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Portrait in wood

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Project by EarthDancerDesigns posted 1375 days ago 1432 views 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I started with a plank of red oak, 4” thick; approximately 20” long by 17” wide. I take a picture of the object, this case being a man, copy it to at least 8” x 10”. Place the picture on the wood and center it. Draw the outline of the head on the wood, leaving 1”- 2” extra. Then take off all the surrounding wood, (with a router with a 1” long bit) from the outline of the head, down till the surrounding wood is approximately 1” thick. Then take the picture, placing it on the wood outline with carbon paper underneath it and draw the outline of the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and hair. If there is a hat or eyeglasses as in this case, I draw the outline of them as well. Then I take a Dremmel with large bits and start to shave the wood down, starting with the part of the face that sticks out the most from the face. I keep shaving the wood down, changing bits from large to mini, to finally diamond bits to get a smooth finish; till I am satisfied that it looks like the person in the picture. I am constantly taking measurements from the picture to make sure the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth stay in proportion to each other. The eyeglasses on this project are part of the wood. Every thing is carved from one solid piece of wood. I do not carve them separate and place them on later. The glasses actually sit up and off the face like a pair of real eyeglasses do on a human face. The whole project took me 3 weeks start to finish, working every day 10 hours a day. If my customer desires I engrave or cut out names and dates before I seal it. Painting the engraved text with the color they wish. When I am done carving it and it has been smoothed over with a diamond bit, I seal the wood with a semi-clear urethane finish. This whole Portrait is out of one solid piece of 4” thick piece of Red Oak.

-- Michelle, Aiken SC





19 comments so far

View kolwdwrkr's profile

kolwdwrkr

2821 posts in 2089 days


#1 posted 1375 days ago

excellent carving. Welcome aboard

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View EarthDancerDesigns's profile

EarthDancerDesigns

6 posts in 1375 days


#2 posted 1375 days ago

Thank u so much. I didn’t know I could do this till I tried. now I love it!!

-- Michelle, Aiken SC

View RonPeters's profile

RonPeters

708 posts in 1379 days


#3 posted 1375 days ago

Nice carving!

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View ND2ELK's profile

ND2ELK

13495 posts in 2273 days


#4 posted 1375 days ago

Beautifully done. You did a great job on this piece. Thanks for posting.

God Bless
tom

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View EarthDancerDesigns's profile

EarthDancerDesigns

6 posts in 1375 days


#5 posted 1375 days ago

Thank u so much, it does a heart good when u have mad something that brings a smile to someone face and heart. When I gave this piece to the son of this man in the portrait he couldn’t believe how much it looked like his dad, he told me later when he gave it to his mom, she cried for joy, and said it looked just like him. Now she can have him close to her again, even though he has gone to his maker…

-- Michelle, Aiken SC

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14397 posts in 2175 days


#6 posted 1374 days ago

Nice work. You must work awfully cheap or those cost a bundle with that kind of time in it :-)) Welcome to LJ.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Tinnocker's profile

Tinnocker

105 posts in 1500 days


#7 posted 1374 days ago

That is Awesome! I have just started a small business making small crafts and wood carvings and I would love to do work like this. It took you 3 weeks of 10 hour days, what do you charge for this kind of commissioned work? I am disabled and working a few hours a day in my shop , most of my wood materials are free so I only have to buy finishing goods. (sandpaper, paint, sealer etc.) The cost to me is mostly my time. I would really appreciate any advise and input you could give. Thank you for posting!
Ted

-- Ted, Browns Mills, NJ http://www.twhgrafx.com/blog/ Darn! I cut it 3 times and it's still too short! I get ideas for things that I can make to make things easier for me to make!

View Robb's profile

Robb

660 posts in 2433 days


#8 posted 1374 days ago

Remarkable work! What a great memorial for the family that commisioned the portrait.

-- Robb

View George Barreras's profile

George Barreras

185 posts in 1791 days


#9 posted 1374 days ago

Very nicely done, thank you for posting. I look forward for your next carving.

-- Nubs,Reserve

View Rob W's profile

Rob W

413 posts in 2035 days


#10 posted 1374 days ago

Great job

-- Rob — I've cut it off twice and it's still too short!, http://www.witzkewood.com

View Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4735 posts in 1807 days


#11 posted 1374 days ago

Excellent carving. That is alot of work and many hours…but the results show up in th finished project.

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work. http://www.FineArtBoxes.com

View EarthDancerDesigns's profile

EarthDancerDesigns

6 posts in 1375 days


#12 posted 1374 days ago

Thank u all, it makes me feel good that true artists like ur selves like my work.. I have been basically giving it away @ $300. I know I cold get more for it, but the way this economy is now. not many people can even come up with that. My wood is free, all I pay for is bits, etc. Guess u could say I’m in that starving artist category!! lol Tinnocker… keep going. don’t give up. I don’t even have a workshop! I sit outside under my giant cedar tree, hang my Dremmel from a limb, sit in an old chair on a piece of old foam and hold the wood in my lap or between my knees, and carve away!!! ending up with 4” of sawdust around me!!! Birds sing, breeze blows. IT’S WONDERFUL!!! I made 3 of these portraits and 2 etchings in black board all in 3 months last year for x-mas presents!! And had them delivered by the night of x-mas eve! I was soooo tired.. But I did it…I will post more things as I get the chance. I have a lot of photos on Facebook as Emily Kolar, if anyone is interested. will try to get them on here as well.. changing internet this week so will not be on here for a short time.. See ya all then…later

-- Michelle, Aiken SC

View EarthDancerDesigns's profile

EarthDancerDesigns

6 posts in 1375 days


#13 posted 1374 days ago

I keep seeing these words in some blogs or comments.. Its still to short!! Leave extra wood before final cutting job.. Then slowly take away the extra for the final clean up.. Thats how I avoid the “It’s still too short” syndrome.. My Grampa told me ” measure 2 x’s, cut once” and ” cut slowly”. To me he was a smart man.. Just my input.

-- Michelle, Aiken SC

View Tinnocker's profile

Tinnocker

105 posts in 1500 days


#14 posted 1374 days ago

The tag line in my comment, “I cut it 3 times and it’s still too short is an old joke in most trades. I am an old Sheet metal Worker and I learned early on (by experience and by the older craftsman who taught me my craft) that phrase; “Measure twice and cut once.” They were words of wisdom to me as a craftsman in my trade.

-- Ted, Browns Mills, NJ http://www.twhgrafx.com/blog/ Darn! I cut it 3 times and it's still too short! I get ideas for things that I can make to make things easier for me to make!

View wallkicker's profile

wallkicker

105 posts in 1653 days


#15 posted 1374 days ago

Real nice job on the carving .

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

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