Monday, December 31, 2012

Bottom of the Pile

Spent the day clearing some of the half-finished projects off the table and this was the first.  Just another beat up Cowboy but for some reason people like them.  Hope you do to and any comments are always welcome.

Half-Breed, Finished

Wrapped this one up yesterday.  Had my doubts about him but he turned out pretty good after all.  Tried a little darker complexion by adding some brown to the flesh mixture.  I like it.

There are more photos in the gallery and your comments are always welcome.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Wonder of Details

Recently, on the "Out West Possee" FaceBook site, a fellow carver named Randy West from La Grange, Texas posted this photo.   I was amazed at just how attractive this little grouping was and the quality of the work.  My next thought when seeing it was "Now, why didn't I think of that?"

The longer I looked at this little setting the larger the thing seemed to get:  I could actually see the Chuck wagon,  the cook and the growing line of hungry wranglers.  Even the aroma of coffee and baking bread was starting to float through the air. All these things were brought to life because of just a couple of small details.   Sometimes we tend to forget the importance of the small things.  Well, to insure that I won't forget, I'm hanging this photo over my carving station to remind me of that lesson.

I was lucky enough to meet Randy and his family this weekend up at Woolaroc.  I was surprised to learn that he's only been carving for a few months.   Well, if this scene is the product of just a few months I'm starting to get a little worried.  Clearly, this beginner is on the right path and he's got his foot on the accelerator.  Just to be safe I told him to stay south of the Red River!   Only kidding.   I'm really looking forward to seeing his next project as I know it will be a good one.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


First, let us thank you for all your good wishes over this season.  That was kind of you.  Thanks.

Now for a little history about this fella.  Since we've been going to Woolaroc each week for the past month, and since they have the largest collection of Joe Beelers bronzes, I've spent just about every spare moment there over in the museum really getting up close and personal with his work.  Joe was one of the founding members of the Cowboy Artists of America with a working cowboy background so he knew most of his subjects quite well.  Also, as Frank Phillips, the founder of Woolaroc sponsored him when he first started out I think they have just about every bronze he ever did.  Judy and I met him back in 2006 when he was at Woolaroc signing his newest book.  He died a week later on April 26 while out helping some neighbors rope and brand calves.  A true cowboy to the end.  I could put a link here to some of his work but if you're interested just google his name and do a search as there is lots to see over a wide area.  He was also an accomplished painter reminding me a lot of Charlie Russell.

He did a couple busts of a Navajo man which were my favorites so I thought I would try my hand a producing one in wood.  I named this one Half-Breed as I kind of mixed up the details and added a few of my own.   There is a rather large turquoise necklace with a silver pendant hanging on the end.  It's hammered copper but I'll paint it silver.  His hat band will have turquoise and silver studs.  I really like the way they tied up their hair in back.  Both Navajo men and women did this same style.  The reason one feather is painted is it was left over from a previous carving.  The base is walnut, built up from three pieces.  With the base it stands about 12-13" tall.

The funny thing about this piece is that when I started it last Monday it was meant to be Chief Bacon Rind, an Osage Chief of Frank Phillips time.  By Friday it had changed tribes and moved west to Arizona.  Those things do happen around here.

Anyway, I hope you like him as I think he'll turn out pretty nice once some color is applied.  There are a number of photos in the Gallery and if you wish to comment please do as I appreciate hearing your opinions.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas From Out West

  Judy and I wish you all the very best this Christmas season and hope you have a prosperous New Year.

                     God bless us, everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Don Quixote - Part 11

With this one we cut out the least the upper trunk.

Part 11 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Are You Up For An Auction?

"Have They Left Yet?"
It's been quite a while since we did the last auction so how about doing one that will end on Christmas Eve?  Maybe Santa will be kind to you and place this little bust under your tree.

This time we will cut off the bids at midnight CST on December 24.  So the bid placed in the comment section below that is closest to that time wins the carving.  Shipping is included in the winning bid.  Let's start the bidding at $1.00 and see where it goes from there.

