Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gabby Hayes Bust – Part 3 – The Nose & Eyes

Getting down to the nitty-gritty now we finish up the nose and move into the area everyone seems to have trouble with….the eyes.  Hopefully, this video will show you that it’s really not that hard to carve a couple of good looking eyes.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Gabby Hayes Bust – Part 2 – Indicating The Facial Planes

We’re starting to get serious about this and Gabby is starting to show his face in that piece of wood.  In this segment I prime the canvas for the details to soon follow.  Just like building a house, you have to have a good foundation laid before you can start the actual construction of the building.  Using that metaphor I guess you could say with this video we frame in the walls.  Next up we start nailing on the siding.  


If you hear grinding in the background it’s because the Stump Grinders finally showed up.  I put up a short video of the grinder at work.  Now that is one wicked carving machine!  We’ve got chainsaw carving so it probably won’t be long before someone comes along using a stump grinder. 

My new video carving setup is just on the other side of the shop from the paint station.  Putting it in a dark corner with no widows nearby lets us control the lighting more and moves us away from the clutter of the shop.  I put up a felt covered bulletin board this morning which makes it even easier to see what’s going on.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gabby Hayes Bust – Part 1 – Cutting & Roughing Out The Block

Okay all you Whipper Snappers,  this should make for a pretty fun and neat project if it turns out the way I think it will.   Gabby has always been a favorite of mine whether he was appearing with John Wayne in his Singing Sandy movies where he once actually played a bad guy  to later films with Roy Rogers, Randolph Scott or a number of other legends of the screen.  I almost wish I didn’t have any teeth so I could talk like him. 
We’re going to do him as a Bust so we can concentrate on the head and cover facial detail in depth.  I’ve put the patterns for the block in the associated Gallery Album and if you need additional information or photos of Gabby there are lots of them on the web.  So,  let’s get started.
Oh….I almost forgot!  This one is filmed in my new dedicated Out West Video Production area.  Remember that cluttered background in all the previous videos?  GONE!  One thing I’m still working on though is trying to keep my head out of the picture so Judy will stop yanking my hair!   Ouch!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Billy Little Fox

Here's a little bust I just completed this afternoon.  Not much to do around here as it's so hot so I've been setting in the shop listening to the air conditioner hum as I whittle and watch the grass wilt.
Billy stands about 7-8" tall with his oak base.  I really like the overlapped robe feature.  Really ties it together.  I think a darker wood base....say walnut would have looked a lot better but it's too late now.  Also, I've found a new supplier for nameplates who do the exact style I've been using.  Shipping is higher but the plate and lettering is the same price.  Here's the link:

I'm getting ready to start a new video series on a Gabby Hayes bust.  Hopefully we can get the first segment online before we have to live for a short trip up to Minnesota this coming weekend.   Hope it's cooler up there!
As always, your comments are welcome and there are more photos in the Gallery.

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Search Feature

If you scroll down the right side of the blog you'll see a new column titled "Labels".  Now, by choosing a key word in that alphabetical list you will be given all posts where that word applies. Let's say you were looking for a particular carving that's a "Bust"  just click on the word "Bust" and up will pop all the posts dealing with Busts.  Same goes for any of the other key words.  Hopefully this will help you locate desired posts quickly.    We still have a few more posts to update but eventually we'll have them all "Labeled".   There are a few mistakes in there but we're aware of them and will get them corrected over time.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Painted Lady

I really like the way this one turned out.  The female has always been a problem for me but this little lady just might set the example that I will follow in the future.  A number of you have ask that I do a video on her but I haven't reached the confidence level necessary for that yet.  Someday.
The eyes are just a black dot of paint with a little white added on each side.  I also outlined the upper eyelid with a very thin black line and the directly above that a darker shade of flesh.
Anyway, I hope you like her.  More photos in the Gallery and your comments are appreciated.

Making a Bottle Cutter

Several of you ask about the old Bottle Cutter post I did back a year or so ago so here it is on video with all the info you need to build your own.  As I used just scrap wood laying around the shop the only real expense was the purchase of the glass cutter.   Can’t remember how much I paid for that but it wasn’t much.  I’ve been using mine for over a year and have never had a rejected top.
So tell the wife you need some BEER cause you’ve got some bottles to cut!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Mayor's Wife

You're probably wondering why a nice looking dame like this is married to that fat old fart of a Mayor.  Well, if you knew the amount of money he's purloined  away from the honest citizens of the town of Big Thicket during his 15 years in office you'd understand.
I've got to say that this one really turned out nice.  I wanted to give her a delicate look and I think she does just that.  The eyes are only penciled in as I think to carve them would detract from the smoothness of the piece.  Maybe not, but we'll see once she's painted.   I made the feathers out of aluminum flashing as I wanted them thin as if carved they'd have to be thick for strength and that would make it just look to heavy.  There is not much definition to them now as they're only sprayed with primer but when I paint them I'll try and flesh them out a bit.  As for colors I'm thinking purple & white for the dress with a matching hat with a big red rose.
Hope you like her and your comments are welcome.  More photos in the Gallery.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

First Scout Gets It! - Update!

