Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Moderate success...

...I'm back!!  It was a beautiful weekend in North Carolina where I was vacationing/competing in the Charlotte Woodcarvers annual show.  The weather was perfect...sunny and in the 60's!!

  As you can see from the picture at the left I completed the bust and mounted it on a glued up base made from Mahogany which I gave a tung oil finish to.  The carving itself has only been sprayer with Deft as a sealer.  The carving itself was given several once overs to ensure it had good clean cuts and turned out pretty good for an experiment.  It took second in a two horse race and was beat by a natural carving with far more detail. 

  Overall I am displeased with my presentation/composition of the piece, I know I could have done better but was under a deadline.  Other critiques I would make are that the mustache is lifeless,  the sweater needs more detail, and too much wood was taken from the inner cheekbone area near the sides of the nose.

  You might say I am being overly critical of this work,  but I believe that to be our best we must be able to objectively and fairly critique our own work.  Overall I would grade this carving a B-, not my best effort.

Having said all this I can take away a couple of things from this experience,  I had fun and I gained experience on a large bust using mallet and gouges.

Hope today is a good one!!! (I know tomorrow we are slated to recieve a12" of snow...)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Making some headway...

...well folks we're finally into some of the details.  I've spent quite a bit of time ensuring the overall shape of the head is what I desire and I believe I am close.  There are a lot of things that have to be considered and you have to be somewhat anatomically close in order to carry the work without it stepping from the Caricature to the Cartoon.  I've spent a good amount of time on the eye shape and it's layout to ensure it is indicative of the mood and look I am going for.  This is just a straight forward look without a dominant mood so the eye shapes are somewhat symmetrical in shape and neutral in position.
   I also spent some time on the mouth ensuring the corners of curve back into the face and creating a curl from the chin up into the lip.  I continued my shaping down to the neck and also started adding detail to the mustache.  It should be noted that the mustache is not finished as I will be adding some breaks to both the upper side of the mustache where it extends from the face and also some larger breaks along the bottom edge.  Once the breaks are cut in I will continue shaping with progressively smaller #11 (veiner) and #9 gouges until the desired level of detail is desired.
    All-in-all the piece needs several more hours of work and I'll keep you posted on my progress.

  Enjoy the day (there may have been a couple of blizzards in DC but it ain't that bad up here in the snow belt !!)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

2010 International Woodcarvers website

I have been waiting and wondering why I had not heard any details regarding the upcoming Congress Competition and seminars.  Well it would appear that maybe they were waiting on their new website to come about.  It has now been published and the Afilliated Wood Carvers website has moved to a new URL, so ya might want to update your bookmark as the address has changed...


Good luck to all participants.