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new projects

3003 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  cobalt
How do you tackle a new project ?

Is it of the cuff , do you plan it?

i suppose i make work deveoping ideas and testing things making templates and keep both photo records and templates in a file in case i want/need to carve the same items

It has the advantage of knowing how much wood i need ,so i can cut the blocks to size and it tells me if i fancy doing it ,quite a few are ditched.

Cv3 mentioned useing boot polish so tested a couple of small pieces out on lime wood to see how it looks and poss. use in future,also carved into the bark of a hazel shank quickly tried to do a line drawing with a rotary tool the used oxo blood shoe polis on it . melted the polish with the heat gun.It has possible uses .Also messing about with some drawings .trying to draw a osprey holding a salmon and tryimg to work out how to mout it .Have looked into making talons using brass rods and epoxy resin .How to attach it to the salmon and how to attach the salmon to the shank .

all a bit up in the air?

Also came across a template of a canvas back drake whick looks pretty good

Heres a few ideas for you to chew the fat on, and feed back would help good ,bad or indifferent

1st just tryimg out different colour boot polish.2 cavas back drake Others messing about with a osprey

Wood Art Creative arts Rectangle Font
Leg Sleeve Elbow Plant Vegetable
Bird Beak canvasback duck Redhead Waterfowl
Art Creative arts Wood Font Bird
Bird Gesture Art Font Wood


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I have no band saw, (yet), thus I am unable to cut out patterns, so all my carvings are either in the stick itself or as a topper from a 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" block of wood. I have a few pictures of wood spirits in a book describing how to carve those and I use reference videos from other carvers on the net for other pieces.

Also when I do decide on a topic I surf for images of what I want to carve and print out pics that I think might help with the piece.

I do photo and file pics of all pieces I make so I can go back for reference and to see if my work is improving.
I am a more off the cuff planner. My drawing skills are at best bad. But like cobalt I research what I am going to carve. I study pictures on line and in books so I have a sense of what things should look like. Then I follow the wood. I try to work with the grain and shape. Having carved for a while I can get to basic shapes fairly quickly then detail comes as the carving develops. Much of the ime I am not sure were I am going tell I get there.
I am off the cuff as well. I get an image of what I want in my head and it's trial and error from there. Usually I get the result I want but enjoy trying to improve on a job

and I will sometimes do the whole project over if I am not satisfied. Projects can go off at tangent as well. I don't do a lot of carving yet and am still practicing on waste timber.

My biggest challenge is getting stains right. Cheers
You dont need a band saw to cut the shape my earler pieces where all done by hand using a tennon saw.its just easyer to use

my ideas are of the cuff then i always ask myself will it work or how will i achieve my target? for me thats where the drawings come in to there own

I look at a lot of carvers work to see how the carvers has tackled prolem area such as hair fur and the eyes and the carving Cv3 suggetesd helps , but sometimes wonder how did he achieve that?Still struggle with feet and hands.You can always tell a good painting by the feet and hands same with wood .you just have to ask yourself does this flow? is it to stiff and rigid?

The painting can also be trouble some trying to get the right colour is a pain some days you hit it others no where near

it seems most of us surf the web for images which is a good resource but only as good as the photographer,.

Some pieces i try to do seem a tad lifeless so trying to get movement in the carving is important to me ,the last thing i want is a stiff lifeless piece of wood and when things dont work it useually ends up on my daughters wood burner and annoyed at myself

But mostly its very relaxing and helps to chill out and lose my self both with the drawing and the carving but still have a lot to learn as i have been carving for about 18mths, so still a beginer

then its a quetion have i tackled the project in the right way? is there a better way? are my tools sharp enough? or do you just fool yourself into beliving you have done a good job? when in realality its rubbish

but usually i come away relaxed and have enjoyed my self in my little world

Also i pay little attention to the shank but the reality is its the most imprtant part but i just like hazel and chestnut which needs little attention apart from oiling ,mayby it would be different if i had a larger chioce of woods ,but a dont strip bark as the colour of the hazel is pleasent and find theres no need .

so all my effort goes in to the topper
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One of the carvers I have learn a great deal from is Chris Pye. He is in the UK. I have a number of his book and I use his online workshops site. You can Google him and look at some of his sample workshops. There is a fee to be come a member. He covers tools, safety, sharpening, layout, relief carving. carving in the round . letter carving and more. This is not stick or cane carving. It is traditional carving all of it applies to the basics of carving what ever you are doing. I am sure its not for every one but I am still learning from it.
I to check out other carvers from time to time some appeal more than others but all seem to have ideas to offer, and after seeing there work it makes you realise how little you know
I still like a simple stick even tho i carve toppers , and some of the finishes thats done on here are pretty good.. Its a pity theres not much walking stick being done .(think that you call them canes)
Looking for another project to go at , still have about 5 to finish yetl

But at night when the light goes its a good time to start. Would like to tackle something challenging not sure what yet

Probably a bull and some kind of bird to use the rest of the rams horn

Although some abstract art would be a challenge based on FRancis Bacon or a figure based on a painting by Bosch
I need to get my stick projects done this month. It will soon be time to start on Santa's and other Christmas projects. My sticks take a bit of a back seat through the fall. Unless I have a customer. I try to make most of the families gifts. This year doing cutting boards.

These are some of my Santa's


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We will be leaving for an extended trip to the west in a couple of weeks. I am going to take my carving gear and am looking to do some small hickory Santa ornaments I have seen on YouTube. I also need to get my Aunt's leprechaun stick finished before I leave, I don't want to return the middle of September and have to rush to complete it for her birthday. I have seen how rushing things turns out!
well hope you get the stick finished and have a good time on hols

at lest you wont have to rush around on hol.
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