Here are a few pictures showing some of the progress on my Native American dancer. I completed as much of the carving as I could on arms, legs and other parts before gluing them on. I use a strip of old inner-tube to hold them on as they are glued one-by-one, and then I carve and sand the joints down and try to keep everything in proportion. I want him to look muscular, but I have to watch the shoulders to prevent it from looking like the arms are just stuck on. I carved the breast-plate and was then able to shape the chest and stomach areas behind it.
The chaps and groin area needed to be carved before attaching the carved breech-clout pieces front and back. The front piece tucks under the breast-plate to hide that joint and the back piece curves over and behind the belt in the back to disguise that one. I have penciled in some of the beadwork designs that will need to be burned and painted before some of the other attachments are glued on.
The feathers and quills on the head are not glued down as yet, so that all the details can be burned and painted before assembly. I have the feather pieces glued up and will use small pieces of wire brads as tenons to joint them to the carvng. I had thought about using toothpicks for the quills but I felt they would be too flimsy after turning them down to more of a tapered quill shape. The brads used will be stronger and will look good after painting. I try to use wood for everything but I don’t want a piece to be flimsy; if I decide to make him into an automaton, he will be subjected to a lot of jarring and movement and everything must be secured well.
My plan is to do a few additional feathers on the spear and a sort of turkey fan decoration in the back. I haven’t decided whether he will be holding a shield or a ceremonial feather fan in his left hand. Thanks for looking…comments and suggestions always welcomed!
-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com