|Project by LittlePaw||posted 456 days ago||1214 views||0 times favorited||25 comments|
Well Folks, It’s almost done. The carving on individual feather was slow going. Then when the carving was done, the woodburning on each feather started. That presented a completely different range of problems and challenges. The body of the goose came bonded with four blocks of basswood 2 ½” wide each running front to back. Apparently each of those four blocks had different densities, grain pattern, age or even origin. So, when I burn a feather vein, crossing over from one block to another, the burn changes to much lighter or much darker. With the dial set almost to 1 and drawing very slowly, the burn could range from no color to very dark! Looking at it, one would guess that heat setting were numbers apart or slow to fast draw! That was enough problem for me to be pulling out the little hair I have left! I ‘m not a novice woodburner, but I had the wood telling me how it’s going to burn!
Another challenge I had not encountered in all my other carvings was compound curves. There is a concave trough, if you will, that runs along the top center of the bird. When carving a feather that runs down into the trough and up the other side, the first challenge is the knife outline. When I carve each feather I’m watching out for grain run, smoothing out all the bumps with micro files and final sanding. Then comes the fun of woodburning those lines down one side and up the other! Oh, not mention having to turn the ten-pound bird upside down at times to get to those almost-impossible-to-reach places. I did run into a few of those impossible to reach places at the tail. Along the way I found all the little misses that had to be corrected too.
All of these challenges will again enter into the carving of a Bald Eagle, on even a larger scale. With that in mind, I am doing another bird, maybe a duck to be sure I am aware of and know how to overcome any problems that I haven’t run into yet. I can tell you that it was more fun carving this goose than I thought possible.
Is my Canada goose a decoy? I wouldn’t call it one. Since I started on this project, I bought several decoys – some quite expensive! – to see how they do it. I also visited a large decoy manufacturer and talked with its owner at length. I learned that mine could not be used to cast plastic decoys for the simple reason that molds cannot go around corners, therefore the carving must be much simpler. All my feathers are carved under the trailing edge from 1/16” to over ¼” deep. My goose is a detailed carving of a water fowl – not a decoy. Therefore I have no plans to paint any of mine with elaborate colors to make them look like plastic decoys.
Thank you all for looking. I do appreciate all your comments good or critical.
-- Paul - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.