Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Old Timer

I think he's a winner for sure.  Really like the way the chaps turned out.  There's lot of color in them....five as a matter of fact.  I've included several closeup photos in the gallery as some of you wanted to see the details a little clearer.
As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.

The Surgeon

Here's one in the works.  This is a special project that is associated with my Mom's recent all and treatment.  While I only have the head completed the rest is still floating around in that spacious area between my ears.   I won't tell you what it is yet but guarantee it will be quite humorous.
I tried a new trick in coming up with the bows for the back of the mask and hat.  Taking a piece of very thin Tupelo I boiled it and let it soak for about an hour and then made the knots.  I then held the knots together with a clothes pin until they were dry.  A little drop of superglue on the back will hold them together until I can finally attach them to the head.  I think it really gives a neat effect and should look even better once painted.
There are several other photos in the Gallery and as always your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Sheepherder's Wagon is Finally Finished

Added the last touches to my Sheepherders wagon yesterday and thought I would show off the the little beauty.  There will still be a lot of details surrounding the wagon in the final scene but at least the interior and exterior wagon detail is finished.  Hope you like it.  Lots of photos in the Gallery and your comments are welcome and appreciated.

The Old Timer

 Here's an Old Codger....which is what I was originally going to call him until I remembered I had an extra Old Timer nameplate.  I've done several of him before but always change something to keep it original.  The angora chaps in this case.   He's mounted on a stone I picked up out in west Texas.  Everywhere we go anymore I'm always looking for neat things to incorporate into my pieces.  I think they really add and anchor a piece to it's place in the west.  It also helps sales for that same reason. I just used a masonry bit to drill the holes in the rock and will dowel him in place with some epoxy.
Lots more photos in the gallery along with some of the past pieces so you can compare.  Comments always welcomed and appreciated.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Angora Chaps

Here's a quick little post on how I make Angora chaps also known as woolies.  These were worn in cold weather for obvious reasons and really make a neat detail over the normal leather versions.
After carving the platform for the wool I use a stoning wheel to rough up the surface.  This creates a lot of fuzz so after burning on some detail to the ends of the wool I reach for the propane torch.  I very carefully run the flame over the stoned areas to quickly burn off the fuzz.  You have to be careful here not to burn too much and also not to get so involved you burn the fingers holding the piece.  Trust me it hurts!  After that I use a little soldering brush to brush off most of the charred wood and them give it a good wipe with a dry cloth.  
If you're going to paint your chaps white I'd advise using gesso as a first coat to cover most of the charred areas.  However, if you're going to paint them brown as I think these will be you don't have to do anything as the charred wood will only enhance the color.
As my Mom continues to improve it shouldn't be much longer before we can get back to normal operations.  Unfortunately, or rather fortunately, while time at the workbench and behind the video camera may have slowed down or halted completely the carving sales out of the Gallery have surged resulting in quite a few empty areas over there.  So, for the time being at least I'm going to be concentrating on fleshing the place out with a few new figures.  But rest assured we will eventually crank the full operation up again.  And again, thanks for your concern and understanding.

Black Hills Gold Rush

Well, here it is!  Turned out pretty well but I sure am glad to get it off the workbench.  The carving part of these scenes is the easiest part for me but it's putting it all together that really taxes my patience.  It just seems to take so darn long.
I had wanted to add a couple of prairie dogs about midway between the mule and the miner but there just wasn't room.  It sure would have made the overall scene much more amusing.  I had envisioned one of them pointing at the miner while the other was doubled over laughing.  Oh well.....
There's a photo of the back side in the Gallery and as always, your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Forty-Niner

The miner is complete now and yesterday I  built the base so the only thing left is the paint and varnish.  I still have a couple of crows to add to the tree which should add a little more humor.  There are a number of things that I could have improved upon but I'll address those once everything is finished.
As always, your comments are appreciated.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Picasa Gallery Problems

I know a number of you are experiencing problems with moving about and enlarging photos in the Gallery section.  While I'm still not experiencing this so can really suggest no solution for the moment I did receive the following note from a follower which might help in the meantime:

"I have done some checking about the picture problem at Picasa and it seems that there are a lot of folks experiencing the same problem concerning the big black screen.  I used the "help" feature and found that Google is attempting to process things like another photo hosting site and it isn't working to well.  Until they get the kinks out someone recommended the slideshow function.  I tried that and the pictures come in right away and they are magnified.  Plus there is also a full screen button that makes them really large.  You will have to adjust the time on the slideshow as it moves quickly."

Hopefully this will get cleared up soon and we can all get back to messing up the floor!   Thanks for your patience and thanks Terry, for passing along that information. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Miner Shows Up!

Here's a quick sketch of the miner that will be on the other end of the rope from that mule.  His foot will be braced against a sign on the trail that points to some gold field somewhere. Will probably make the rope out of twisted wire so it will retain it's shape over time.
Hope you like him.  Comments welcome as always.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Forty Niner Scene

Here's the first character to a scene I've been wanting to do for a number of years.  I carved the mule's body a little over 2 years ago but he evidently hid out in a cupboard until I rediscovered him earlier this week.  As the video section of this blog is temporarily on hold due to Judy assuming her new role as caretaker maybe I can get caught up on some of the old projects gathering dust in the shop.
Naturally, this will portray the struggle between the miner and the mule with the mule getting the upper hand in the situation.  I already have the other figure sketched out so it should be a pretty interesting piece.  There are a number of photos in the Gallery and your comments are welcomed and appreciated.
As for my Mom, she is doing much better.  Nothing broken but a small blood vessel.  Unfortunately, it caused a small brain hemorrage which we're watching pretty close.  We want to thank you for alll your kind thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

A Temporary Hiccup!

I had hoped to start the New Year off with a new project and especially the 2011 Out West Challenge, but it looks like that might have to be put off for a while.  We keep a close eye on my 95 year old Mom who unfortunately fell and is now stuck temporarily in the hospital.  Nothing broken but a small brain bruise will now result in our having to monitor her even more.  So, until we can get this all sorted out my postings here will be a little spotty.  Rest assured though we will return.  Until then, all the best for the coming year and good luck with your carving.