Sunday, June 28, 2009

Long, Tall Santy -- A Rescue

This is a rescue project. I started Long, Tall Santy about a year ago, and gave up on him because his eyes were too shallow, and wonky besides. He had a tassell on his hat that . . . well, words fail me. His mouth was lopsided, and I had no idea what I was going to do with his beard.

He started out as a 2"x2"x12" block of basswood. He came real close to being firewood!

Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of what he looked like before I started the rescue work. Or maybe it's not so unfortunate. It was pretty bad.

Santy here is a take-off on an Old-World Santa. You can tell by the monkish attire and the super-long beard. Most Old-World Santas are rather sober old so-and-sos, hardly a smile to be had among them.

I like happy Santas. He should be happy and mischievous. Since LTS here already had a lopsided mouth, I decided to make him wink, thus the raised moustache on his left side.

To correct the eyes, I simply scooped them out with one of my bent knives and started over. To do a wink you need to scrunch up the face on the side of the winking eye. Still haven't quite got it yet, but it's not bad.

I wanted to narrow the beard a bit to show the front of his arms.

I don't know. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I regretted it though. Trying to get a knife into that narrow space to clean up the cuts was almost impossible. There simply was no room to roll the knife blade.

Yeah, yeah, I know: use a gouge. Well, I did, but I wasn't happy about it.

It just seems like cheating, somehow. I didn't even use a gouge to do the texturing on the fur trim of his robe and cap. I just used a rolling/slicing cut with my new Carl Johnson blade. Worked out very nicely, I think.

So here he is in all his glory!

The painting isn't my favorite thing to do. It's not as much fun as carving, but it really does make this type of sculpture stand out.

At this point I have no idea what I'm going to talk about next time. Maybe a flute. Hah! Bet you didn't expect that one! But maybe not.

Until next time, let the chips fly!


  1. He looks good with or w/o paint. W/o paint really looks like an old world Santa. With paint, he looks more festive. Nice rescue mission!

  2. "woodbutcher Jan" told me in a class that there is always another eye hiding under the first one you carve. This little piece of info has saved many of my carvings.

    I like your Santa...