I've neared the half-way point carving the front of the Left Coast Eisteddfod lovespoon. The bowls are shaped, the vines have been formed and the leaf/star section is more-or-less complete. I'm now going to move into the Celtic knotwork section which the dragon surrounds. I just realized that the pictures in the last few blogs have all been close-ups, so I think it is a good idea to include a picture of the whole spoon to show where I'm at with it.
As you can see, having the paper pattern glued directly to the workpiece makes life so much easier than messing around with pencil lines or carbon paper tracings. Although paper can be a bit hard on the tool sharpness, I find that the odd extra trip to the sharpening bench is a small price to pay for the convenience of being able to clearly see the design as I work!
So, onto the Celtic knotwork. Once the knotwork has been sawn to rough shape (which can be a long and tedious process in itself) the actual carving is not particularly difficult. What can be a problem though is getting the overs and unders wrong and messing up the flow of the knots. To overcome the possibility of an error at this stage, I make shallow cuts which barely define the knot pattern, but leave me plenty of material should I need to reverse a section. Believe me, there is nothing more annoying, frustrating and embarassing than getting to the end of the knot and discovering there are two overs or two unders in a row. If I've cut them too deep, I'm up the creek and you can guess what kind of creek it is!
As before, I resist the urge to cut too deep too quickly. I then use the same chisel to cut away a small wedge-shaped slice which creates a little ramp down to the bottom of my first chisel cut. If all goes well, a little chip pops out and my cuts meet at the same lowest point.
Again, getting carried away and cutting too deep at this point of the game can have dire consequences later.
Next week, I'll show how to clean up the knots and get them looking nice and smart. In the meantime, I hope you will help support the Left Coast Eisteddfod's inaugural year by donating a few dollars. Each dollar you donate will give you a chance to win this spoon but even better than that, you'll be proud to know you were right there on the ground floor, helping to build a really worthwhile cultural event!
To donate, simply click on the box next to this blog, its easy, safe and spiritually fulfilling!