I’ve been trying to learn chip carving for about 3 months. I like to carve free form chip carvings. I’ve still not gotten to the point where I’m satisfied with my chip carvings but I can do it better than what I could three months ago. I also try to do relief carvings occasionally but I haven’t done very many. Anyways, for the first time in a good while I decided that I wanted to do a relief carving so I chose this simple flower since I’m a beginner.
I’m roughing it out here by removing the background.
This carving will be about a 1/4 inch deep. As time goes on I hope that I can become more efficient at this but everyone has to learn the hard way if they have no one to teach them and the act of doing it is the only way.
At this point I’ve done more chip carving than anything since I’ve been chip carving every weekend for about 3 months. Relief carving is a little different but I enjoy them both. Removing the wood from arond the center of the flower with a gouge is delicate. If you get too aggressive with it you will break it off.
At this point I’m starting to form the leaves and the pettles and this is really enjoyable because you just have some freedom to tweak the look of it here and there. You do a little here and a little there and your eye, mind, and soul just sort of help you in some sort of mysterious way that I don’t really understand very much. I suppose that part of it is that they all just sort of consider all of the different flowers that they have seen. It helps to have a picture and I had one of this but it’s not the same as looking at something that is three dimensional.
I don’t consider this very good but I enjoy it and I’m not going to throw it away. When I get through I always see soooo many flaws and I say I will try to do better next time. It comes slowly though. I wish I could afford to take some lessons from a professional because every trade has a way to handle every problem that comes up so learning the little ways that a professional does things can save you hours of hard work when teaching yourself.
After I got through with this flower I went out on the patio to think about what I had done and what I liked and didn’t like about it. This seems to help a little. Sometimes I get discouraged and impatient with myself but mostly I don’t. If carving was easy everyone would do it I suppose.
While on the patio I started thinking about carving a spoon. I never have done one so I thought about it so on the spur of the moment I said I’m going to give it a try and went in the house and got my wife to give me a spoon to look at.
I had bought a spoon gouge about 3 or 4 months earlier because I have wanted to do a spoon ever since someone had posted a post about making sppons a few months back but this past week Spootaneous put up parts of a tutorial about making spoons so it was on my mind.
I also had a #9×25mm gouge that look liked it could be helpful. I cut a piece of 3/4 in thick basswood and laid the table spoon on the board flat and simply traced around it. I then started to hollow out the spoon end but I found that the 9-25 gouged worked better for roughing it out. It was not that difficult to get the rough shape and I was reminded that the hardest part was sometimes just making up your mind to get started. I had put off carving a spoon for months. The spoon gouge came in handy for finishing the hollow part to shape.
Then I just band sawed it out a little bit oversized.
This was just going to be a little whittling exercise because I was just going to make a primitive spoon. I chose this carving knife as my weopon of choice and went out onto the patio to whittle it by eye.
So these are the three tools that I used to carve this spoon.
I enjoyed whittling it very much which was basically an exercise in keeping it all as symmetrical and as straight as possible. So you just turn it, look, and cut a little here and there as you go along and you are deciding on a shape of the handle at the same time.
After about and hour I had taken it as far as I wanted to because I was just making a primitive spoon maybe a lot like our great grandfathers used to do except for the fact that my tools were a whole lot better than theirs.
On Sunday I carved this apple plaque. I’ve tried to carve this apple a couple of times before. I’m not happy with it yet. The serrations in the edge of the leaves are a little difficult for me so I need to practice this. I wish that I could watch a good carver carve this apple from start to finish. I’m very observant when I want to be and would learn a lot. It would save me hours and hours of time to watch a good wood carver instead of learning most of it by trial and error.
I’m not saying this apple is a good carving but I should have set up the lighting a little different because some of the shadows disappeared and parts of it blended into the back ground so I may try to set up a better photograph and swap this one out.
So this is my production for the weekend. I surely won’t get rich doing this but I had a lot of fun and learned a little more about carving.
The middle plaque is 7-1/2 in x 11 in I think. The wood is basswood, the spoon is unfinished. The carvings and spoon are not sanded. The finish is satin polyurethane on the two plaques.
-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau