Thursday, October 22, 2009

Naiad Finished

Naiad was finished in time for her first show last week- after I waxed her in the motel room the night before. She came in second in her class, and the first place was also second best of show- so that was some good competition. The judges both liked her- I asked. Here are some photos of the finished carving:

There were many comments about how well I planned the grain of her fanny. Little did they know that it was a complete accident. That is just the way the grain goes.

She look peaceful and restful here, and that was the intent of the carving. Part of the way through the carving process I was sure I'd lost this feeling, but it is back and I'm pleased.

The face turned out OK, but next time I will get it better. More planning and a preliminary sculpture in clay would have made my job easier in the long run.
Thanks for your interest in my work. You can see more projects and blogs on my web site:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

All Finished but the Shouting

I thought you may like to see one of my work spaces. I just cleared 2 years worth of scrap wood and some tools off the surface so that I could sit down and do some serious deatil work. There were scraps from the harp project- so that gives you some idea about how often I clean up.

I got a little carried away with finding negative spaces and carved through my Naiad's heel. That would not work, so I took some scraps from the project and carved some filler pieces. After gluing them in place and then recarving the areas, adding some filler around the edges and I am hopeful it won't be too noticeable. On the bright side- I like the new negative space between her left foot and right thigh.

These are her 'good' sides. Some of the others look a little strange. I cannot figure out why now, but for the next figure I'll have a better reference and plan. Notice the stream below her right knee. This was one of the recommendations from some helpful people. Many suggested the rocks and I'm sure that is the best decision.

I think she looks a lot better now with a hairline and some texture in her hair. The idea is to have a smooth base, water, and figure with hair holder. Then the rocks and hair are textured for contrast. It will probably not be so obvious once some finish is applied, but I'm hopeful it will carry through and look good.
Tomorrow I'll sand her with 220 grit paper and retexture the stones and apply the first coat of finish. I leave here on Sunday and it would be nice if she were finished by then.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pedestal Connundrum

Here are two possible variations for a base for my lady. The first one would be like a pillow on a trapezoid. I like this idea- but since she was carved to be sitting on top of a flat I'm not sure I could sink he into a softness.
The second is a design that would raise the figure above the ground- but it looks awkward to me. Either one of these would be 'carved' mostly with the band saw, so it wouldn't take much of my rapidly diminishing time. I need to decide and do this now before I go on with the figure, so that the entire carving can get finished at one time. Please make a comment/suggestion here or send me an email:

First Sanding- Miracle

Yippee- look at what sanding does!!! For one, it makes her look like she has skin- always a good thing. For another, it helps me to see the form better without the distraction of gouge marks. I will be doing some more carving as I go along to fix things as I discover problem areas, but seeing this back was thrilling.

Here is a front view. As the limbs get more refined there are more negative spaces developing- with interesting shapes. All good.

The face is not too bad after sanding. The butternut will not hold much detail, so I'll be happy if it just looks human- eyes closed- and peaceful.

Sanding brought out the chunkiness of her left foot- so out came the gouges and a lot of wood came off the top and around the ankle. Better now.
There are still some inaccessible areas inside the figure that I need to get at least a little smooth. I have used my micro-motor tool a little for some of the detail areas that were especially difficult to get to. I've been using some sanding cones for the first time- and they work very well, but 99% has been hand sanding and my fingers are getting sore.


Now she is starting to look like a woman. All the limbs and some of the details are there and I like it so far. I think the shape of the head is finally correct, and the face is OK, though she still looks a little strange. Her left hand looks like a pancake- and that isn't good, but I think if I reduce the knee right there I'll find enough wood to meke it right.

I've experimented with a part in her hair- but I don't think I'll keep it. Adding a hairline of some sort does make the shape of the head better. The ponytail was the original plan and I'm going to keep it. I've made it longer and more curly because it looks better- and because it covers up a possible problematic area around the neck.
I'm think about changing her name to Celtic Woman since she is so tied up in knots- no kidding. I don't have time to do the shallow relief on the sides of the base, so I need another base idea.


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