This little lady is going home with a good friend of ours. Linda is an avid tennis player and all around great sport willing to attempt just about any task that comes her way. "The Lady on the Court" is not intended to be a likeness of Linda. As I prefer to carve caricatures, this carving is more of a symbol of Linda's exuberance and desire to help everyone and anyone she comes in contact with. It is also a token of our appreciation for all she's done for us.
We begin our story of "The Lady on the Court" as a block of tupelo wood and a sketch.
Next, we trim the piece.
On some pieces, I'm lucky to be able to skive off the sketch to allow for reference marks to be added to the blank.
Now to work the piece into the basic shape.
At about this point, the tennis racket needed to be carved out.
The racket and ball worked up quickly. However, positioning it into the players hand was quite tedious.
Continuing on, the piece begins to show more definition and features.
The unknown for this carver is how thin can I make features before they don't stand the test of time and handling. Features like fingers and how thin and legs and arms can be carved were a concern.
Pressing on, her face needed to be thinned out. I prefer carving caricatures simply because their features can be very forgiving. Trying to accurately capture the features of a real person may requie a tad more ability than this carver posses.
In time the piece begins to take shape and smoothing and shaping becomes the fun part of completing a piece. In the photos below you'll also notice the extended wood below her sneakers is how she will be inlaid and glued to the base.
Her tennis racket is fitted and she's positioned onto the base.
You'll notice a "patch" on her left thigh. She needed a "skin graft" as the result of a more aggressive burr digging too deep into the soft grain.
Thanks to my wife, she is sporting a matching lime green top and skirt. My wife is most helpful when I need help with colors.
Below, you can see the dowel running through the yoke of the racket and into the hand.
"The Lady on the Court" is in play and smashing the ball down the line.