Friday, November 19, 2010

While I seal the pelican carving I started a new painting. Here's a WIP photo from last night and today. I'm hoping to get this finished before next Tues. with the holiday coming up. I know that's going to cut into painting time. This is as usual, a miniature, done in acrylic. The reference was taken on our recent trip to Louisiana when we were out boating with friends. This fellow was one of the few who stayed put as we passed. We decided he was a "ham" and was posing for the camera. ;-)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Carving "stuff"

I'm finally getting back to post here about my carving equipment. I have been at this for a multitude of years so I have "accumulated" quite a bit, but I've used it all for years now. I love my power carvers and I also have a very special place in my heart for my dustbox as my father made it especially for me a number of years ago. I wouldn't want to be without it now.

These are a few of my favorite knives, which is how I started out for a number of years. The one in front with the silver band was my original knife. I used it "to death". The band is a wire wrap to hold it together. A friend of mine "saved" it for me after the handle split. I continued to use it for quite awhile after that. Then I got my very FAVORITE knife, the one right behind it, at a carving club auction. I still love that knife and never found another I liked as well. The small detail knife I used for special things as well as the larger, longer knife which a friend made for me. I rarely use a knife now, but now and again I fall back to them for some special reason or other.

These are my power tools. I started out doing power with only the Foredom (this is a flexible shaft tool), even my tiny detail work. Finally my hand would start "going to sleep" from the vibration. At that point I figured I had enough time into it to know I wasn't going to quit anytime soon, so I splurged and bought my NSK. That is the little box power tool on the right. The motor is in the hand piece and there is little or no vibration when using it. I still rough out with my Foredom, then do the detail work with the NSK. I had a different Foredom initially, and "drooled" over one like this- it reverses. I was lucky enough to win this one as a prize one year when I won a first place/Best of Show. I was one very happy carver that year!

Next comes my dustbox. It is a large "piece of furniture" as you can see. The bottom opens to allow for cleaning out the dust and periodically changing the filter.

Below is my wood burner, another lucky prize for another BOS. Again, I had a different burner, same maker (Colwood), but I "coveted" one with 2 units. I can have two different tips and flip back and forth. I have another burner I also won, a different brand, which is supposed to be really good, but I prefer my Colwood and never use the other one. I really should sell it!

Finally- here is the pelican WIP. I actually have him all carved and feathered. He's in process of being sealed now. I thought you might like to see the pattern I started with. When making the pattern for a carving you have to be able to visualize not only a side view, but also a top view. Then you have to draw it out and make it fit together for the sawing process. Also as I carve I have to figure out dimensions and when making a miniature I have to "miniature-ize" things. This means every dimension so you have to think in terms of 3-D. I end up doing ALOT of math- which I am NOT good at!!! Gives my mind a workout! Hope you find this all interesting and not boring!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Latest on mini WIP carving

Worked on it yesterday and today (around the piano lessons) and he's getting to not look so "naked" as a friend so delicately put it!!! Boy, those pelicans have "nasty" feathers on their backs- try to make sense out of those groups!!! It's taking me a lot of studying, and alot of "more reference, more reference" and "where WAS that other shot of that area" to get it!!! I think you can see the detail here and the lifting of the feathering...

By the way- the body from neck to tail is 1.75" in length. So that should give you an idea of how tiny the feathering is. You can also see I've undercut the one lifted wing on the top. I have more undercutting under the wings yet, but that waits until the last minute once all the rest is done.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Miniature Carving WIP

Well, quite a bit of time has been spent carving this fellow, although you may not think it looks like it! My carpal tunnel certainly does! Wrist is hurting big time from harp and carving... Yikes. My 2 loves. I can deal with the pain just as long as it doesn't make it impossible to work. The first photo here was from 2 days ago. May not look like much progress, but I put in quite a bit of time just getting that far.

Today was spent mostly working on the head area. The detail is very intricate and time consuming. I am looking forward to getting to the feathering soon I hope, altho there is still more to do on the underside and also to finish off the head and neck, plus detailing a bit on the wings. As I write this I realize I still have quite a bit left to go. Once you start to see a "face" it seems like you're getting somewhere I guess. It took me awhile to envision the bill but I finally was able to put it all together. Now if I only don't slip up when I'm sanding (I power sand)- one slip and it's all over. Bad enough on the full size pieces, these miniatures haven't a bit of error margine at all...