I have spent several days working on the feet and legs and finally have the body ready for glue-up. As mentioned in the previous installment, the body is made of two separate pieces to make it easier to carve certain portions and to orient the grain for strength. It is definitely easier to carve and shape the interior portions of the legs and the legs are one of the more difficult elements to carve. They are somewhat delicate because of the thin-ness and you have to support them carefully when carving to avoid mishaps. There are certain delicate areas, especially the thin section between the fetlock and the hoof. The grain is so short there…..it is easy to pop the entire hoof off with relative ease! Certain details are necessary to make it look right, whether it is a caricature, stylized, or realistic carving. Legs and hooves and other areas need certain porportions and details. I spent some time researching and gathering different anatomical drawings and photos, even though this will be representing a fiberglass mechanical horse. I have always had a tendency to prefer a lot of details in my work, a hold-over from when I used to draw. I want this horse to have some realistic elements, to represent the realism and excitement that a child’s imagination brings to things when they play. Maybe also to represent how beautiful and magical things can appear, before our maturity demands more sophisticated wonders. In some ways, I am not sure that I want to be a “serious” woodworker…..I have fun with my carvings, and many of them make me smile. I guess we all have some of the children we used to be still inside us, that helps us not always be so serious, that helps us through tougher times.
I’ll be finishing up some of the outside muscle groups when the glue dries and then will be working on the saddle. Thanks for looking!
-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com