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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Apr 28 Spring is Sprung

Spring is sprung the grass is riz,

I wonder where my (fill in the blank) is?

I have a friend on the Whittlers Porch (can I call you my friend John? We've never met) whose whittling motto is 'Know when to stop'. One of his mottos anyway. One of mine, seen here recently, is 'Don't be afraid to cut deep'. Both have merit, both help us do our own thing, more importantly they show that we are busy evaluating our past work and striving to improve.

And both apply to this next project. It's a Trick Pony, it's not my own design, I found him (her?) and two friends on the Woodcarving Illustrated message board, click here to take a look:

Caricature Animals

Actually I'd reccommend looking around the entire site, there are a lot of good folks and a lot of neat info there. Join, subscribe, buy the mag at the bookstore, or just visit, its all good. (I get no compensation from them, i just like them)

What's the trick? I thought you'd never ask...

If you give this little pony a push start, she rolls all the way over and stops back on his feet. Cool Huh? I went with vertical grain on this one, she's about 2" thick x 4" nose-to-tail x 3-1/4" tall. Horses are measured in hands, right? This one is four fingers tall....

And here is where the dual motto applies-

  • Know when to stop- if you cut too much off the the outer shape, you could affect the ability to roll straight. You need to leave a fairly round, flat primeter to help him keep rolling and not fall over to one side or the other.

  • Don't be afraid to cut deep- on the sides. Deep cuts, shadow lines, sharp(er) relief make for a more interesting piece. I think you have to make up for not being able to cut much on the perimeter too.

This is actually one you don't really need to carve either- start with a smooth piece of wood, cut carefully, sand the cut edges and ease the corners, and paint the details on, the toy will function and look good too.

I'm excited to try the bison next- think I'll call him Little BfloBif

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