Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Here's the last one for this year.  Haven't fixed on a name for him yet.  Sometimes it takes a while for one to show up.  Anyway, hope you like him.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Chief

Well, he's done and I think I'll put him in my "Classic" folder as he measures up as an example of my best work.  Since the last post I added the side drops and rosettes to the headress which completes the picture. With the base he measures just over 12".  Another thing you might notice is that he is  a borderline caricature....the features might be a little exaggerated but the piece still looks quite realistic.  This is one of the best things I personally like about it as it shows I'm still growing and continue to expand the envelope.  While I still love doing the funny stuff  I'm finding that I also like leaving that path occasionally and striking off in the direction of reality!

I still want to do a complete figure using the techniques I've learned with this one  Being able to see the spaces or open areas between the various details really adds to the overall appeal of a carving.  I have a buffalo skull laying idle on my work bench that was done quite some time back that just might  be incorporated into a piece with a full war bonnet.  I think that would present a great challenge with a beautiful result.  We'll see.

Anyway, hope you like what you see and as always your comments are welcome and appreciated.  Lots of photos in the Gallery.

Monday, December 08, 2014

War Bonnet II - Almost Done

Just a few more details to add and he will be finished.  The drops from the rosettes!  I think he really turned out great and is one of my best pieces.

More photos in the Gallery.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Building A Canoe - Part 5

I came awful close to tossing that piece of butternut directly in the stove.  Please, the next time you see me pick up a piece of that stuff call me immediately to save me from the grief of choosing it again.  Aside from that things are starting to show real promise!  Hope you agree.

  Building A Canoe - Part Five from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Indian Chief

Started painting him the other day and again this morning.  Scratchy throat doesn't make it a very pleasurable experience but he seems to be coming alive while the colors will have to wait till their varnished to really show their true self.  Hope you like him so far.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Making A War Bonnet

I've been holding off on putting up a post on this project until I can see if it will actually work.  Well, it looks like it will so here's what I've been trying:

For a long time I've been wanting to attempt to make a Native American wearing a war bonnet made with individual feathers,  Watching David Lemon's latest sculpture take shape really brought that idea forward to where I got the nerve to try it.  You can see David's work here:  So......

I sat down and carved 20 feathers about 5 inches in length out of pretty thin wood.  I went ahead and painted them as to do that after they were installed on the headress crown would very difficult if not impossible.  I also painted the crown.  Once everything was dry and with the help of my trusty sidekick...Judy, we temporarily attached the feathers to the crown with super glue just to hold them in place until I could lock them down with epoxy.  This step, one which I thought would be difficult, actually was fairly easy.  With all the feathers in place I epoxied them permanently in place using a toothpick to work the glue around the base of each quill.   The next step will be modeling the base plumes at the junction of the feather and the red quill wraps.  I plan on using acrylic modeling past as this will lock all the feathers permanent to each other.

I've left plenty overlap where the crown meets the head for all the attachments to come...braids, ermine fur strips, etc.

I carved the body of the bust yesterday but it's still up in the air whether I'll use it or go for a complete figure.

To sum it all up .... I like it but do realize that the feathers are way out of scale which I why I only used 20 feathers when, to be correct I should have used 32.  But it is a semi-caricature so I guess I can get away with it.  Now that I know it can be done maybe I'll do a more realistic one later.