easy to make as you can see by the attached photos. The only materials needed are a file folder and a wife's grommet maker. Also, if you're lucky like I am, you'll have two visiting Grandkids to make the job a little easier and much more enjoyable. How often does Grandpa get the chance to show off his paperdoll making skills.

You can use the photo showing all the different pieces to make any size you want. Just copy it off to a wordprocessing page and blow it up or reduce it to the measurement of your figure.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Palo Duro Cowpuncher

In getting ready for the upcoming Dayton, Ohio Woodcarving Show I just completed this figure for the over 15" category. He measures about 18" without the base. I used a piece of Caprock from the Canyon to tie the base into the theme of the carving. These gypsum deposits run all through canyon and my wife and I picked up a supply while on a trailriding trip with our horses last September. I epoxied a 1/4" bolt into the bottom of his feet after I removed the bolt head. It then runs down through the stone into the base and is bolted on from underneath.

I tried something different with this figure as you can see in the two closeup photos. Once he was painted and varnished I mixed up a little clear epoxy and put a drop on the pupil of each eye. Using a toothpick I carefully created a cornea, or bump, on the iris of each eye. You have to be careful as you don't want to scratch the paint underneath. And if you try this don't cover the enntire eye, just the iris. Go over to the Google search bar and type in "Cornea" and you'll see the "bump" I'm talking about. Also, if you do this DO NOT paint in a little white dot or highlight on the eye. That will destroy the effect.

It's really amazing the effect this has on the eyes. They actually look fluid. The rounded, crystal clear dome catches the light from various sources and the highlight moves as the figure or those sources move. Neat! I used to use a similar technique by putting a drop of nail polish on the little songbirds I used to carve. Everyone thought the eyes were glass but they were just nail polish.

As I've said before, it's the opportunity to try new things that make this craft so enjoyable. I can't wait to do a smaller figure to see if this new technique works as well as it did here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Trouble On The River!

Here is my latest scene in the finished state. I have to admit it turned out pretty well. Attached are a lot of photos from all sorts of angles and closeups galore. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I had making this piece. The big test will be the Dayton, Ohio show. However, your comments are appreciated too.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Sinking A Canoe!

Now here's something a little out of the ordinary. I'm working on a scene that involves a Mountain Man and his Native American partner having a little trouble on the river while on their way to Rendevoux. Their canoe is in the process of sinking due to passing over a Moose in the river. Lots of action here and the chance to do a water feature. I explain the process so far in the attached photos and will add to the album as the water is painted and a final coat of epoxy resin is applied to finish it up.