Sunday, October 24, 2010

Big Santa Project

Two things I am focused on right now: carving Santas and trying a new carving skill or approach for each one.  I'm suspending the idea of trying to develop my own style for the time being. not there yet. So I'm starting as new Santa with several new aspects. First, it will be the largest project I have personally done. He'll be close to 11" tall and pretty stout. His body blank used up the better part of a 3 X 3 of basswood. Second, I've been following along with some Lynn Doughty videos again to try to learn a little more about his face carving techniques. Let me just say here, I am strongly opposed to idea of literally copying another person's carving, but in this case, I'm carving a Santa, not a cowboy. Besides, I don't have the technique to copy anything exactly.  Lynn was carving the Gabby Hayes figure and mentioned at one stage the his face looked a little like Santa. From that, my idea to use that as a staring point for this figure. I also downloaded some early patterns from his site. This brings me to the third new thing - building a carving from parts. I  took his pattern download and made a few changes to suit my own project. I increased the scale of the pattern. I made the front of his body a little more Santa-like. And I used the arm pattern to make another arm that would have a bend, so he can be holding a stick or cane. For the head, I extended the chin so he can have a long beard. I also added to the pattern, a profile of the bottom of the foot. I can copy this to the bottom of the carving and get both feet the same. Lastly, I am revisiting an old technique fro roughing out the body from my sculpture carving days. More on that in a future post. So follow along, if you like, and see what kind of trouble I get into.


Phil Land said...

Looks like an interesting project. I recently undertook the largest project I ever did which is a basketball player. He is about 20" tall, and I made a mess of his feet in the bandsaw, so I did him in parts too, with the legs and feet being done independently. My one regret is that I separated his legs and now he appears bow-legged. Live and learn. This is a link to some pieces I just had in a show today:

kDispoto said...

I had the same idea about using Lynn's technique but never acted on it (too many Christmas carving to make right now for others before I can do one for myself). I can't wait to see how you make out.
Good luck - Ken