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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bit by bit...

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This week, I was able to spend several hours, picking away at all the various parts of the top of the spoon. I thought I'd focus on a few close-ups of some of those parts in this week's blog. I think I started with the flower. Last week, I'd begun carving the first three petals. This week, I've begun carving the next three, and the back. I think I have the petals to the depth I want - cupped around the trumpet of the daffodil. It's not as long as a typical daffodil trumpet, but it is definitely a trumpet now, and the thin walls of the trumpet still have some strength. I know I am a sucker for making things delicate, but only when it helps the design. Even I consider how protected delicate parts may be.

Later, I worked a bit on the eagle. I felt like he wasn't looking as "eagle-y" as he should. I think that furrowed brow is one of the defining features of an eagle, so I trimmed a bit from the top of the beak, and I think I managed to emphasise the furrowed brow now. What do you think? I also began to put some shape to the top edge of the wing. Now, most of the front was rough-carved, so I turned to the back. *sigh*.

I looked at the back, and thought to myself, "there is a lot of carving to do here!" Well, this time I started with the vines, then moved on to the knot. You've probably already noticed how my initial carving is quite rough, leaving a lot of flat planes. I think this is partly the way I carve, and partly a result of some limitations of the grain of the wood. I know we've talked about how this wood carves nicely - buttery. It doesn't do that in every direction, though. No wood does. With all the different parts of this spoon, the approach with even small tools can be limited, so I might need to go somewhat against the grain. Against the grain, or across the grain, you have to be very tender and careful not to let the wood chip or tear. I also have to be sure that after my cut, I don't let my tool go into another part next to the part I'm carving. Mostly, it takes small tools, a careful hand, and lots of time. I find myself resorting to my micro skew and chisel to get into some parts. . I think I am rambling a little bit, here... so I'll stop about all that. It'll all get cleaned up in later steps.

I worked a bit more on all the parts of the back - the vines, the back of the "frame", and then, finally, on to the back of the eagle. . I started rounding out the top, shaping the wrap-around wing a bit more, in relation to the body... I think It's looking a little more like an eagle from the back, too. I also started shaving away a bit more depth into the frame. The thing about the frame is, it's meant to be a stable, relatively flat part, with everything else wrapping around it. The frame itself shouldn't look like it's "weaving." It will have to, at least a little bit - that's the nature of shallow relief, but I need to make every effort to make it look like it's not weaving. It looks a little bumpy, but I am envisioning when things are smoothed out, and I think this shallow relief thing is coming into shape.

Well, that was everything you could have wanted to know, and probably lots more, about this week's progress. Hopefully next week I'll get beyond this rough stuff, and we'll REALLY see it starting to take shape!

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