The carving ideas for "The Leprechaun and B2 Around the Plate... ...of Oreo Cookies" were from two of this carving recipients close friends, Ken and Sam. The first friend told me Trent (recipient) loves the Chicago White Sox and he's getting his young son into baseball at a very young age. Trent's son's initials are B. B. So Trent calls him B2 (as in B squared). OK I've got it. I'm going to carve the Chicago White Sox Mascot, a young bat boy and a bowl of Oreo cookies. (Trent's favorite treat.)
Off I go, I ruff out the two characters on hard paper, trim them and trace them onto the tupelo block of wood. Great! I can get both figures out of one piece and I'll use a piece of saved scrap for the bowl of cookies. No problem!
The band saw quickly cuts out both carving blanks.
I begin roughing out the two characters.
In between carving sessions, I happen to be working and bump into Trent's other friend, Sam. Sam proceeds to tell me, "oh no, Trent is a Notre Dame fan extraordinaire!" He goes on to tell me a little background about Trent's love of Notre Dame. Sam mentions the "Fighting Irish Leprechaun" and my "wheels" begin to work out how to turn a furball mascot into a Leprechaun!
I've already began roughing the White Sox Mascot so I begin to look a photos of the "Fighting Irish Leprechaun" in various poses. Aha! If I gave the Leprechaun a wide stance and arms stretched out with street fighting gloves it just might work. There was only one problem the head was too small and needed to be removed and replaced with a new head and a hat added.
The transformation worked.
Now for the cookies. They were easy. First the plate then little round flat discs! Done!
Now, the Bat Boy! He actually worked up pretty quickly because of his size. However, the smaller a carving is the thinner some parts of the piece will need to be. In particular, the bat. I decided to position the bat in front of the boy so I'd have two places to secure it. At his hands and feet.
There! As I began to refine the bat boy, I managed to get his arms away from his body as well as the bat from his legs. The definition was beginning to look like what I wanted it to be. I found out just how frail the arms and bat are while trying to position him on the base with the dowels I will use to secure him to the base. I pushed just a little to much and the bat broke. Yikes! Then I noticed without the bat his arms were really easy to break. Now what!
I've used dowels for specific parts before. They're stronger than a thin piece of tupelo. I trimmed the bat of the broken tupelo and inserted a 1/8" dowel. Problem solved and even stronger. The "struts" holding the bat to his shoes also broke as well as the bat. Luckily, it was a clean break that would glue easily.
With all the pieces ready for sealing, I begin the process of "pinning" the pieces to the base. Dowels into their feet and the bottom of the plate. I had to make sure the same dowel went into it's matching hole so I marked them. Nothing is that precise in this carver's world!
The Oreo Cookies. I wasn't about to detail every one of the seven cookies with the "Oreo" imprint, so I made an attempt at it for just the top cookie!
You remember, "B Squared" right?
The finished piece!
After this project, I don't know whether to go to a football game, baseball game or enjoy a bowl of Oreo cookies! I'm up for the later!