This piece stands at about 10-1/2" tall with the base.  It's pretty self explanatory.  Poor Private Olsen was unfortunate enough to be designated the one to stick his head up to check on the whereabouts of those pesky Redskins.    Fortunately for him there wasn't much gray matter between the entry and exit wounds so his prognosis looks pretty good.  His hearing might be a little impaired but according to his Sergeant he never listened to anything he was told anyway....except this once!

So....let the fun begin!  The auction is open!
                                          Good Luck!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Well, here he is.  It looks like he's not really sure just what he's supposed to prepare!  I think there is one thing we can count on though and that's that it will not rate any stars from the Michelin Guide!.

This was really a fun piece to do and as I'll probably never do another like it it will have to rate the "Classic" designation, something I don't hand out very often.   That scrawny neck on the chicken might look fragile but it's been reinforced with a metal rod so it's not as fragile as it might appear.  With the base I'd say it stands around 18-19 inches tall.

Hope you like him as much as I do.  There are more photos in the Gallery and your comments are welcome as always.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Don Quixote - Part 8

And here is part 8. Thanks for all those great comments, we really appreciate hearing from those of you who might be benefiting from our efforts.

Don Quixote - Part 8 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Le Chef - Part 2

I got around to pretty well finishing the carving of this figure.  Still have to add a couple more small details but he's basically done.  The chicken is in two parts to get him into the cook's fist.  The feet and head are soaked in Super Glue to give them more strength which explains the different color.  Still have to do the hardwood base.

I think he's really turning out great and can't wait to start the paint job.  Hope you like him.

Don Quixote - Part 6

And Part-6.

Don Quixote - Part 6 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Don Quixote - Part 5

Here's Part 5 of this series.

Don Quixote - Part 5 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Le Chef

Now sure what this guy is cooking but I don't think I'll place an order.  He'll have a cigarette handing out the side of his mouth, no doubt to let the ashes drop in the soup to give it some extra flavor.  Couple more photos in the gallery but this is an original so no copies please.  Hope you like him and your comments are always welcome.

Don Quixote - Part 4

Continuing to rough out the head. I would suggest, when watching the video, to click on the title beneath the video below to watch it on the Vimeo website. You will get a larger picture and you can download it from there should you wish.

Don Quixote - Part 4 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Don Quito - Part 3

Here is the next video.  We continue to block out the head and face.

Don Quixote - Part 3 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Don Quixote - Part 2

Okay, here's the second part and the first video in this series.  In it we first make sure our tools are in good condition and then we cut out the head blank.  We're going to make the video segments shorted than previous and edit out some of the things we've already covered to speed up the process.  Don't worry though, you'll still see anything new in it's complete form and also any mistakes or corrections I make along the way.   For those who have followed this blog for a while should have no trouble with this but if a carver just joining needs some in depth instruction I'd recommend going back to one of the previous projects to get the entire process.

So, here we go.  One more word.....if you jump too far ahead of the posts you might find the rest of us have headed off in a different direction.  It would be best to just follow along as the videos appear.  We'll try and keep it active.

Don Quixote - Part 2 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Don Quixote - Part one

Well, that didn't take long.  As soon as I saw Mark's comment the juices started flowing again.   He said Conquistador and my first thought was Don Quixote as that opens up so many opportunities to do something really neat with the added chance of maybe incorporating some new techniques outside of the normal woodcarving genre.  We can do a bust, a full figure, even a figure on a horse and if we really want to push the envelope we can even carve his trusty companion, Sancho Panza.   Like I said....endless opportunities.

But first we will do the head and after Goggling around the images of this character I found two that will start us on our quest for our own illusive windmill.  The painting to the left illustrates the type of helmet we will attempt and the other picture in the Gallery will be the face we'll be after as I want him to look kind of sad and certainly worn out from his search.

So, sharpen your knives cause here we go!

Any Suggestions?

I've been setting here trying to think up a good project for our next video series.  Now, I know that some of you are really interested in putting a Cowboy on a horse but I'm not really open to that one yet as I've just finished doing that and would like to try something else.  So, I'm open to any suggestions provided they can be done by an intermediate carver who's pretty good at the basics of carving but would like to stretch themselves a bit.

Put your suggestion in a comment below.  Thanks.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Big Show

The show opened with quite a good crowd the first day...over 400.  The second day was down due to the big Oklahoma University vs. Oklahoma State Bedlam game on Saturday but a little over 200 still managed to make it.  Most came to look but did manage to stick two sold signs on a couple of pieces.  I've uploaded quite a few photos inside the Bunkhouse Gallery and below is a short video clip I made walking around inside.  We were invited back over to the Lodge kitchen on Friday for a meal of roast Buffalo.  Tasty.  I also think I managed to plant my foot in the door for next years Cow Thieves & Outlaws Reunion held each October at Woolaroc as their major fund raising event.  Only a very select number of artists and vendors are invited to exhibit and sell their work.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the video and the photos.  I really can't tell you how honored I feel when I walk into that room and see My work so prominently featured in such a major museum.  Wow!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Setting Up The Display

Not the best photo but it should give you some idea of what the inside of the museum gallery will look like when it opens on November 23rd.  I was really concerned about being able to fill up all the space in that room but it turned out we had just enough to do it.   To move it all from our gallery to theirs we had originally rented a Uhaul truck.  Fortunately, that fell through and we were stuck with a 5X10' trailer.  I say fortunately as we would have never gotten everything inside that truck.  With all the stands for the large glass cases we were just barely able to get it into the back of our truck and the trailer.  But, evidently someone was watching over us and everything fit and we made it in one trip.

So, all we do now is wait in anticipation for that 10:00am opening next Friday.  Judy and I will be on hand the first two days and then every Saturday until January 6 when the show closes.  If I'm not too nervous I might even try some demonstration whittling.    I'll try my best to post a video of the display before the doors open.  Even better I hope those of you who can make the trip up or down to Woolaroc Museum will stop in and take a look.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dayton Show Results

I'm not one who usually brags but several of you have ask how I did at the show so here are the results of the competitions I entered:

Bust..................1st   Rough Night  
-                              2nd  Red Horse        
Single Figure..... 1st...Sorry Boys!  It's Beans Again!
-                               2nd..The Pot Seller
Figure 15"......... 1st..Any Complaints?
Group................1st ..The Boss
-                               HM..Slim Pickins'

Best of Category....1st
-                                    2nd

As always, the competition was pretty tough and there were some new carvers who only added to that.  Needless to say, I'm more than satisfied with the results.    Now, with the CCA being the featured exhibit next year, and being that their display will be directly across from mine, I'd better get busy cranking out some new pieces.

For those of you who missed the opportunity to attend this event you really ought to make plans to put it on your things to do.  It's clearly the largest and best organized event in woodcarving you'll ever find and it just seems to get better each year.

Friday, November 02, 2012

The Grinch - Painted

I got this character painted yesterday.  I was worried about the green but with a little Midnight Blue and Yellow mixed in for shading he turned out pretty good.  The red and white really amplify that face.

Hope you like him.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Grinch

I started this one this morning which I'll put in the Silent Auction at the Dayton show in a week or so.  The theme this year is a holiday one so he ought to fit somewhere in that area.  Should be a crowd least I hope so.  Hope you like him.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wrapped In Glory

Finished this fella a couple days ago but lost the front view photos.  Retook them this morning so here he is in all his proud glory.  He had sat on my workbench for a week staring at me while I couldn't figure out just what to do with the blanket.  There was so much area there that it had to have some kind of design to bust up all that surface.  Well, while flipping through my reference material I came across a photo of a painting by John Moyers which solved that problem.  Here's the link to that painting".   Some might call this copying.  I don't!  I consider it taking advantage of the information that is available.

I penciled on the lines for the design and then lightly burned the breaks.  I applied the paint pretty straight from the bottle on the wet surface to get the strongest color.  I think those strong colors really bring out the softness of his face.  Even the hat was painted straight but that too appears soft compared to the flag.  The gold choker also amplifies the richness of the whole piece.   Just my opinion.