    It's been claimed!! 


And here's the Scout who claimed it!  He's off this weekend to the National Jamboree.  Colin has taught the wood carving merit badge skills to a younger group of scouts. He has been carving bolo ties and fridge magnets of his own design. He also participates in the Utah Valley Woodcarvers Club.  That slide couldn't have gone to a better example of what the Scouting program truly stands for.

Congratulations and have a great time at the Jamboree!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Mayor

This fella started out as a Banker but as soon as I stuck that stogy in his mouth he became the Mayor.  I borrowed the face from my little character in the big Stagecoach scene I did years ago.  Really like those jowls.  Another good thing about him is that I now get to do his wife which will be a neat one as I want to give her a really big hat.  That should be fun

These little busts just might be all I can do for a while as I'm really covered up with summer projects and maintaining this Blog which continues to grow in interest.  But as long as it remains fun I'll stick with it.  I noted that the Auction caused the hit counter to bump up quite a bit.  So I'll plan on doing that again down the line but not too often.
Anyway, hop you like him.  He should be pretty snappy once he gets some color.  Comments welcome as always and more photos in the gallery.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Boy Scout Neckerchief Slide – How To Carve One

                   Arrowhead Neckerchief Slide
With these two videos I’ll show you how you can carve a neckerchief slide that will put you on your way to getting that Woodcarving Merit Badge.   You might need a little help from your Dad or your Merit Badge Counselor to get started but the carving involved is pretty simple.  Just make sure you follow the safety rules explained in the first video.  Doing that will save your fingers and keep the project fun.
                     Good Luck!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I know....he doesn't look like Gabby Hayes!  It's just that I've lost my name tag source and I'm using up the ones I still have on hand.  Besides, I did Gabby Hayes already.
Speaking of name tags, I think I may have found a new source for inexpensive ones that you can order on the net and get pretty quick.  I'll let you know when my first order arrives and how it turned out.
Getting back to this rounder, I'm thinking of doing a larger series of small busts mounted on that base of various Old West Town Folk.  I think that would really make a nice display on my Dayton table and hopefully some collector will agree and buy the whole set!   See, selling carvings is a lot like fishing....you bait your hook and throw the line out and see what bites.  Sometimes is best to try something new to pique that lunker's interest.  Maybe this will do it.
I've got an Undertaker in the works and so far he's looking real spooky.  There are more photos in the Gallery and your comments are welcome as always.

Friday, July 09, 2010

It's On! Let The Game Begin!

As I said earlier, this auction will run for five days....ending on Tuesday, July 13 at 8:00 PM Central Standard Time.   There is no reserve price.  All bids should be submitted through the "Comments" section  below so everyone can keep up with whats going on.  Just click on "Comments" to see the latest bid.   Shipping and handling costs are not included but I will try and keep them as low as possible.  I'll announce the winner once the auction closes. 
                                         Good Luck!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Hondo - I'm Thinking AUCTION!

As I mentioned on the WCI Forum earlier, I spent the weekend watching a John Wayne-a-thon on AMC.  While I've seen those movies countless times there's just something about Wayne that draws me back to watch them one more time.    Hondo was one that I really like and when he came walking in to the ranch at the very beginning I thought that would really make a nice character study.   Now I didn't set out to try and do John Wayne ... just the character.  I was after the shirt, the hat and especially the neckerchief.  Those colors really seemed to work well together.
This figure is about 13" tall with the oak base so it's a pretty substantial piece compared to a normal caricature bus.   I like the larger sizes cause they don't seem to get lost in the crowd.   In the album I took a close up of the top of his hat so you can see the braided hatband.  That's made of twisted wire with a little embellishment on the ends.  Looks good and completes the figure.
A while back I wrote about having another auction but as I was having "comment" trouble at the time I had unintentionally blocked all the associated comments.  Well, I think it's about time to have another auction and thought maybe this figure would be a good one to use.   If you're interested let me know and if enough responses are received we'll get one started.  It will run like the last one...5 days, and the bidding will be via the comments section so everyone can see whats going on.  There will be no reserve so you can start at a dollar if you want.   Postage and packing will be separate from the final price.
So, drop a comment if your interested and we'll shoot for this coming Friday as the kickoff.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Black Elk - Winter Colors

I was originally going to just place this figure on a plain base but as I had just completed Charlie Red Horse and mounted him that way I thought I'd put this one in the snow.  I really like using snow as the starkness of the white really amplifies the colors of the figure. 
The hardest part of this piece was coming up with the painted designs on the robe.  Not hard from the application but as I had just done a painted robe I wanted something unique for this one.  So Black Elk sat staring at me unpainted for several weeks until I came up with something.  Personally I think the wait was worth it as while he might look sad I'm sure he's real proud of his robe and the memories and warmth it provides.
There are more photos in the Gallery and, as always, your comments are welcome.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Framed Shield – Part 4 – Finishing Up

It’s done and it turned out pretty good.  I can see all kinds of things we can carve and display with this framing method.    I hope you enjoyed the project.  As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.