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I Carved the Sun #2: - Carving the Larger Sun

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Blog entry by helluvawreck posted 10-04-2011 09:02 PM 7780 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: - Carving the Smaller Sun Part 2 of I Carved the Sun series no next part

This sun was carved from a pattern by the wonderful artist and woodcarver, Lora S. Irish and is in her book, 101 Artistic Relief Patterns for Woodcarvers, Woodburners & Crafters. I love her patterns and this book is a favorite of mine.

The first part of the blog was carving the little sun. However, before I got through carving the little sun I made up my mind that it wasn’t large enough or deep enough so I decided I would carve another one that was larger and deeper and also use some of the knowledge and skill I had gained during the carving of the first. After I started I was so into what I was doing that I forgot to take any pictures so we will have to begin at the first photograph. As you can see I have gotten it to the point at which we have the beginnings of a face.

The blank that I started with is almost 12 inches by 12 inches and 1-3/16 inches thick so the features will be much deeper and will have over 4 times the surface area.

I wanted the nose to be more prominent and the eyes to be more deeply set. I also begin to carve in the mouth.

I have rounded over the eye sockets and smoothed them with a number 3 gouge prior to drawing in the eyes. The next few photographs show the steps taken to carve the eyes. Naturally I try to get the eyes symmetrical but know I will not get them exactly so.

Leaving the eyes I have begun working on the cheeks and the mouth.

I also began on the outer circumference of the face ring. The ring will be deeper as well.

It may not show up from the photo but my idea here is to carve down from the outer perimeter of the piece of wood down into a stop cut around the outer perimeter of the ring. It will actually drop about 3/8 of an inch. While I do so I will try to leave gouge marks that look somewhat like flames as the light dances over the valleys and peaks of the gouge marks.

The gouge pattern is radial at this point but I will make many random cuts because that is the nature of fire. It is quite random you know? I am one who can look deeply into a fire and imagine all sorts of things going on there in the fire. You are liable to imagine yourself seeing all sorts of things. To view a fire is quite frightening if you look into it quite deeply but as long as we keep them contained then they become our servant and they give us warmth and actually become our companions and friends. You will know these things for sure when you are in the deep woods on a cold night in front of your dear companion, the fire.

I deepen the face.

The color of the basswood under the light reminds me of the flames of a fire or the rays of the sun who is also our companion.

You can see the depth of the ring.

So now I am beginning to round over the ring.

So the sun now has his ring for the most part. It is as though the sun has a great port hole to look down upon the face of the earth. To me he has the expression that says “I have seen it all; there is nothing new under the sun.”

I took a copy of my pattern and cut out the ring and face in order to transfer the rays to the wood with graphite paper.

So we see sort of what the rays will look like.

I drill small holes in strategic places to relieve the scroll saw.

Then I cut the rays out with the scroll saw.

So finally the sun has a halo of flames.

Of course while doing all of these steps I continue to try to improve all os the features of the sun’s face.

The sun’s appearance after I finished carving.

The two shots above is how the sun looked after I sprayed a coat of polyurethane on.

This is a shot of how I work and my setup. It’s really quite messy isn’t it? I wish that I were better organized. I never will be. My wife sometimes calls me Pigpen.

I enjoyed carving the sun and I appreciate you folks visiting my blog.

helluvawreck
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com/

-- 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



15 comments so far

View Rustic's profile

Rustic

3142 posts in 2282 days


#1 posted 10-04-2011 09:29 PM

Just beautiful. Don’t feel bad my wife says the same thing about me.

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View mpounders's profile

mpounders

737 posts in 1581 days


#2 posted 10-04-2011 09:42 PM

That looks good! And it is certainly larger! Did you say this was a pattern by Susan Irish? I am a little distracted by the large selection of gouges on your bench though! Or maybe it’s jealousy? LOL.

-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7798 posts in 2738 days


#3 posted 10-04-2011 10:15 PM

That’s Looking At You Kid! LOL

Awesome!
Super nice work!