I painted the hair a dark gray before dry brushing on the white.  Instead of using Moroccan Red on the braid wraps I used straight Red Iron Oxide as I wanted a clear definition between those two red colors.  The hat is  Midnight Blue, shaded with black.  I think the skin tones could be a little darker but overall everything seems to work so I'll leave it as it is.  As I mentioned earlier the earrings are pounded brass painted gold.

The piece stands just over 15" with the base so it will be pretty impressive setting on the display stand or the Judges table.  There are more photos in the Gallery and your comments are always welcome.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Old One

Here is the newest piece just off the carving bench.  Stands a little over 12" tall with the base.  Should be pretty colorful once painted.  I gave him some hammered brass earrings which I've painted gold.  Still have to add some wire ties to his shell choker which should finish the piece but will do that once it's painted.

Still sticking to my plan of carving a Native American, then a Cowboy then back to an Indian.  They can't say I don't believe in equal opportunity!   Next up is a sour faced wrangler informing all who enter the museum show that they'd better keep their hands off the carvings or he'll have to put the sign down and possibly do some damage.   Completed the head yesterday at our weekly carving and B.S. session downtown and he's looking pretty nasty!

Oh.....if you haven't see it yet, check out the neat write-up about my upcoming show at Woolaroc in the latest High Noon eMagazine Smoke Signals.  You can find it at:  It's under the "In The News" section.   Have to thank my friends James and Tammy over in Harrison, Arkansas for submitting it to them.   High Noon is probably the largest dealer of western artifacts and memorabilia in the U.S. and also a great research site.  

We stopped by the Museum on our way home from Colorado last week and had a long conversation with the Director.  Even got a tour through one of the back storage rooms which was really neat.  Saw a model Chuck Wagon which made me humble but the really great thing was when he  handed me a bronze off of a dusty shelf and said "Here's a Charlie Russell!"   Me, standing there holding a Russell bronze!  It doesn't get any better than that!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Making Boxes

Want to know how to pack your carvings so they'll arrive safe?  Well, here are two videos which will show you how I go about it.

The Cherokee Kid

Old Will, or rather Young Will in this case, is passing the time spinning some rope and that boy can spin some rope!  This was really an enjoyable figure to do.  Lots of action with a little humor tossed in for good measure which Will would probably approve of.   I based the figure and the colors of the clothes and chaps on the painting "Dog Iron" by Wayne Cooper which hangs inside the Memorial in Claremore, Oklahoma.  The Dog Iron Ranch was where Will grew up just outside Oolagah, OK.  The ranch is now part of the Memorial and well worth a stop if you're ever in the area.

For the rope I use a larger size of commercially twisted wire available at Lowes so as to bring it into scale with the figure.   There are some more photos in the gallery and your comments are always welcome.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Will Rogers - Part 2

Finished up with the carving part of this project this afternoon.  He's looking better and better.  Still have to burn in the color breaks and the details.  Thought I had a problem with the rope he'll be spinning but figured it out after the second trip to Lowes.   This is a  pretty big bust, standing around 15" tall with the base, so he'll be a pretty impressive piece.

Hope you like him.

El Jefe - Painted

Got this Hombre painted yesterday and he turned out quite well.  Hope you like him.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

El Jefe

I haven't decided on a name for this fella yet.  Would like to call him Santiago but I've used that one already, same goes for Pancho, Pedro, Pablo,  so will continue my search for a good one.

He's pretty good sized, standing about 15" with the base.  Hope you like him and there are a couple more photos in the Gallery.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Will Rogers

It's been quite a while since I carved Will Rogers and as they were asking about him last week when Judy and I paid a visit to Woolaroc museum I thought I'd do another bust of the Oklahoma humorist.   The hat behind his head is not the one that will be there at the end but it will give you some idea of what's to come.   Hope you like him.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Hot Tamales

Here's an old friend from the past.  I did this one back in 2000 for a collector down in San Antonio, Texas.  It ended up in Southern California and was recently put up for auction.  It was purchased by a couple in Arkansas.  Unfortunately, the previous owner didn't spend much time packing him up so he arrived beaten and broken.  As I have a policy of guaranteeing my work for as long as I'm around to do it I told them to drop the poor guy off for some repair work.  Well, he's back in the street, ringing his bell and hawking those Red Hots just like before.   What a guy!

