Sunday, May 31, 2009

If I couldn't carve....

I would want to do this for a living!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Painted carving? or not... A case Study.

It has happened once or twice where people have asked me to carve but not paint a seat for them. At first, (in the old days when the customer was always right) I carved up what they asked and showed them the seat. Imagine my disappointment when they refused to pay for it because it did "not look the way they had thought" Well, this only has to happen once before you gain a little wisdom. Now I refuse to do requests that I know are going to look bad, even if the customer "thinks" they know it won't. A small study: I have carved up two panels in relief. One slightly deeper than the other. Both are carved in oak ( a very strong grain) Notice how the grain slightly interferes with the design on the non painted panel. To combat this, I carved the design slightly deeper and more undercut than normal. I could also have selected a finer grain wood to carve in ( like bass wood or maple) Without the strong shadows, the design could be lost in a strong grain wood. However, the painted panel is much more forgiving. It is carved only 1/8" deep and is completely painted ( an extreme example) The strong shadows are exchanged for colors to show off the design. I also wanted to show off a previous carving in an old cherry stump some years ago. It has been collecting dust for some time, but every now and then I like to dust it off and admire it. It is 100% carved of one piece! The antlers are attached! ( stupid me for making it so difficult) It checked quite badly, but now I just think it is part of the design. ( I didn't know about wood cracking back then.) Even with the years of dust, I thought it shined up pretty good. As for tonight. The sun once again graced us with a blue sky and a bright sunset at the beach. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Carving lions and lizards

Some more tree carving tonight. The Bugs were exceptionally bad this evening, but I did manage to rough out the lizard a bit before calling it. We'll see how far I get tomorrow.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday seats

Only had two orders today. Hopefully more for the weekend. Man, the week sure goes by fast. I had a little time to carve outside, but I didn't snap any pictures. It's been nice and cold here today. Cold = no bugs! Making the outside pleasant once again. The beach was fogged in good today, so there was no point in taking any sunset pictures there either. All in all it was a good day to relax and work at my own pace. Even Rasha the "other" shop cat shows how it is done!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wood Nymph day five. Final

With only a couple of hours of daylight, I decided to touch up the wood nymph. I didn't do too much to her, just smooth out the chest, neck and arm a bit. I was looking her over from a distance today and thought that she looks a little rough up close but from a couple of paces away, she looks great. So I think I'm going to stop and let her remain the way she is. It has been raining and the cherry looks wonderful when it is damp. Her collar bone and arm were rather challenging. I don't really have a chisel that can scoop out under her chin. And, for those who are not blessed by a large body of water. Some tranquil sounds of the shore.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The shore, the sand, the sun? Where did that helicopter come from?

It has been raining on and off all day today, but the beach was cool because it was one of those "no horizon line' days. Where the sky and the water color both match where you can't see where one ends and the other begins. As we were walking along, one of the Coast Guard helicopters roared over us, but I could not get a good picture of it. I carved up three seats tonight. We only have one box left, so any more seat sales will have to go out on Monday ( perhaps even Tuesday!) I hope sales continue regardless. Tonight, the shop cat was Rasha. With the bugs being so bad outside, I have had the cats remain inside the last couple of days. They have not been pleased. However, Rash must feel that with loads of affection, she may win my heart over and allow her out for a few minutes. We'll see...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Can Koi climb trees?

Tonight I started a new carving back in the woods. This time I wanted to try something a little different, so I started carving a fish, specifically, a Koi. I only had an hour and a half before Cheryl wanted to go to the beach again. I had a tough time finding good wood since almost 2 inches of the outer ring was rotted. I still probably left too much bad wood on there, but time was short, and my chisels were kinda dull today. So tonight will be a sharpening party. The Skies were rather gray this evening, so the sun set was not to be. We did find a cool feather though, Cheryl and I are still guessing what bird it could have come from.

Weekend Seat Wrap up!

This weekend has been pretty good! I carved up all 8 seats even though Monday is a holiday. This will free me up to head to the woods and work on perhaps another tree or maybe tidy up the wood nymph a bit more. We'll see! Cheryl and I took another break and headed once again to the shore. It was a bit cooler this evening, but the sunset was wonderful, as usual! Hope you are still having a great weekend!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wood Nymph day 4, an evening at the beach.

So I only spent a couple of hours on her this afternoon before we headed to the beach to watch the sun set. Most of the work was done last night in the dark, I was able to shape the upper torso a bit more and slim the arms and slightly detail the hands. Hands are still giving me trouble because they are, once again, slightly out of my reach. I'm not sure how much of the fingers I want to reveal anyway. This afternoon I worked on her hair and cleavage a bit. Her chest is just wrong but I don't know if I can fix it. Her abdomen is sunk in lower. It's hard to explain, but it just looks wrong. Anyway. I will most likely clean her up a bit but removing some of the tool marks here and there. Perhaps I'll even sand her down a bit, But that will ruin the "sheer" finish the chisels make. We'll see how motivated I am. As mentioned before, We went to the beach. Lake Michigan is one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. We live three miles away from it and it's great to visit in the evening because it is usually a whole 10 degrees cooler by the shore than inland! ( Lake Michigan is ALWAYS cold!) This year the lake is up about 20 ft! I remember in the 1970's the lake water levels were so high they were causing houses to erode into the water. ( million dollar home ca put!) then from the 80's to the 90's the water receded, adding large tracks of coast line. Now it is back up and we will once again be bombarded with news stories of how the lake is going to consume us all! Cheryl and I had a little fun playing with the sun tonight. First I tell the sun to stand still, Then I try to grab it with one hand...then two. Finally Cheryl holds out her hand to catch the sun drips. We will probably have fun here until July 4th. When the beach will be swarming with people. Hope your long weekend is going great as well.

Wood Nymph day three.. I think

Ok, I'm not really sure how long I have been working on her. But she is finally taking shape. In fact, I was working on her well past midnight tonight. It's not too hard with a head lamp and a ton of Bug repellent. So this is how far I got this morning. I didn't take any pictures in the dark. Now I'm off to sharpen the chisels once again. SMALL NEWS FLASH! Sam Maloof died . If you don't know him, you probably have never read a wood working magazine or book. He's a legend! And there is rarely a monthly publication without his smiling face or a piece of his work. It's a sad day for wood working around the world.


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