That’s your BEST, so far… IMHO!

Hey, I think you have a very nice useable workarea!

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View jjw5858's profile

jjw5858

1117 posts in 1288 days


#4 posted 10-05-2011 01:47 AM

Great efforts here, keep going you are definitely improving. Dam, I am jealous of all those nice carving tools as well!....lol
Awesome job!

-- "Make something you love tomorrow...and do it slowly" JLB

View grizzman's profile (online now)

grizzman

7092 posts in 1989 days


#5 posted 10-05-2011 06:09 AM

what a terrific sun….....if i were you i would keep it for yourself on those cloudy rainy days in Georgeanna and it can shine on for you all day…......what a grand job….

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View mafe's profile

mafe

9554 posts in 1775 days


#6 posted 10-05-2011 12:11 PM

Amazing!
You have a hidden gift there, you out do your self each time.
I love your work setup, the ‘arm’ so you have room arround for working, that is really clever.
Beautiful work on that sun and it looks as if you really enjoy the ride.
Your wife – she loves you!
Best thoughts from Denmark,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15959 posts in 1553 days


#7 posted 10-05-2011 03:48 PM

Rustic, Mike, Joe, JJ, Griz, and Mads, thanks so much for the kind words of encouragement and all the compliments. They mean a lot to someone like me who is trying to learn.

Mike, I’ve been collecting the tools longer than I’ve been carving so I knew that I would eventually start using them when I finally got some time. Yes, the pattern is by Lora S Irish. I edited that in at the top.

Thanks, Mads, for those words. The arm is very simple really; it took less than an hour to build and is simply clamped to the bench. It works really well for me and when I’m not using it it simply stands in the corner against the wall.

-- 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

View mafe's profile

mafe

9554 posts in 1775 days


#8 posted 10-05-2011 05:57 PM

Less is more my dear friend.
Smile.

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View mafe's profile

mafe

9554 posts in 1775 days


#9 posted 10-06-2011 12:27 PM

The mouth is so realistic, I want to tell him a funny sentence and make him smile.
Big smile, and a ray of sun,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15959 posts in 1553 days


#10 posted 10-06-2011 01:33 PM

Mads, the sun looks down on this old world and watches all of us run around as if we don’t have time to even think about what we are all doing or why we are here. He’s seen it all and he knows that there is really nothing new under the sun so he sits there staring as if he was a wise old owl with those big eyes of his with a slight bit of boredom as he takes it all in.

-- 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

View lilredweldingrod's profile

lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 1793 days


#11 posted 10-06-2011 02:28 PM

I am impressed, Charles. Your practice is making prefect! All the carvers on LJ are absolutely amazing yo me. I have a terrible time trying to sharpen a pencil. lol Good thing Exacto makes a pencil sharpener. lol

I’ll have to get Ms. Irish’s book and maybe try to follow you carvers a bit. At least understand the steps better. Mike and Dilo create some of the most beautiful pieces. Very inspiring.

View mafe's profile

mafe

9554 posts in 1775 days


#12 posted 10-06-2011 03:04 PM

Wonderful story Charles, now I understand his look.
Thank you.

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View GaryL's profile

GaryL

1079 posts in 1517 days


#13 posted 10-07-2011 12:11 AM

That looks simply fantastic Charles! I congratulate you for the patience to tackle carving. I would have a hard time trying to get it done too fast and mess it up. So needless to say I have never ventured into carving. But your work is inspiring and getting me curious to try.
Have great evening!

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15959 posts in 1553 days


#14 posted 10-07-2011 02:25 PM

Rand and Gary, I really do appreciate the compliments and kind words. If either one of you wanted to try carving you might consider starting with chip carving or whittling because they both just take simple knives so there is hardly any investment. Just give it a try you both may really like it.

-- 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

View lilredweldingrod's profile

lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 1793 days


#15 posted 10-08-2011 04:44 AM

Charles, now that I think about it, is has to be easier on the back and shoulders. lol

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