The Pot Seller

Well this little lady turned out fantastic!  I will admit though that I thought I was going blind for a while after painting those pots.  In the end it was certainly worth all that squinting.   I think she is one of the best pieces I've done.  The composition and the attitude of the little scene just makes you smile which is what it's all about with my work.

As I mentioned earlier, I turned the pots on my lathe and then whittled them to look more in line with the girl.  Well, while that looks nice it certainly maid painting a lot more difficult.  To get the rings to look good I put the painted pot back on the lathe and with a marker slowly turned the wheel while holding the marker as steady as possible.  Had the pot been completely smooth as it was originally this would have been an easy job but with all those little divots the pen zigged and zagged each time it hit one.  I had to go back with a brush and clean things up the old way.  Another problem was those markers.  For some reason they just don't seem to work well on a varnished surface. Must be some kind of chemical interaction between the pens fluid and the varnish.

Anyway, I hope you like her as much as I do.  More photos in the gallery and your comments are welcome as always.

Monday, September 03, 2012

The Pottery Seller

Here she is in her setting.  Pretty nifty even if I do say so myself.  Should be quite a piece when finished...especially with all the painting to come on the pots.  I think I've figured out a way to add the decoration so that will be a new challenge to look forward to.

I spent about as much time turning and whittling those five pots as I did carving the figure!  I first turned them on the lathe and then, because I didn't want them to look out of place with the textured of the figure, I whittled the surfaces.  The dark pot is walnut but it will be painted over as will the others.  Want them all to look like fired clay which will be a couple of tan colors.  I'm thinking a white/beige color for the blanket with red and blue stripes.  Should balance out well with the black hair and the blue of the turquoise.  The skirt will probably be black or a very dark blue.

I have no doubt that this will be a classic once done and someone is going to get a great piece of original work.  Hope you like her.  No more photos time time but your comments are still welcome.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Hopi Maiden Part 2

Passed on football today to spend some time in the shop blocking out the body for this young lady.  Also gave her some earrings.  Actually, that's the second set of baubles  that I whittled as I made a mistake and brushed off my table and the first bunch fell the floor and disappeared into a large pile of chips.

I've got something really special planned for her setting which should be a real least I hope so.  She's working on her dowry so she's been busy down at the clay wall scooping out a supply to flesh out her inventory.

Stay tuned!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Hopi Maiden

I've always wanted to do a lady from this tribe and after taking in the Santa Fe Indian Market earlier this month I was able to come up with the necessary research to start the project.

The hairstyle is what sets off the piece. It's know as a Squash Blossom.  If your a Star Wars fan you'll note that Princess Leia also put her hair up this way.   You will also note from the photo that I've left the eyes closed.  Haven't decided whether to open them up or not.  I kind of like it this way.  She'll be wrapped in a Hudson Bay Blanket, probably red and there will be a little Turquoise in the final mix.  Should be a colorful piece.

Hope you like her so far and there are a couple more photos in the Gallery and your comments are appreciated and welcomed.

Hot Irons & Arbuckles

I've done this little scene a couple of times before so I thought I would polish off another for the upcoming November show.  This fella is getting ready for the morning branding chores but still has time for a quick cup of Arbuckles.  Arbuckles was the coffee choice in the old days as it was one of the first that came already roasted.  Prior to that the cook had to roll those raw beans around in the fry pan before grinding them up.  I can just imagine the quality of the brew.  Also, inside each Arbuckles package was a stick of peppermint candy which was sought after so much that Cookie rarely had a problem getting volunteers for Chuckwagon duty.

I hope you like him and there are more photos in the Gallery.  As always, your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Boss Of The Outfit - Finished

Nailed the nameplate on this honcho this morning so he's ready to ride out and check on those deadbeats that always seem to be hanging out behind the bunkhouse.   I had my doubts about this piece when I first started him but as he progressed he just seemed to get better and better, ending up as one of my best.   I really like the coloring on the Buckskin and the angora chaps add a little extra touch.  With the base he stands about 14" tall.

