Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Montana Bound

I finished carving this one this morning.  As you can see from the earlier post Blowing in the Wind, there have been some major changes.  I decided to make the figure Custer and title it to reflect his jaunty attitude on his way to the Little Big Horn, not knowing what waits for him there.   I did take a little artistic license with leaving the neckerchief in place instead of changing it to the scarf you see in all the photos of him.   Frankly, I think I would rather wear such an item considering all the dust blowing in their faces while on the trail.

He will have a light colored leather coat and a dark blue shirt with white striping on the color.  The bandana will be red.  A prominent Gold star should make it plain just who he is.

I hope you like him as I think he'll be a nice little bust once painted.  Comments welcome.

Slim Pickings

Here's one fresh off the workbench.  I had done one similar some years back but on a much smaller scale.  This one stands about 18" with the oak base.  On the last one I had a whiskey bottle embedded in the sand so I thought I would do something different by planting an empty water bag.  Other than that it's pretty much the same as the original.  

Hope you like it!  Comments welcome.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Spirit Bear

More catching up!  I thought I'd better give this piece a name and make him official. 

I did this one quite a few posts back demonstrating how I made a Bear Claw Necklace.   If you want to check out those videos just scroll down through the "Labels" over in the right column to "Bear Claw Necklace" and it will take you to posts of that subject.  Maybe I should have done that before putting the claws to Old Griz?

I really like this piece.  The character really looks especially strong and proud.  I guess dispatching a Grizzly of that size would pretty well prove that.   I've read several books about just how many of those rascals were out in the old west and just how mean and dangerous they were.  Taking one on with a bow and arrow or spear and living through it would certainly prove that this is one fella' that you shouldn't get on the wrong side of.  I like him so much that I haven't decided yet whether I'll let him go.  

Again, I really look forward to your comments as they make doing this Blog worth it.  Thanks.




Old Griz

I almost forgot to post the finished photos of this one too.  Old age creeping up on me I guess.  Anyway, here he is in all his color.

Okay....with this one too I went a little overboard on the size of the Bear Claws.  I was so involved with finishing this one that I didn't really notice that until they were fixed in place.  Remember Lynn......TAKE YOUR TIME!!!  Check out the photo below to see how they should really look.

Other than that it turned out pretty good.  I like the floppy hat and the dark fur's contrast with the other colors really sets off the piece. With the walnut base he stands about 11" tall.  

Hope you like him and your comments are welcome.

Strong Heart - Finished

I received a note from a good friend last night asking what happened to the photo of the finished Strong Heart piece?  Well, Judy and I went to Wyoming and in the excitement of the trip I forgot all about it!  So, here it is. 

First, I'll admit, the feathers are a little large.  Other than that I think it turned out really nice.  I like the strong colors, especially the contrasting beading.  

As always, comments are welcome.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Blowing in the Wind

Really pleased with this pose as it's showing lots of movement even in the rough stage.  Naturally, he'll have a hat with an upturned brim to carry the wind theme.    Wish I would have turned the end of the neckerchief up to increase the interest.  Oh well, next time.  Hope you like it.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Old Griz

Here's one that's been on my workbench for about a year.  Still have to add the Bear claws and a couple feathers for his hat.  He should be a colorful one.  Stands about 12" with the walnut base. 

The Cherokee Kid

Here's a new one.  If you think you're seeing spots its because there are lots of them!  He stands about 11" tall with the walnut base.    Hope you like him.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Carving a Caricature Head - Part 4

Sorry about the mixup on the last part 4 post.  For some reason I reposted Part 3 as Part 4.  Don't ask.  Anyway, here's the real Part 4...at least I hope so.

Carving a Caricature Head - Part 4 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Carving a Caricature Head - Part 1

Okay!  The fiber-optic line is in and we're ready to start some new projects.  I thought for the first one we'd drop back to the beginning and do something we covered almost 8 years ago just to test the waters.  I'm not sure how or what this will eventually turn out to be but will try and make it as interesting as possible.  Compared to the earlier videos this one is just shy of 40 minutes long.   You will have to let us know what you think about it.  Too long?  Too much talking?  Anyway.....here goes!

Carving a Caricature Head - Part 1 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Yay! Yipee! Hooray!


This weekend the fiber optic installation crew finally showed up to complete one of the last steps toward our installation.  That little black box up there on our power pole is the line coming in.  The last step in the process is to have it run from the pole into the house which should happen within the next week or so........at least that's what we've been told.   We sure hope that's the case.

