This is brief entry on smoothing and preparing the background. I do this to make the carved leaves and limbs really pop out from the background and it also makes the woodburning and other texturing go better. You really need a smooth surface to do good shading with a woodburner. So, I use a little cushioned drum sander to do most of the initial sanding and smoothing and then go over it all by hand, removing any little ridges or marks on the background left by my gouge or knife cuts. I am also removing the brownish cambium layer that was underneath the bark. It does provide a lot of contrast in some areas, but I think it makes the carving look blotchy, with almost a muddy appearance when it is finished. I did a little burning and shading on my test piece to see if it is going to work like I want it. I’ll probably do some sample staining and finishin also…...it’s kinda dangerous to be burning wood with a finish, but I want to see what it will look like after it is finished! Hence the need for little sample pieces to allow me to try differnt things before committing to one technique for texturing. It may start going really fast at this point, or it could take a while to get exactly what I am looking for!
And a short video clip. I am hoping that video will give a better view of a finished cane that photgraphs. It is difficult to photgraph and show all the details on canes, at least for me.
-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com