Hope you like him and there are more photos in the Gallery.  As always, your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Carving A Pair Of Vultures - Part 10

This will wrap this little scene up.  Thought I would show you how I go about creating the little, or even big, signs for my carvings.  It's a pretty easy process and one easy to get the hang of after a little practice.  The secret is the brush and a steady hand.


At last!  Glad to see this one leave the work table and head over to the Gallery.  But I will say it was a fun project and I already have another great idea that would involve a couple of these dirty birds.

There are a bunch of photos in the Gallery.  Hope you like this little scene and I look forward to your comments.


I haven't done a wrangler on a horse in a while so thought I'd better get a few done before November or everyone would think my cowboys are all unmounted.

Thought I would give this one a little twist by putting a derby on his head instead of the usual Stetson.  Being the Boss he's probably not in the sun all day so doesn't need that wide brim as he probably spends most of his time with his nose in the books or down at the bank trying to wrangle another loan.   He's about 15" tall with the base so it's a nice piece that will command attention.  I gave the horse a snaffle bit and you can see a metal rear cinch just behind his leg.

Hope you like him and there are more photos in the gallery. Comments welcome.

Carving A Pair Of Vultures - Part 9

Moving right along, this segment deals with making a small sign to put on that pole. A number of you have ask me how I go about creating these little signs so here is the lowdown!

Carving A Pair Of Vultures - Part 8

We're just about ready to wrap this project up but there are still a couple of things to do to really put the final polish to it.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Carving A Pair Of Vultures - Part 5

Things are really starting to come together. In this segment we set the skull into the surface and add an additional detail.   Having fun yet?

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Captain Jack

Finished this fella up this morning.  The reason the colors on the face look mottled is because I went back after he was varnished and darkened the red.  As the wood was sealed the additional color is setting on the surface and did not soak in as it normally does.  It actually looks much better than it does in the photo but it's a good reminder of what sealing the wood prior to painting can do.  There is a photo of him prior to retouching in the gallery album where you can see the change.

Hope you like him.  He stands about 13" tall with the base.

The Old Scout II

Here's a new carving of an old subject.  Hope you like him.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Carving A Pair Of Vultures - Part 2

In Part 2 we pretty well finish the body before running up against the clock. There's enough of it to get you on your way though.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Carving A Pair Of Vultures-Part 1

How about a couple of sinister looking, shifty birds to flesh out one of your scenes?  Well I think I can help you do that with this next video series.   'm not exactly sure just yet what type of scene they'll be flying into but I can see these two yahoos showing up just about anywhere.

In this first part we lay out the blanks, cut them on the band saw and get ready to do some carving.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Frank Phillips - Oilman

I know it's been a while since I posted anything but I have a good reason for that.....I've been working overtime on this figure.  With Woolaroc offering me the chance of a carver's lifetime I thought I would repay them a bit by carving a caricature of founder of the museum.  

Frank Phillips not only created the setting for the museum, it was his lodge and hideaway outside of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, he was the founder of Phillips 66 petroleum company back in 1917.   Here's a link to the museum which I consider houses one of the best collections of western art and artifacts in the U.S.:  Along with the additional photos of this piece in the Gallery, I've included a picture of Frank dressed up as a cowboy which I used as a guide. From what I've read and seen, he liked to dress up and play the part of one while at his lodge.  Considering this I thought I would alter that photo just a bit and really make him into a working wrangler.  Hopefully he'd approve.  The carving is pretty large....standing just short of 24" on it's base.   While the carving part was a little more difficult than normal considering it's size it was the lettering that was the hard part.  My eyes just ain't what they used to be.   I think it turned out pretty good overall.  It's difficult to capture a live person in a caricature without distorting the features which is something I didn't want to do.  

Anyway, I hope you like him and now, with this behind me, maybe we can get back to normal ops and turn out a new video or two.  As always your comments are welcomed and appreciated. 

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Short Circuit - Finished!

I finished this one several days ago but with all the work around the place this is the first opportunity I had to photograph it.  Turned out pretty good and I like the larger size.   I used some nylon soaked with super glue for the burnt remains of the fabric.  You can't use cotton with the glue as it becomes brittle and breaks.  Nylon will not do that.

