The piece begins with a piece of 3"x4"x7" tupelo wood.
This piece called for both front and side views.
I put a little more faith into my band saw and coped out most of the piece. Originally, I planned to have the Mother Eagle directly in front of the "Birder."
I "skinned" off the front and side views after the piece was coped out for references.
As the piece is reduced, I needed to maintain a sketch for a guide.
I knew I could trust removing the left side of the piece but I waited as long as I could before cutting off the right side sketch.
In the photo below, I "skinned" off the image but needed sections to help with details.
As you can see, once the main image is removed the piece becomes somewhat more difficult to
visualize just how deep to cut into the blank as the piece is further reduced for detail.
I cut the Mother Eagle from the base to spread out the "scene." I ended up using a 5"x7" base.
The "Birder" begins to take shape.
For this carver, this is the point of the carving that becomes the most fun.
You can begin to work up the details.
It was also the point of the carving that I realized I cut too much off of his forehead! I ended up making three "repairs" to this piece. The build-up of his forehead, the area between his right forearm and upper arm needed to be thickened and his binos eye piece needed to be repaired.
The "Eaglet" was rather easy to carve due to its small size. As long as you can manage a reasonable appearance to its shape and you can get the coloration close, the human eye picks up most of the shape and enhances the detail.
The "Birder," rocks and Mother Eagle on a tree trunk were to be glued to the base. I inlaid the "Birder's" feet and added 1/8" dowels to the other three features for additional gluing strength.
Below, the base is cut and drilled for the four separate pieces and everything is sealed with neutral wood stain and ready for paint.
I spent time in a craft store for ideas for ground cover to bring the four pieces together on its base.
I almost went for the glue on shrubs etc. but I decided to go for an all wooden texture instead.
I took the roughest burr I have and dug out a piece of scrap basswood.
I put the "chips" into an empty plastic Rx pill container and drilled a bunch of 1/8" holes in the cover, brushed wood glue onto the surface and (like a salt shaker) sprinkled the chips onto the glue. I used a thin flat piece of wood (like a tongue depressor) to gently press the chips into the glue. Once dry I blew off the extras and voila!
Time for paint!
I used sparkle paint on the binos lenses.
This was my first attempt at a tree trunk and rocks. These pieces worked up much easier than I thought they would. The wood texture and grain added a great deal to enhance the character of the tree and rocks.
To the top of the "Eaglets" head (including the base) is 8".
Now, here's a look at my carving bench!
The footprint of the work area is just 8'x3'.
The surface area of the homemade carving bench is 24"W x 20"D.
However, due to the dust vacuum, I only work in an area of about a square foot.
When the piece is ready for paint the bench area from the metal shelf is covered with a rubber matt and it becomes the paint bench.
I use a plastic storage cabinet for my wood and supplies as well.
Now to move on to the next piece!