Saturday, June 7, 2014

Carving an Eye

At this point in the carving I have shaped the eye mound. I use a #11 3mm to carve a deep hole between the nose and eye, this is the deepest point on the face. Carve a hole on the outer side of each eye and round the mound. I draw in a narrow eye, most eyes are carved too large making the carving look bug eyed or surprised. Try to match both eyes, if needed use a set of calipers. I use veiners to lay out the eyes, if you start with a knife you can not adjust the eyes to match without carving deeper than the stop cuts the knife made.
I use a #11 1mm to carve the eye.

Carve the eye in with a knife.
Match up the other eye.

Carve up to stop cut.
Same on the bottom of eye.
Make two stab cuts in the corner.

A third stab cut to pop out chip. 

The result.
Same cut on corners of eye.

Use the #11 3mm to lay in the lower eyelid.
Carve area for upper eyelid.

Use a #3 upside down for brow.

Draw in the bag below the eye.
Add character lines.
I used a v-tool to deepen eyelid cuts.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bear Claw Necklace

I decided to give my new carving a bear claw necklace. Here are a few pics of how I roughed in the necklace, they are pretty self explanatory. I used a #5 to set in the top of the claw, use it upside down to round the claw. I used a v-tool to define the sides of each claw. Notice the center claw hangs straight and the others point toward the center. I used a tool called an eye punch to mark the beads. The tool is pretty much useless in carving an eye, but is good for marking circles for beads, buttons etc. It marks shallow, so I deepen the marked area with a #3. Carve up to the cut area and round over the top of each bead. And there you  have it, a bear claw necklace. Thanks for checking in and you're welcome to leave comments of questions.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Native American Bust Update

I was able to get about an hour of carving time in today. Refined the mouth and nose and roughed in the hair line, neck and brow. Not sure what I am going to do on the chest area yet. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Native American Bust

Started a new carving from a chunk of basswood left over from a bigger project. First I remove some wood with a band saw creating a generic blank or cutout. Then I use mallet tools to rough out the facial features. At this point he has a pretty good profile. This is the first time I've used my new Poor Man's Vise and it's working great. Should have built one sooner.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Poor Man's Carving Vise

Poor Man's Vise is an inexpensive holding device. I didn't come up with this idea, I seen it in an issue of Woodcarving Illustrated. It's basically a few pieces of pipe. pipe flanges and an eye bolt. I bolted mine to a small board that I can clamp to a bench or table. That way it is portable and can be moved outside or taken to carving meetings easily. Simply screw the pipe flange to your carving, slide through the eye bolt and tighten. A great little vise that holds up to mallet carving.

Bench Hook

A great holding device, especially for relief carving is a bench hook. Simple to make, I put this one together with scrap wood I had laying around the shop. You can build this in whatever size works best for you. Mine is 14 1/2" x 19" because that's the size of 3/8" plywood I had. I added 3/4" x 1 1/2" cleats on the bottom and 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" on top. It's called a bench hook because it hooks on the edge of your table or bench. You can then carve on your piece as it butts up to the top edge board. You can add non slip padding to it for better control.