Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sundry Sunday

Welcome back friends and neighbors. I've spent the last couple of weeks doing different things and trying different techniques, so this blog post is something of a hodge-podge. First up is a little Celtic dragon I did for my daughter. She's going to make a pendant (or something) from it for her jewelry line.

The wood is 1/4" walnut that I got from Woodcraft. Walnut wasn't as hard to carve as I thought it would be. Of course it was only 1/4" thick so I wasn't taking off huge pieces. The only machine I used on this was a drill to start the piercings. Everything else, including rough shaping from the original square blank, was done with a knife. Could be better, but for a first effort, I'm rather pleased.

This wood spirit is the first I've ever done in found wood. As such it was something of a new experience. I believe the wood is aspen. I am not a student of plant life. I know there are two kinds of trees, deciduous and evergreen. Beyond that I'm pretty clueless.

I did this guy a little differently than the others I've done. I did the eyes the way Don Mertz, The Woodbee Carver, does in his tutorial. Then I used a round, negative space for the irises/pupils. I rather like the way it turned out. I also got a little more curvature on the dental mound than I usually get and got more of the nose on the face rather than sticking out in front of it. Still not quite where I want it, but getting better.

The next series of photos is of another technique I've picked up from Don, the Whittle Doodle.

A Whittle Doodle is just exactly what it says. It's a doodle for whittlers. Instead of doodling on a piece of paper with your pencil, you doodle on a piece of scrap wood with your knife. In this case it's a 2"x2"x2" block of basswood. It's a low-pressure way to practice since (unless you are Don) it's not meant to be seen by anyone else. As you can see, I screwed up the eye on the right royally, but I'm really happy with the way the nose turned out. You can also see that the regularity of my borders needs some work. I've still got a lot of room on this Doodle to play with. I'm going to keep at it until I've got every face full. It's going to be interesting when I get to the end-grain faces! That may take a while.

That's enough rambling for now. So, until next time, let the chips fly.


  1. Really nice work, Bob. I especially like the wood spirit. I've been meaning to try the WoodBeeCarver's technique, too. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Bob I love the dragon carving. I havent seen whittle doodle before, thanks for that one. Thanks also for the pics of the woodspirit, the side shots show just how deep the carvings can go. Regards Dave