Friday, August 26, 2011

Pets vs My Marketing Plan

The much loved pet is a very important segment of any artist's market yet one which I have all but ignored.  Lately I've been thinking about all of those dog and cat lovers who have browsed my carvings of bears and eagles only to leave empty handed... What have I been thinking?

People love their pets so I should selling carvings of pets!

This week I took one step closer to patching this hole in my marketing boat {plan} by carving my first house cat.  While it was easier than I'd expected, it did not come completely natural since I'm a dog-person.  It's well understood by sculptors that horse-people carve the best horses, fishermen carve the best fish, and so on.

So what if cats don't fly out of my saw?  I should be carving them anyway!  Carving dogs is second nature to me but I haven't been carving enough of them :(  And while I'm yelling at myself,,, how about those WSU Cougars & UW Huskies?  I live between these rival colleges yet have not carved either of their mascots.

Still, no matter what I carve for inventory, 50% of my sales are bears.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Eagle Update

It was a big adventure and it's FINALLY complete.  The size of this carving, and the size of the tools required to execute such a project, were hard on my old body.  Muscles ache, joints creak and pop when I move, and I have a couple of new calluses.

Today I will try to take it easy but it's going to be difficult because I can barely wait to start the next carving.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Old Tree, New Eagle...

A Sycamore tree in Pasco, WA had grown from a nice shade tree into a menacing giant next to the house and had to be removed this past spring.  Just before the tree was taken down, I went to consult on the possibility of carving the stump.  What a huge piece of wood!  The trunk was nine plus feet around and the first limbs were fifteen feet from the ground...

After discussing design and price, I marked the tree for the arborist and set my appointment to carve the stump in August.

Two days ago I started the job of releasing this huge eagle from his stump.  Using my Stihl ms-660 saw {the second largest saw Stihl currently makes} I removed pieces of wood weighing up to 2, 3, and even 400 pounds each!  The customer said they could feel the house shake when the biggest pieces crashed to the ground.

This photo was taken at the end of my second day of carving.  The beast is so large that when standing on the bench, I cannot see over the top of the wings.  It's an eagle but there are many details to add.  Feet are still quite crude, eyes and body feathers not yet carved, some small details around the beak are still missing, and an eagle next to the river needs a salmon.

Like most big carvings, this one taught me that I need another tool.  The long and wide ripping cuts required for the wings took way too long to complete.  Time to buy some skip tooth chains for the 660.