So, fingers crossed, in the next few weeks we just might get back to making some videos.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Big Horn Bill - Finished

I think I'm going to need an eye exam after this one.  Boy!  Small details and old eyes make painting a difficult job! In the end though he turned out pretty good.  The colors are bright and balanced and everything seems to work.  

So, now it's off to the next project while we still wait for the high speed installation.  They say patience is a virtue but I'm beginning to wonder.

More photos in the Gallery. 


Monday, June 05, 2017

Big Horn Bill - Now For The Fun Part!

With the easy part of the painting applied and the shirts, hat and knife sheaf beading areas primed, it's time to start doing some research on the type of beaded patterns to use.  The areas might appear a little stark in the photo but the end result will be balanced by choosing colors that will compliment both the figure and the three beaded areas.

Judy and I are just back from our annual trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and while there were lucky enough to attend the Elk Fest in the town of Jackson. (https://www.elkfest.org/)  Could be old Bill could have got the handle of his knife in that area.  There certainly are plenty of Elk there. Matter of fact....that could be old Bill, or a friend of his, in this photo, taken at a Mountain Man event recently.  We love the Jackson Hole area as you just can't beat the beauty of the place.  The Tetons were magnificent this trip and we extended our stay to spend a few days at the Triangle X Ranch  in the Teton park.   That's the Dude and the Dudette on their horses riding on the bank of the Snake River with the Tetons in the background.  Unfortunately for Judy....her horse spooked when we came across a large herd of Elk and she had to walk a mile back to the ranch with one of the Wranglers.

The town of Jackson is also one of the main locations for the top Galleries that specialize in western art.   It's a real treat to see the latest paintings and sculpture and to check out what's happening in the current western art scene.

It's good to be back home and back at the workbench.   We're still waiting for that high speed hook-up but things are looking up.  At least that's what they're telling us.

So, until next time.....I'll talk to you later.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The End Is Finally In Sight!

Well, after almost 4 years, we are on the verge of a fiber optic internet line.  They arrived today an ran the cable to the outside of the house, now all that's left is the actual run into the house and the connection to the new modem.  Another crew should show up shortly to wrap up the install.  I've signed up for a 500mps service plan and considering the ATT DSL line I presently use is only 5-6mps on a good day, things should be screaming both up and down.  Hopefully, once this is behind us we can FINALLY begin to upload some new videos.  Also, if things work out as we want, future videos will be available both on the current Vimeo host site and Youtube.   

So, while it hasn't actually happened yet, I'll take a chance and thank all of you Out West fans in advance for your patience.  There's always something new going on down at the shop and we hope it won't be too much longer before we can share whatever comes up with you.  

  


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Strong Heart

Here is the one I'm presently working on.  While I've done one previously similar to it I will again change this one enough to where it will be unique.

I still have to decide just what type of decoration to put on the head...either feathers or a hat.  At the moment I'm leaning toward feathers and have made a few just in case that's the direction I end up going.   The crosshatched areas on each side of the jacket will be beaded and the center medallion will be a peace medal.  I've lightly etched the relief of a bust on the medal that will be enhanced when it's painted.

I was originally going to name this one "The Delegate" as if he was heading for a peace conference.  However, I decided to save that name for another figure as I think a peace delegate would be dressed to more represent their tribe.  Here's a photo of the feathers, ready to be painted.

He should be pretty colorful once painted and should make an attractive piece to someone's collection.  

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Any Complaints - 2

As I mentioned before, this is a smaller version of the one I did earlier.  He stands about 10-11" tall compared to the original which came in at around 16".  While it's the same basic pose, the figure is different as is the apron design.  I try to keep everything original if possible and for those of you who sell your work, producing original work is a prime consideration to those who might collect it.  If you compare the two you can quickly see that while they might each have a coffee pot, gun, vest and cleaver, everything else is pretty distinct to each figure.  


There are other photos in the Gallery if you can find them. If some of you have found an easy way to locate the individual photo albums please let me and the others here know.  Again, I look forward to any comments. 

PLEASE NOTE: 
------------------------------------------------
Our great friend Bob Easton has given us a solution to finding a particular photo album.  Here's the solution:

"It's easy to understand your disappointment with what Google's done to photos. It's not too hard to find older sets ---as long as--- one knows a name to search for. Here's how I found the earlier version of "Any Complaints." The key is having a name, a complete name.

1. Open the "Blog Photo Gallery" link.
2. Then press CTRL+F (CMD+F on Macs) to open a search box.
3. Type in the name, "Any Complaints"


That quickly took me to a folder of 29 pictures."
------------------------------------------------
Also, remember to use the "Labels" feature on the right side of this Blog.  Just search for the type of carving or subject and "Presto" all Blog posts dealing with that word are brought up.  


Hopefully, this will help us track down certain photos.....at least until Google decided to change things again.

Thanks again Bob. 




Sunday, April 09, 2017

Any Complaints? - 2

It's been quite a while since I did a Chuckwagon Cook  so I thought I would do another of this character but on a smaller scale.  As I mentioned earlier, I'm getting over a bad case of artist block so I guess you could say I'm easing back into it.

This Cookie stands about 12" tall with the base but still manages to capture most of the attitude of my earlier piece.  Some inconsiderate Brush Popper must have questioned the quality of the evening meal which didn't set well with prairie version of Emeril Legasse.  He'll no doubt get his attitude adjusted come Breakfast when he finds himself at the end of the chow line.


I'm not really sure what's next on the calendar but imagine it will probably be another Indian.  With spring chores building I just hope they don't crowd out my carving time.

I didn't place any additional photo in the Gallery as I can never seem to find them once I post them there.  Anyway, I hope you like this one and will look forward to your comments.



Friday, April 07, 2017

Jeremiah

Slump!  Hitting the wall!  Artistic Block!  Whatever you might call it, that's what I've been going through for the past  months.  I'm sure most of you have experienced the same thing.  Hopefully, with this piece and a few upcoming ones I am finally over it.  

Jeremiah has been setting, gathering dust,  on the workbench since last year.  I finally finished him yesterday.  He's not an example of my best work but at least he's done and won't haunt me everytime I walk into the shop.   There are more photos in the photo Gallery but good luck looking for them.  Google really did a number when they dropped Picasa.    


Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Big Project


Judy and I had the opportunity to return to Woolaroc Museum the other day to see how the Chuckwagon installation was progressing.  WOW!  Looking Good!  There is still some work to be done to the front of the display as they had originally planned on doing display cases there that would have contained artifacts associated with the trail drives.  Unfortunately, those cases blocked the view of the scene so they were removed and will be replaced by a split-rail fence.  Other than that the scene is set and standing there you can almost hear the cattle moving in the background and the wranglers complaining about the slowness of the chow line.



There are a couple of things I would have left out of the scene, i.e., the cast-iron teapot and cornbread mold. I doubt seriously if those two things ever could have been found in a wagons inventory.  Maybe I'll point that out during the next trip.  You have to keep the details right or there will be those who waste no time pointing out the wrong ones.
 Don't ask me why but to me the best position to view the overall scene is this one. Seeing my efforts included in the displays of one of the top western museums in the U.S. is a thrill indeed.

Should you have the opportunity to visit this museum you owe it to yourself to drive just west of Bartlesville, OK, to see some of the best displays of western art around.  Russell, Remington, Beeler, Moran, and I'm proud to say...Doughty, are all there plus many more too numerous to name.  Woolaroc may be a little off the beaten path but in a way that's what makes it such a wonderful and special place.  Here's how to get there:



Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Big Project - Part 3

It took a lot of hard work by a lot of people but the Chuckwagon is finally in it's new home at Woolaroc.  All that's left now is to turn that empty corner in the Museum into a fleshed out piece of the Old West.  In just a month or so visitors will be able to imagine standing in line, hoping those beans and hot biscuits don't run out before it's their turn.  Sort of like visiting the Pioneer Woman's Mercantile.  There always seems to be a line when good food is on the menu.

People have ask me if we were sad to see the wagon move to it's new home.  No!  Even though there was a box of Kleenex setting close by when I signed over ownership to Woolaroc, it wasn't needed as I knew that with each future visit to the Museum we could still see it and think...."That was once ours! Remember those biscuits you rolled out?  The pies we baked?  The barbecue?  The Cowboy beans?  Especially that hot, boiled coffee that warmed us up on those frosty mornings."  No, we're not sorry at all ..... we're honored that it's has found a new home at Woolaroc where it will be enjoyed by countless other fans of the old west who only wish they too could have enjoyed and experienced such things.