Hope you like him and there are more photos in the Gallery.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

He Gets His Umbrella....or whats left of it!

It took me a while to figure out how I soldered the last one together but finally got it made.  Still have to add the cloth remnants to the ends of the frame and then it's off to the paint table.  As before he'll be standing in a puddle.   Hope you like him so far.

White Eagle - Finished

Wrapped this one up this morning with the painting of the robe designs.  I left the feathers loose so they and the earrings will move around if the piece is bumped but I wouldn't recommend that.  I tried a different paint mixture for the flesh tones on this one as he's a little more realistic than the others.  All in all I think he turned out pretty good.

Hope you like him and there are more photos in the Gallery.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Short Circuit!

Finished this poor fella today.  It's a different version of one I've done a couple of times before.  I carved the head a few months back with my good friend Rich Baginski from up in Montana flew down for a couple of days to carving facial expressions.  I had thoughts of a carving having him whistling or maybe even playing a flute but for some reason he was always watching me while I was carving the body so just for fun I stuck him in the neck home and  ZAP!  it all came together.

He's a lot taller than the others which were around 10".  This guy, with his base should be around 15" and that's not counting the umbrella.  I'll make that out of brass rod.   His left hand will be holding a lasso.  I carved the crown of his hat extremely thin and then used a couple of lit matches to burn the top of it off.  You can see that better in the gallery photos.  Although it doesn't show in the photos you can see the top of his skull down through the open crown.   Should be a neat piece when done and a quick sale as all the others weren't around the place too long.

Anyway, hope you like him and your comments are welcome as always.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

White Eagle

I managed to wrap this one up while setting at the Tulsa show last weekend.  I really like him and can see some really nice painting details ahead.  The breastplate area was lacking something so after some thought, and coming off of carving all those buffalo skulls I thought I'd try and do an eagle version.  I couldn't work in all the really fine detail of the skull due to the small size but I think there is enough there to show what it's supposed to be.   Also, the title of the piece will tie in with it.

I attached the two feathers to the head with wire .  Still debating whether to let them swing free or to glue them in place.  We'll see how it goes after the painting is finished.   I made a mistake when cutting the bottom of the blank which resulted in a steep angle.  So, thinking what the hell, I just cut a matching angle on the piece of walnut and it turned out more interesting than it would have.  The discoloration on the tips of the robe is where I soaked the areas with super glue to give it some strength.

Anyway, hope you like him so far and your comments are welcome and appreciated.  More photos in the gallery.

The Bottom Of The File he is.  Fresh from the local Emergency ward.  As you can see from the title of this post I've changed the name to more reflect what  caused all this mayhem so disregard the name tag.  I only added it to have something on the base for the Tulsa show last week.  This poor cowboy at least took First Place in the caricature bust category.

For the blood I reached for the richest and darkest red I had then mixed in a little brown and dribbled it directly out of the bottle down onto the scarf.  Once it was dry I over coated it with  clear epoxy to make it look fresh.  I didn't add any design to the scarf as I really liked the bright yellow.  I did underpaint it with yellow ocher before a final coat of bright yellow.  Lastly I highlighted the folds with a light brown wash.

As I mentioned earlier, I have another one of these hapless wranglers in the works which will be more banged up than this guy.

As always, your comments are welcomed and appreciated.  More photos in the Gallery.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Busted Up!

I had so much fun painting this fellas face this morning I thought you might enjoy seeing the shape he's in so far.  Need to tone down the dry brushing on the hat but so far he's looking pretty damaged and that's good.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

A Rough Night!

Here's a busted up Buckaroo who I just finished this morning.  From the looks of him Happy Hour down at the Gold Nugget Saloon didn't end too well by the looks of the fat lip, the cracked skull and the swelling shiner, not to mention the shot up hat.  I was originally heading toward doing a complete figure of a busted up Bull Rider but after I had the head well on the way had a better idea for that figure so decided to convert this one to a bust.   Should be fun painting all the bruised flesh on that sad face.

Hope you like him and there are a few more photos in the Gallery.  Comments welcome as always.

