Monday, February 14, 2011

Wiz Part 9 - The Hands

 The time has finally come for me to face my fear and tackle the hands. Well, I really need the hands to work. They are a focal point of the carving and I haven't done has with separate fingers and I worry they'll break off when I get them down to the right size. With a good sharp knife (the Lyons knife shown below), a good pair of magnifying lens and patience, I should be able to do it. I made the hands as separate parts so I could align the grain with the length of the hand and get the greatest possible strength for the wrist and fingers.

First, a little math. I start by measuring my arms and hands and
figure the ratio. Then I use that number to find a size for the hands
on my carving, based on his forearm. I found some marbles that
might fit the right hand. The blocks are 7/8" X 7/8" X 5/8" with a "wrist" part that will eventually be 3/8" to fit the holes drilled in
the arms.
The hand study photos I made prove invaluable for sketching the hands on the blanks. Super-sharp Lyons knife helps carve delicate fingers. A 3/8" #7 gouge is just right to scoop out the palm for the marble.
Marking fingertips helps carve fingers.

 I'm lucky to have an antique drill bit gauge. When the wrists are close to size, I force them into the 3/8" hole to scrape off high spots.
Testing the fit.
Sizing the wrist.
The right hand takes shape.

The same process follows for the left hand, remembering to drill the hole for the staff before carving the hand.
Both hands roughed out.
The last thing to complete in this session is the staff, which is carved to fit the left hand. Now I have the delicate task of getting the hands and fingers thinned down so he doesn't look like a brick layer!

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