Friday, January 27, 2017

The Big Project - Part 2

With the display stand finished we've moved on to the next part of this 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 ( 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 ( 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.