Monday, November 14, 2016

"Brutus" The Ohio State Mascot

"Brutus" was a long time coming due to another carving project (The Butterfly Effect) that will be covered in another post.
I wanted to give "Brutus" to the recipient much earlier in the football season. However, better late than never as they say.

"Brutus" is going home to a true football fan. Melony lives and breaths for Ohio State football! I'm sure this carving will have a "place of honor" in her home football arena.

"Brutus" got his start as a 7" X 4" X 3" piece of tupelo wood.
After a few minutes on the band saw, he will be roughed out. The wedge shaped piece to the lower right will be his baseball cap.
I used the cap to "loosen up" after finishing the last carving project.

 "Brutus" is ready to be roughed out.

 In some carvings, I sometimes cut too much away of one area or another and I end up adding wood someplace. With "Brutus" I cut the arm holes too soon and ended up having to add wood to the armpits.

 In the photo below I've added some wood to correct the problem.
Alas, that didn't workout all that well. The left arm was much too small. After some grumbling, I decided to perform a little "surgery." I would remove the left arm at the pencil lines below.
 (Warning, graphic photo below.)
Fear not "Brutus" didn't feel any pain!
"We can rebuild him, better and stronger than before."
(Where have I heard that before.)
I gave him plenty of wood!
Fitted with his new arm, I can continue with his progress.

After all his paint is added, his cap will be held in place with a 1/8" dowel and glued.
He will be screwed and glued to the base.

 Because his ankles are so thin I opted for one screw in his left foot and a dowel glued for his right foot.
 Aha, that works.

Now to bring him to life with a little color.

 Printing small letters is something I need some help with. The pictures I use as guides often times has just what is needed. I resize the photo to match the size of the carving. Then, I print out the photo on regular print paper and trim out just what I want and glue it to the piece. Luckily, the color I painted his red strips matches the color of the background of the printed images.
"Brutus" is ready for his new home.



Monday, July 18, 2016

"Miss Piggy and the Angel in the Garden"

While giving a carving to one of my recipients, there was a lady in the office who wanted to talk to me about my carvings. She really liked them and hinted that she'd like to have one. Saundra works in our office but is part of another team. I respectfully tried to explain that I'm trying to make carvings for my own team before I "branch out." Over the next couple of days, I had the opportunity to talk with Saundra to find out a little about her background. In our conversation, I learned that she recently lost her husband and she was busying herself working their garden. Her husband loved his garden. She proudly showed me a couple of pictures of how she was caring for her husband's garden and pointed out in one of the pictures that she placed his gardening boots in his garden. Over the next month or so, I finished up another piece or two. I'm a sucker for carving a piece when I hit upon the idea for the piece. Saundra had mentioned she really likes Miss Piggy. The idea grew into "Miss Piggy and the Angel in the Garden." I'm sure when she receives this piece there will be more than a few tissues put to good use.

The project begins with the story board, sketching out the character I choose and prepping the blank.

Lately, I've been able to trim off my front drawing from the blank for reference.
I still need to sketch the figure on the blank but I spend much more time on the first image for accuracy.
I'm getting a little more confident on the band saw to remove more bulk and save time.

Early on, it helps to "rough" cut into areas that will need to be reduced and those that will need to be protruding, i.e. arms, nose, etc.

 It was just about at this point that I realized I messed up a couple of features. Miss Piggy's ears were yuk! And, her mouth is basically not there! Sooooo, a little "wood" surgery is needed.
I also had to built up the right side of her hair. I left the left ear in place and replaced her right hear, scalp/hair and chin.

You'll never guess what happened! I didn't like the ears!
Off went the ears! This time I'll add fitted ears. (Sitting on the screen at her feet.)
Ahhhh! Finally!

Now to work on her dress slit that shows her legs. Hollowing out the dress also provided more room to finish off her legs and shoes.
Now we're getting someplace.
I wasn't finished removing "parts" just yet. I liked the way her right hand turned out but not the left hand... off it went! Below is the new one.

Now for Saundra's husband's gardening boots. I actually carved them first because they were easy to work-up and finish.

OK don't say it! Its supposed to be a bush with flowers.
 At last all the pieces were completed and ready for mounting and color.
Miss Piggy, check.
The base with gluing cut-outs, check.
The bricks that Saundra trimmed her garden with, check.
The bush with flowers, check.
And, her husband's gardening boots, check.
Everything fits into place.
All the pieces are sealed with Natural 209 stain.
With a little color......
"Miss Piggy and the Angel in the Garden" is brought to life.

The "dirt" in the garden is saw-dust shaken on top of brushed on glue.

I held out completing the piece until I had solved the most frustrating feature of this piece... her eye lashes! I ended up buying actual fake eyelashes at a local Sally Beauty store. Once I removed the rubbery glue that the lashes come with, I could super glue them in place.
"Miss Piggy and the Angel in the Garden" is carved in tupelo wood.
The piece (including the base) is 5" X 7" X 8" high.
The piece is painted with acrylics.
She is held to the base by two screws and glue. The boots, brick garden trim and bush are glued and inlaid.