Thursday, 29 November 2012

Beginning Wood Carving

I thought it was about time to do another blog, as it has been a long time since the last one, so here it is:

In August we received a magazine from Truro College advertising part-time courses. As there are many things I have wanted to try for a long time, I had a look through it. In the end I had to decide between Pottery for beginners or Wood carving & sculpting. I went for the carving as its a lot less messy, and the class is held in a school just a few minutes drive from where we live.

On the first evening DJ (our tutor) showed us a relief carving of a  Fleur de Lys that he had carved, and told us that our first project was to produce a similar one.

 This is what we were hoping to achieve

We were given a block of wood (Lime) with the outline of the Fleur de Lys stuck on it:

At the end of the first evening this is as far as I had got:

Mine after week one

We had the option of changing the design however we liked. Which gave me a problem, because I don't much like making decisions. I would rather be told exactly what to do.

After week one I decided I wanted mine to be a bit deeper, so in week two I took a lot more wood out:

Once I had chopped out most of the waste wood I was able to begin giving some real shape to the design:

By this stage I had decided how I wanted the finished piece to look.

It didn't always go smoothly. A couple of times a took off more wood than intended. Which gave me a bit of a problem, but DJ called them design opportunities.

I decided I would leave the cut marks on the outside of the leaves, for a bit more definition.

When the basic carving was finished I had to start the sanding:

This was after about 5 hours of sanding

Then another couple of hours sanding and treatment with Danish Oil and a bit of wax, and this is the finished product:

 I was very pleased with the result for my first effort.

Whittling (carving with a knife) is part of the course so I thought I would have a go with my old penknife on a piece of Sycamore which I had been given:

This paper knife was the result.

I got hold a proper whittling knife and made this Wood Spirit, also from Sycamore.

Last Saturday I took part in an introduction to Whittling Course Which . We were given the opportunity to whittle  a Wren from a piece of Jelutong.

This little Jumbo Wren was my attempt:

I didn't carve the little foot statue she is standing on.

I am hoping my whittling skills will improve!!!

I am currently working on a relief carving of a Green Man on an old pine log, but I haven't got far and there are no photos of it yet.

But this is a picture of a Green Man by Master Carver Chris Pye which I am trying to copy:

If I am half as successful as that I will put a picture here eventually.

I am really enjoying Wood Carving. I find it satisfying and therapeutic. So I have just signed up for a second term.

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