Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wizard Walking Stick

I talked to one of my brothers yesterday and he is in need of a stick to support himself due to a medical problem.  I'll be shipping two, one of which I carved today.  These photos show a little segment of the process.

I start carving any face by defining the hairline and removing wood down to the forehead.  The deeper I make this, the more wood I have for carving facial features.  Next I start creating the brow ridge, tapering the nose and cutting the recess for the eyes.  When I'm happy with the proportions, I remove wood under the nose and define it's length. 

At this point, I start forming the mustache, hair and removing wood from the temples.  This particular stick has been standing in the corner of my garage for 3 years so the wood has become hard and care must be taken to avoid splintering.

As the face comes closer to being finished, greater care is take to make all cuts cleanly and precisely.

The texture of this piece of wood made it difficult to carve the iris of the eye or to even make it's corners round.  I solved this with a ball ended tool in a high speed grinder similar to a dental grinder.  A fortunate side affect was that in carving the recess in the eye, the tool burned the wood making the eye stand out.  I like it :)

I sealed the carved portion of my stick with Deft polyurethane.  A leather thong has been attached thanks to a 1/4" hole drilled through above the carving.  I whittled the bottom inch of the stick to make it fit in a rubber crutch tip and glued the tip on.

Jeff, your stick is on it's way :)

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