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.