Oh....I forgot the broken nose!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Buffalo Skull - Part 5

This one is kind of long so I broke it up into 2 parts. Here's Part A:

And here is Part B:

Horses For Sale

After surveying the gallery I noted that there were almost no horses so I got to work and redid an old favorite.  Hope you lieke him.  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Buffalo Skull - Part 2

Sorry, about the delay but we had a technical glitch which caused us to lose some previously recorded material.  

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Red Horse - Finished!

Just about ran out of paint on this fella.  Still pondering on whether to put a medicine totem on the front of the shield.  Probably will as it needs something to bust up that flat surface.  I used horse hair to make the scalp locks that hang off each shoulder.  Put little wire eyelets on each one and then attached them with corresponding eyelets into the shoulders.  That way they swing freely like the feathers.

The horse dance stick has a horse hair mane, a wire bit and leather reins and decorative strips front and back.  These do a good job of hiding the large dowel that holds the shield to the body.  I used a technique I used before on some lances to simulate fur on his hair wraps.  After carving them I gave them a heavy coat of Mod Podge and then sprinkled on some fine gravel.  Once dry I painted it a dark tan then emphasized the divisions with a darker brown and to finished it I dry brushed on some light tan.  I think it looks pretty good and adds a lot of interest and texture to the piece.    If you look at the large head feathers from the back you'll note some heavy texturing where they are tied together.  For that I use acrylic modeling past, stippled on and then painted.  I think it looks pretty good.

There are lots of photos in the gallery and I look forward to your comments.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Red Horse

Here's what I'm working on at the moment.  This one stands about 15" tall on the base so he'll be a real eye catcher when he's finished.  Still have to add the feathers to the shield and maybe a totem above the horse.  Hopefully, there will be scalp locks hanging from his shoulders as soon as we can track down some horse hair.  The dance stick will also have a lot more detail, i.e., feathers cloth or leather strips, etc.
As I've mentioned before, I really love doing this type of carving as it's a challenge to see how much detail you can add.  Also, as they are so colorful and unique they sell immediately.  I've seen a lot of painted bronzes but they seem cold compared to these wooden fellas.
Anyway, hope you like him so far.  As you can probably tell I've been alternating from Cowboy to Indian and back to Cowboy.  Going to have to break off of that track soon and do some horses and especially a Sheepherder.
As always your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Jim Cleans Up!

One of the most rewarding things about operating this Blog is when it can give a little help to another carver on their way to perfecting their craft.  This morning I received a note from my good friend Jim Quilici out in California saying that he not only received both 1st and 2nd place for his two entries but he was also presented with the Caricature Carvers of America Merit Award at the Sacramento Woodcarving Show.  From the looks of that carving to the left he certainly deserved the honors.

Way to go Jim!

Monday, May 07, 2012

"Sorry Boys! It's Beans Again!"

At last!  I thought I would never get this fellas finished.  I think the problem was that it's been so long since I did a cook scene I'd forgotten just how to do it.   Still, I think he turned out pretty good and I really like the title as you can almost see the wranglers in background with various sour looks on their faces.

I used ash right out of my shop stove to color the bottom of the oven and for the coals on the lid and underneath the dutch.  Also sprinkled a few around my logs in the fire.  For the logs I used twigs but blackened them with a torch.  Funny, when I torched them there was actually a little fire going on.  Looked really neat when I blew it out and the smoke curled up through the tripod.    The shovel sort of rounds out the scene as that area would be kind of empty otherwise.

So, I hope you like him as much as I do and I sure hope the ramrod lets them dispatch a steer soon so those boys don't revolt and take it out on our little cook.  More photos in the gallery and your comments are appreciated.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

One Job Old Reliable Can't Do!

If you're wondering why the posts have been slow lately it's because we've been busy taking down diseased trees around the homestead.  This was a monster red oak that the ants got to that was leaning out over the highway.  With the very hot summer we had last year and the unseasonably warm winter that stress along with the insects was just too much for a lot of the old fellas that we have on the place.

And no.....that's not me up there!  I may be a little crazy but I'm not that crazy!