Saturday, June 15, 2019

All Caught Up!

And now.....I'm officially caught up with what I've been doing since back in March.  Hopefully, in the future I'll be able to keep a little more current about what's been going on Out West!

I had Judy take my photo with all the carvings we plan on taking along with us to the Cody Old West show in Santa Fe.  I seriously doubt I'll ever have this many of my pieces in one place again.  It's really been a pleasure to go into the shop each morning and see these characters setting around the shop waiting to get boxed up and loaded for the trip out west.  People ask me if I'm sad to see my pieces go when someone else takes them home.  Well...Will Rogers asked the artist Charles Russell that same question and he had the best answer:  "I raise my children to leave home!"   I will always have the memory of creating them and their absence will leave a vacant spot that I always look forward to filling.  

Buckskin Bill

This old Scout has probably seen some pretty interesting things over the years out on the plains.  I wish I knew a few of his stories as after posting all these "catch up" posts I've completely run out of thing to say.  I'll bet he's looking forward to a cold one back at the Post canteen.  I know I would after a day out on the dusty Llano!

Hope you like him. 

Red Dirt Wrangler

If you've ever driven across Oklahoma you note that while going west and approaching the middle of the state the earth turns quite red.  Maybe that's why they send all the Indians here?  Anyway, I thought I'd combine the two into a character and created this Cowboy with braids.  No doubt there were quite a few of them out there pushing cattle and probably still are. 

Hope you like him.  

Running Horse

Another Indian bust with a shield.  You might think I would get tired of carving these but I don't.  I love to paint and come up with new ways to detail the figures.  This one was for a lady who liked Appolossas horses.   Once the figure was painted it looked kind of bland to me so I added some facial decoration and that did the trick.  There's a knife and beaded sheath partially hidden behind the shield.  A pretty little bust. 

The Wood Chopper

Now this one is an exact copy of one I did a few years back.  But as he too is headed to Santa Fe, and as I always liked the way the colors were so bright and worked so well together,  I thought it would gather a lot of interest setting in our display.  

The wood under his arm is actually some split twigs I picked up outside the shop and instead of using Medium Density Fiberboard for the snow I used partical board....a mistake I won't repeat.  It took a lot of Bondo and some spot putty to get that rough stuff smooth enough to paint.  One think I did new was using some texture spray paint as a base for the white.  That worked out really well, giving a great appearance.  A fun piece.

Hope you like him.


Not much to say about this fella as I've done so many Cowboys over the years there is not really anything that new about him.  He's is a lot larger than my normal figure, standing about 20" with the base.  He's heading to the big show in Santa Fe so I wanted him a size that would catch some attention.  I also use a little gray to his hair....what's left of it, as there are a lot of older folks attending these types of show and maybe someone just might take him home with them.  Hope so!

I hope you like him and will look forward to any comments. 

The Trophy

Naming this one The Trophy and giving him a 7th Calvary hat pretty well should tell the story of just who this dangerous individual.   We went to the local cinema a while back to see the movie Hostiles starring Christian Bale and Wes Studi.  The facial paint wore by Buffalo Man, one of the vicious attacking Indians, was really striking so I thought I would try and reproduce it on this character.  I think it worked.  For the shield I used the design attributed to Crazy Horse.  This is one dark individual. 

Hope you like him.

A Short Rope For A Long Drop

I've used this pose several times in the past.  To this one I added the hangman's rope and noose to create a little mystery to the piece.  The rope is made out of twisted wire and while I don't think I was able to wrap the knot the regulation 13 times I still think it carries the effect pretty well.  

Hope you like him. 

Po Campo

If you're familiar with the TV series and book Lonesome Dove you will recognize Po Campo, the camp cook on the drive to Montana.  As he got his job by offering up some crispy insects I thought I would add one to create a little interest to the piece.  I carved the body of the Grasshopper and then, using wire for the legs and some monofilament  fishing line for the antenna, spent almost as much time painting it as I did with Campo.  

Hope you like him. 

The Dude

I thought I would try another Wrangler with reflective sunglasses like I did with Teddy Blue a while back.   Teddy went over as a smash hit so hopefully this fella will too.  Hope you like him. 

Standing Buffalo

Well, it's been quite some time since I made a post here so I guess I'd better try and catch up.

The reason I've been absent, besides the spring and summer chores that seem to never end around here, is because Judy and I have been invited to show my carvings at the Cody Old West Show and Auction in Santa Fe on the 22 and 23rd of June.   It ought to really be an experience to see how my work fits into this show and whether we can pick up a few new collectors.  I'll let you know in a week or so just how things went.

Standing Buffalo is very similar to one I did earlier but, as I always try to make each carving I do unique, I changed some of the details.  This time I added a pipe bag to the piece and changed the design on the drum.  That drum is actually a real drum.  I made it using a ring of thin wood and then stretched a piece of chamois leather over the wooden frame while wet and then, once stretched tight, knotted it in back.  Placing it out in the sun to dry made the leather really tight against the frame.  I really enjoy doing this type of detail.

So, here's to a safe trip to Santa Fe.