|Project by MHarper90||posted 150 days ago||728 views||2 times favorited||6 comments|
This is my first ever wood sculpture, and it is also the first time I have ever made something out of wood that was purely aesthetic and served no functional purpose.
I was required to take an art elective in college, and I chose wood sculpting so that I could get my feet wet in a new area of woodworking. In an entire semester our only task was to create one sculpture. There were 10 of us in the class, taught by a long-time wood sculptor. I was the only one in the class, besides the professor, with any woodworking experience. We were required to make an “abstraction” and utilize all of the aspects of “gestalt” to create a visually-stimulating piece.
We started off with a nature walk for something to abstract off of. I found a stick, about 8 inches long (pictured above, showing all 4 sides). From this I sat down and made an 8 inch abstract model of my stick with plasticine clay. The professor was amazed at my work and was excited for me to start carving. He supplied us with a 6”x6”x36” green piece of black walnut. I had to purchase 3 Robert Sorby gouges and a round mallet. We were not allowed to use ANY power tools; just our gouges, rasps, and sandpaper.
It was difficult first starting out because I had to remove a lot of initial wood, by hand, and visualize what I was trying to achieve as I went from 4 flat sides to a more rounded rough-out. After nearly 100 hours of work and 3 coats of polyurethane I created the 3 foot tall masterpiece pictured above (the picture shows all 4 angles).
I finished it off with a 1” tall marble base and now it is displayed in my parents’ living room. I got an “A” on it from my professor and he raved that it was possibly the best sculpture he had ever had a student make. I am quite pleased with it, and everyone who sees it at my parents’ house always seem impressed. It does not have a name because I’m not sure I will ever spend that much time making another sculpture again, so therefore it is just “my only wood sculpture”. I am glad that I took the class though. I learned a lot about “gestalt” and got a lot of practice with gouges, a tool I never really played with much before.