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Holly's Jasper

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Blog series by Michael Anthony Zelonis updated 08-19-2014 03:00 PM 36 parts 37353 reads 70 comments total

Part 1: Holly's Jasper #1

03-21-2014 09:23 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 2 comments »

Drawings for my new commission, the bust of a Swiss mountain dog carved from walnut, life size. 14” nape to nose, and 10.5” from ear to ear, 12” tall. This will be my most voluminous carving to date, and my first time with walnut. Sunday I am planning the 3, 14”x 12”x4” blocks on a planner to start, then hand planning to a finish fit. As part of my new procedure to make the process of excess wood removal easier I will be band sawing on 4 sides to make the b...

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Part 2: Holly's Jasper #2

03-26-2014 12:38 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 1 comment »

The 3, 40 yr. old slabs of black walnut now planned of their patina, very happy with the figure!

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Part 3: Holly's Jasper #3

03-28-2014 10:25 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 1 comment »

Started working on the 3, 40 yr. old walnut slabs for the blank. Machine planned the patina off the surfaces to find some great figure….. Hand planning the surfaces to be glued after lining them up so as to avoid what little checking there was (small chip missing from the middle piece will not affect the blank). Note; the plane is a pre WWII Stanley Bailey No. 6 I found on Ebay in almost new condition. After some clean up and tuning she is an awesome tool!

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Part 4: Holly's Jasper #4

03-30-2014 09:19 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 2 comments »

First sections planed, glued, and clamped…....

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Part 5: Holly's Jasper #5

04-01-2014 11:03 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 2 comments »

Final piece glued and clamped…... Using a gouge to start the process of leveling the bottom. It will be finished with the plane, turned over and repeated on the top, then prints will be applied.

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Part 6: Holly's Jasper #6

04-02-2014 08:30 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 1 comment »

Block is all planned up, and prints applied. Saturday I will band saw block to blank and the carving will begin!

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Part 7: Holly's Jasper #7

04-09-2014 10:04 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 1 comment »

Must have missed a day of posting! Blank was cut from block 4 days ago actually…... Yesterday I drew on the left side profile, carefully accounting for the distortion from the original flat paper drawing, to the multi – angled blank. Today I hope to finish the other side, and top view. Then the actual carving will begin!

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Part 8: Holly's Jasper #8

04-12-2014 11:35 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 1 comment »

Drawings are done on 3 sides, blank is secure on jig and jig to table (you will have to take my word on this, the pics were atrocious…..), my tools have been selected. Finishing commissioning an old Addis #4 3/4” gouge I purchased some months ago ( it was in bad shape, rounded bevel, uneven cutting edge and surface rust. Fortunately I have learned how to sharpen correctly and love to do it!), just some time on the Arkansas stone and some stropping to go and it’s carvin’...

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Part 9: Holly's Jasper #9

04-15-2014 10:18 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 2 comments »

Working on squaring the features of the muzzle…....

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Part 10: Holly's Jasper #10

04-17-2014 01:24 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 2 comments »

Did some repair work today. Broke off a small piece of the jowl and almost let it go, but decided to do the full workup. homemade clamp for the chip, hand shaved inserts for the band saw over cuts. A little fitting, gluing, and tapping them home, then leaving them to dry did the trick. Shaving off the excess, and the repair is almost done….

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Part 11: Holly's Jasper #11

04-22-2014 11:47 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 2 comments »

Working into the basic shapes of the top of the muzzle heading down it’s sides, and into the forehead towards the top of the head….

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Part 12: Holly's Jasper #12

04-26-2014 10:37 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 3 comments »

Further shaping of the face. Drew in new sections to be cut in…. Carved in features. The face is finally beginning to show!

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Part 13: Holly's Jasper #13

04-29-2014 12:50 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 2 comments »

Actually at this posting, both sides of the blank, ears, back of the head/neck are drawn, and I have drawn in part of the top, and have begun carving a little too…..just figured I save you guys the extra post! I will put up what I carved so far tomorrow, then back to the Sawcliffe Green man for a day or two.

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Part 14: Holly's Jasper #14

05-01-2014 01:31 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 0 comments »

Top planes of the head and the beginning of the ears…....

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Part 15: Holly's Jasper #15

05-03-2014 08:51 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 4 comments »

Worked on some large areas around the top/sides of the head and the front of the ears today….. I thought something about the eye placement looked off, and took some measurements. Things weren’t adding up! Fortunately after figuring out it was some of the eyebrow ridge and carved eye placement notches that needed cleaning up, all was well!

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Part 16: Holly's Jasper #16

05-08-2014 01:06 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 1 comment »

First cuts and completion of the shaping on the back of the head….. Roughing out the right ear…...

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Part 17: Holly's Jasper #17

05-16-2014 07:24 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 4 comments »

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 ...

