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Took our little motor home out for it's maiden trip of the year. As is my usual approach to camping I find a chunk of wood and start whittling away by the campfire. This is my first attempt at carving redbud. Found a little branch in a trimmings pile from last fall. I was told by the Naturalist at the visitor center where I found it, it was cut around 6 months ago. Seems to be a very clear wood with little grain, similar to basswood but much harder. The way the piece of wood hooks away from the face I see a naturally shaped gnome's hat. This piece may make a good hiking staff topper or maybe a flower basket guardian. Here's the start.
 

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I like that!

For awhile I was carving what one magazine called "15 minute wizards". When I got tired of wizards, I started turning them into mountain men and Biblical patriarchs.
 

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Very nice, that's a lot of detail. How much time would you estimate it took you to carve that?
To this point I would guess about 6 hrs maybe a bit more. 3-4 hours around Saturday's campfire & a couple hours around Sunday's. The carving needs more work around the eyes, the hat needs shaping, clean up sanding/fuzzy removal & highlighting with the woodburner.
I like the contrast between the lighter inner wood of the face and the darker bark so I may just hit it with boiled linseed oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This guys about ready to move onto a stick or possibly a flower basket. The hat on this guy I did a bit differently than previous pieces. Rather than color the hat with paint or stain I used the shading tip and darkened his hat with the wood burner. I liked the contrast between the light heartwood and the dark bark but it was too bright white and needed to be toned down just a bit so I accomplished that wit 3 coats of linseed oil. Redbud carves and finishes very well and I will certainly keep an eye out for more as it was a pleasure to work with, though longer pieces suitable for a walking stick will be tough to find as it's growth habit is quite zig zaggy.

Thanks for looking!
 

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