Once I have the main forms roughed in, the fun begins with doing the details. This is my favorite part, since things really start to look good, to come into focus. Ususally, this part also goes pretty quick, in part because I think I get so involved with it that I ignore everything else and just zoom right through it. And since it is the fun part, sometimes carvers like to get right to this part instead of doing all of the important things that lead up to it.
It is real important to block out all the main shapes and forms before doing any detailed carving.
If you remember nothing else, this may be the most important thing to help you with your carving. It really doesn’t matter how well you can carve an eye or a nose if it is not placed properly with all of the elements of the head or face you are carving. Do not start working on the details until after you have everything blocked in. I force myself to draw all my leaves and limbs before I start outlining the first one. I force myself to outline and relieve all the leaves and vines and clean up the background before I allow myself to start doing the details. Following the steps will allow you to make changes or corrections or fix mistakes or change the whole design. So after sanding the stick with a drum and by hand, it is now ready to some details, some finer points to really make the carving pop. I want people to see this cane and want to hold it, to look closer at the details. And I am still using my sample piece, to make sure I have the temperature correct and to see how I like the look. It also functions to warm me up, to get my fingers doing what I want them to, no matter if it’s carving, burning, or painting. I guess it’s kinda like stretching for a runner. So, flame on! Let’s burn something!
Thanks for looking!
-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com