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Sunday, September 5, 2010

The finishing begins...

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Well, I believe I'm done with the rough carving of the rest of the spoon. That's not to say that all the carving is done, though - as I start the sanding, I've already found a few spots where I hadn't carved quite to the depth I'd intended. As I encounter those spots, I simply make a few more chips. From here on out, though, I think it will mostly be dust. Here's what the whole spoon looks like at the moment: . The part I did still isn't oiled, and having begun the sanding phase, the grain is up, so it probably looks a little washed out. But you can see the beginning of the overall look.

This week, there was a little bit of carving I still did, mostly finishing up the back, fine-tuning around the flowers and leaves, and still more work on the eagle. I was trying to make the beak hook a little more at the end, but I didn't have a lot of room left to make a hook. Exaggerating that hook at the end would have been nice - Dave reminded me that in a lot of the Northwest art, they do that, and I do think that's very effective, but I didn't have room on this eagle. I trust people will be able to recognize that this is an eagle, nonetheless. Another very eagle-y feature is that division between the white head feathers and the dark body feathers. Obviously, I won't be making different colors, so I tried to make it look like the head feathers overlap the body feathers. I am pretty satisfied with the effect here. More shallow relief. :)

Finally, I started sanding, or, to be more correct, filing. I began cleaning up quite a lot of nooks and crannies with my trusty needle files. I think there are two main advantages of needle files vs. sandpaper. Firstly, files work in the nooks and crannies because they are solid, not paper. Second, files don't leave grit that can dull your blades in case you carve any more. In the broader areas, though, where I'm sure I'm done carving, and I need to smooth away all my chisel marks, sandpaper does work fast and well. On most spoons, I tend to spend almost as much time sanding as I do carving. When there are lots of details like on this spoon, the filing and sanding is quite a challenge. So, Here is as far as I've come this week - mostly just on the front. I expect I will spend most or all of next week filing and sanding, getting to finer grits, preparing for the next step, which will be oil. I am VERY excited for the oil, as the shadows and grain really come alive with the oil.

It's nice to be getting into the final steps! Especially because Americymru's Left Coast Eisteddfod is just a few weeks away! This week, in Portland, the North American Festival of Wales is taking place. If you're in the area, or can get there, be sure to stop in at the Americymru table, along with all the other attractions. Remember, donations to the Left Coast Eisteddfod can be chances to win this spoon!

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