Sunday, April 20, 2014

Delving into Woodcarving

In March I fell in love, again, with yet another form of art.  I can't help it. When I see something new and creative I'm inexplicably drawn to it--and just really, really want to learn everything about it so I can also create such magic.  And woodcarving is so magical!!!! At my artist guild's March meeting, the Capitol City Carvers Club came out and shared about the art of woodworking and it was amazing, truly.  They had animals and relief sculptures and a whole chess set and cute little gnomes and little houses out of bark...and not only is the club extremely reasonable at just $15 a year for membership (for the whole family, who's over eighteen)--they meet weekly and have carvers with decades of experience who are excited to teach you and share with you.  I really couldn't pass that up, I mean, could you???

For my first project they had me make a mushroom.  I was given a rectangular block of wood and a little disk cut from a tree branch and this is what I made:

It is really scary when you get started.  They don't play around, and tell you over and over again to be careful, showing us scars and telling us of the times they've needed stitches or just barely missed a tendon.  Say what??! I'm a big chicken when it comes to most things and have gotten the safety glove and a few thumb protectors, to hopefully circumvent any injuries. ..I like my fingers intact and unscathed, thank you! 

It's surprisingly not incredibly difficult to shave off a bit of wood here and there. My start kit knife cuts it, almost like a knife on some refrigerated butter.  You can't easily make deep cuts, but you can get little slivers pretty easily. Carving the mushrooms turned out pretty easy, though I was ridiculously slow, as usual.  

I'm working on a second, larger 'shroom for my second attempt, but I kind of got inspired by my hubby's Mario game playing and am going to attempt a Toad sculpture.  We shall see! I may be delving too deeply, too soon, but that's what I do.  I always find the hardest way to go about things, always. 

One of the more experienced wood carvers also gave me a wooden egg and some instructions to carve a cute little bird out of the egg.  So I should be a happy whittler for the foreseeable future, hopefully keeping my digits intact! 

More project pictures to follow!

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