Holly's Jasper #17: Holly's Jasper #17

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Blog entry by Michael Anthony Zelonis posted 05-16-2014 07:24 PM 1157 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 16: Holly's Jasper #16 Part 17 of Holly's Jasper series Part 18: Holly's Jasper #18 »

I have run into one of my most challenging learning situations since I have begun carving. Some background…..I take multiple angle photos of a subject when I carve in the round and print them up to keep at my workbench. Last week my client visited Virginia and I showed her the carving so far, and took some more pictures of Jasper’s ears as the folds are complex. Once I got them home and printed them off my printer the detail was not as clear as I wanted, so I decided to take them to staples on a memory stick and see what they could do. Well, they came out like photographs from a 35mm camera! Upon getting home and looking over the other pics I had from off my printer, I decided I could no longer use them, or my printer for reference work! Back to Staples, got all the other pics printed there, then back home. Now the lesson I learned, never rely on any reference but the best you can get, or how you think it should be! The new clear prints showed me so much more than the old ones that I found I need to rework some small areas….no big deal, just some extra hours. But I did find one major error on the back side of the ear where the complex folds take place, I removed too much material from the wrong place. While I am not happy, and my pride is stung, I have a great opportunity to advance my knowledge of craftsmanship beyond what I learned about reference. Going back to some basics that I learned from Chris Pye’s ‘Woodcarving Workshops’ I am going to (by the grace and will of God) fix the problem. I need to add a 2”x1.5”x.75” patch onto the back of Jasper’s ear. I have cut out the receiving surfaces already and have gotten them close to flat. I am using the edge of a machinists rule to find the high spots now and taking them down with a No.2 and No.1 gouge. Next I will match grain with some scrap from the original block, cut the patch shape, and carefully work to fit it to the cut out on the carving. Then I will use 220 and 600 grit sanding screen to get surfaces as close as possible. Lastly I will go over the surfaces with the 220 again to leave some tooth for the glue to work with, glue, and clamp. Prayers are welcome!

-- God bless, Michael, Roanoke VA.

4 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

21542 posts in 1758 days

#1 posted 05-16-2014 07:57 PM

Looking good. Skill of the craftsman is dealing with mistakes. I am sure that it will be completely unnoticeable.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View sras's profile


4363 posts in 2549 days

#2 posted 05-16-2014 10:53 PM

Yep – it will be invisible (as long as you don’t point it out). My problem is I always want to point it out!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View EPJartisan's profile


1116 posts in 2546 days

#3 posted 05-19-2014 01:41 PM

I firmly believe that a master is not one who does not make mistakes, but hides them very well…
Been there for this problem… got my finger’s crossed for ya. But I am sure it will come out great.
Looking good so far!!

I sculpt people’s faces in clay, and work off photographs… there are always so many details that are hard to read form photos… sometimes I demand video instead, so i can screen capture the angles I need. BUT then making a bust look exactly like the person is difficult without going into generalized features. We read each others faces so much more than our pets… I find animals are easier if you can get those four or five details that we humans look for.. ears.. nose, eyes, and fur.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Michael Anthony Zelonis's profile

Michael Anthony Zelonis

169 posts in 994 days

#4 posted 05-20-2014 10:54 AM

Thanks EP, the client was thrilled with the resemblance so I think I am good there. I have always worked off photo reference whether painting, drawing, tattooing or carving. My mistake here was unclear reference, but that won’t happen again! The patch is now done, ready to be glued up. See next post…...

-- God bless, Michael, Roanoke VA.

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