We'd like to offer a special thank you  to Museum Director Shiloh Thurman who is ramrodding this project and all the others who bent their backs and helped to get that wagon to it's new place.

Stay tuned for at least one more post.  In the meantime, here are some photos we took during the move:


  


Friday, January 27, 2017

The Big Project - Part 2

With the display stand finished we've moved on to the next part of this project......cleaning up and oiling a set of team harness.  There's Judy working on one.  The collars and hames have already been done.  Maybe some of you do but most have no idea just how heavy these sets are and how dirty they can get with use...not to mention how stinky!

I was going to kind of lead up to what the Big Project is but I guess it's time to let you know whats going on.


Years ago I did this Chuck Wagon scene based on our real Chuck Wagon.  That's me and my horse Biscuit munching a plate of beans and biscuits.  This scene was on display at the Woolaroc Museum (http://woolaroc.org/) a few years back when I was fortunate enough to have my work selected for a special showing.  At the time I mentioned to the Museum Director that wouldn't it be great if this little scene was setting in front of the Chuck Wagon on display in the museum.  I almost hit the floor when he said "Let's do it!"

So that's what's happening.  In mid-February Judy and I will load the wagon on a trailer and, along with the scene, truck it up to the Museum.  I was even invited to help set up the display.  The wagon and scene will join my other large scenes already on display in the Museum.

Needless to say, we're totally thrilled at the prospect that another of my pieces, in addition to our wagon, have found a new home and will be on permanent display in one of the top western museums in the US.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Big Project - Part 1

As I mentioned in the last post, we're working on a Big Project that will come together toward the end or middle of February.  As part of that I had to build a new display stand, which for an amateur furniture maker, is no mean feat.  But, with Judy as my trusty assistant, we managed to do a pretty good job.  At least I think so.  We still have a lot to complete before then so carving will take a back seat for a while, or at least until the varnish dries.

Stay tuned.    It's BIG!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Spotted Elk - Finished

At last!   I've been working on this one since around August last year.  A number of problems I won't mention have really slowed down the output  down at the shop but hopefully things will get back to normal soon. There is still one BIG project we have on the calendar during February that will keep us occupied but I'll talk about that one in another post.

Spotted Elk turned out to be a really nice piece.  With the walnut base he stands just over "14 inches so he will certainly command his own space when displayed.  A friend sent me a photo of the war-shirt beading design which I'm always on the lookout for.  The only real difficulty in doing it was the thin stripe on each edge.  To do that I waited until the painting was sealed and then taped it off.  Worked out great.  The lance was made from a piece of carved dowel with a pounded metal point tired in place with a wrap.  I also wrapped heavy cord around the fur areas on the shaft and then covered that with texturing material.  I really like the result as it looks just like course fur when painted. The shield design is from a photo I took of one at the Prairie Edge store in Rapid City (http://prairieedge.com/) last summer.  The earrings are made from pounded aluminum flashing with a copper wire loop to hold them to the ear.

So, now it's on to the next project, and like I said, it's a BIG one.  As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.  More photos in the Gallery.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Teddy Blue

Happy New Year!

Well, not only did Quint get a coat of paint he also got a new name.   I'll admit I took a little liberty with the name as E.C. "Teddy  Blue" Abbott was a good friend and rode with painter Charles Russell and wrote the book "We Pointed Them North", about the cattle drives out of Texas which was the basis for the mini-series "Lonesome Dove".  Not bad for a dusty cowboy working the ranges back in 1870-80.  

By taking liberties I mean the addition of those shiny, reflective shades he's sporting.  If you remember,  I had done them in an earlier set of videos.  It took me a few days to finally decide to add them as the carving detail on his eyes had turned out so well.  But after painting the neckerchief that beautiful blue they just seemed to be part of the carving.  Also, I added a little extra bling to his watch chain by giving it a fob, hanging of the end at the button hole.  With the walnut base he stands about 12" tall.  Hope you like him.

On another topic......The fiber-optic internet installation just might be on the horizon as they stopped by and took a measurement of where the line would be laid.  Boy, I sure hope so.  We've been waiting on it for almost 3 years.  The lack of a decent upload speed is the main reason for the lack our video output.  Anyway, we've got our fingers crossed.

Next up?  The painting of "Spotted Elk".  I still have some work to do on the feathers and the lance but I will work on that today.  As always, comments welcome.