Monday, January 24, 2011

I've started to carve cottonwood bark.

Bark Carvings #1 and #2
My hand carving tools had lain idle for a couple of years while I carved logs with chainsaws.  Then I got my hands on a nice piece of cottonwood bark...

Not wanting to ruin my new piece of bark, I reviewed my notes from the class I had taken on Carving the Native American Bust.  Also scanned over Jeff Phares' book on the same topic.  Then the weather got too nasty to carve in my open air studio so  I was forced to get started. My first bark carving was and Indian face with beaded necklace and a hair ornament.

The second 'bust' was just with straight hair and a rather somber look on his face.

It's always bothered me that carvings of American Natives are always sad or angry but never happy.  What's that about any way? I KNOW they laugh, party and enjoy life so I wanted to try a smiling Indian for my next carving.  It just so happens I had a longer piece of bark for this third attempt.

Smiling Indian w/Bear
I've not been successful at carving emotions before so was pleased with at least getting the mouth correct on this piece.  Eyebrows could have been more exaggerated and the cheeks larger but overall, I was pleased.

I was sure that adding the bear would be easy since I'd carved many bears with my chainsaws.  It wasn't really difficult but it was not easy!

The arrowhead and bear tracks were added as space fillers before sealing with thinned linseed oil.  It's now ready to sell. Ebay here I come :-)

Birdhouse Man and Friend
I haven't tried the all too common Gnome Home in cottonwood bark but did make a small Birdhouse Man.  This fellow has a shake shingle roof over his head and crossed mustache.  This design is absolutely easier to carve with a chainsaw than with gouges and knives!

Birdhouse Man's buddy started out to be Abe Lincoln but he ended up with his face too wide for Abe.  I guess he's just an un-named white guy with a mustache-less beard.

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