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Part 18: Holly's Jasper #18

05-20-2014 10:57 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 1 comment »

Patch is now done and fits well. The next challenge will be the glue up and clamping as the back of the patch is the only flat surface I have to work with!

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Part 19: Holly's Jasper #19

05-27-2014 10:23 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 4 comments »

Working the patch into the ear…..

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Part 20: Holly's Jasper #20

05-30-2014 10:09 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 1 comment »

After all the particular patch work, it was nice to whack away with a larger gouge and mallet! Shaping the back and side of the neck. Next will be the other ear, without the patch please!

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Part 21: Holly's Jasper #21

06-12-2014 07:10 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 1 comment »

Both ears, back of the head and neck are done! It took a while, but It was a challenge! Now onto the Sawcliffe Green man for a few days, then when I return to this, I will be setting up on a vertical jig to access the bottom of the muzzle and the lower jaw….then comes the detailing!

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Part 22: Holly's Jasper #22

06-22-2014 12:01 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 2 comments »

Back to the big dog! Vertical jig mount (I made this jig to do the same area on my daughter Ravrn’s horse), the piece is so heavy I braced it, this also prevents any vibration even when I am whacking away with the #9, 1” gouge and the 18 oz. mallet. Now, just the fur at the base of the throat, blending the top and bottom lips and sanding will finish this section (sanding will be done when the rest is carved). When I come back again from the Green man, I wil...

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Part 23: Holly's Jasper #23

07-08-2014 09:49 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 1 comment »

Nose and muzzle are done, which adds some life to the face. Next will be the jowls, cheeks, and areas for the eyes to be placed…...

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Part 24: Holly's Jasper #24

07-11-2014 10:18 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 0 comments »

Jowls and cheeks are done, but for some slight shaping when I join the jaw and throat fur. Next are the eyes, God give me strength!

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Part 25: Holly's Jasper #25

07-12-2014 10:22 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 0 comments »

Some pics of the dog and a few of the reference I am using, left eye is almost done….

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Part 26: Holly's Jasper #26

07-15-2014 08:01 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 4 comments »

Eyes and temporal areas are done, it’s smooth sailing from here on in. When I come back to this next week, I will finish the carving, and then sanding will be next.

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Part 27: Holly's Jasper #27

07-24-2014 05:45 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 2 comments »

Final phases; ‘Hair of the dog’. on the last push, shaping all the fur from back of the neck to the front. Last detailing before sanding will be done with V-tools.

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Part 28: Holly's Jasper #28

07-26-2014 09:08 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 2 comments »

Modified my jig to allow upward cuts with the gouges to finish the back of the neck, and start the left side as well. A few more days will bring some sanding, fur detail with V-tools, then a light smoothing with some 600 grit Abranet.

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Part 29: Holly's Jasper #29

07-29-2014 04:29 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 4 comments »

Sliding into home, sanding, fur detail, and finish to go.

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Part 30: Holly's Jasper #30

08-03-2014 09:51 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 3 comments »

I bought some Abranet at the Charlotte Woodcarvers Show back in February and decided to give it a try on the walnut. It is amazing! the ‘Net sands fast and leaves a very smooth, almost burnished finish that makes the dark wood look almost like bronze. I am going to replace all my sandpaper with Abranet!

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Part 31: Holly's Jasper #31

08-06-2014 11:14 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 4 comments »

Jasper is now done, just waiting for the tung oil finish. Picked up a slab of spalted maple and started the base, shaping, sanding and stabilizing/finishing still to go…....

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Part 32: Holly's Jasper #32

08-10-2014 10:47 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 1 comment »

Base is shaped and ready for finishing, doesn’t seem like my wood guy has been able to find a stabilizing chamber big enough to do this, so it will likely be done with grain filler. Last part of the project will be an epilepsy awareness bow affixed to the front of the base, dyed purple.

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Part 33: Holly's Jasper #33

08-11-2014 01:18 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 1 comment »

Shaping the ribbon from both sides to remove as much wood as I can before I have to remove it from the jig and support it on a sandbag.

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Part 34: Holly's Jasper #34

08-13-2014 10:37 AM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 3 comments »

Free from the block! some thinning, sanding, the purple dye and spray lacquer to go…..

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Part 35: Holly's Jasper #35

08-15-2014 08:14 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 0 comments »

Monogram carved on the bottom of the dog, bottom of the base, and a dry assembly teaser. Tung oil, grain filler, and some lacquer left to do.

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Part 36: Holly's Jasper #36

08-19-2014 03:00 PM by Michael Anthony Zelonis | 5 comments »

Praise God, after 5 months of work ‘Holly’s Jasper’ is done! It was a true challenge and taught me new skills, and introduced me to 3 new kinds of wood. Can’t wait to apply what I have learned to future. projects!

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