May 15, 2020 at 3:49 pm #100008006Kevin WeaverParticipant
In response to Marty’s question in his last e-newsletter about the Babe’s philosophy, I thought I would share these thoughts… well you just can’t argue with the Babe, there is always something new to learn. From my perspective, being a lifelong learner can help people enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling life.
In keeping with the Babe’s thinking, over the holidays I had the opportunity to work on a new couple pieces that allowed me to practice some new skills, (like OWS chip carving, and some painting / finishing techniques) along with practicing my curves and lettering. This actually required a bit of a shift in thinking in that when starting each piece I had to approach it from the perspective that I wasn’t doing the piece so much from the goal of having a real nice finished piece, but rather, it was a learning opportunity I was working on to build my confidence and skills. So if it all turned out well and I ended up with a nice finished piece, great. But if I botched the piece, but learned something from it, no problem as there’s always the wood-stove in which to put the piece to good use. The important thing was to try out the new techniques and develop my skills.
Whether it was because taking that approach took some pressure (tension) off while I was carving, or my skills are getting better, or more likely perhaps a combination, I can’t say for sure. Regardless, not only did I practice some skills but the two pieces I worked on I think turned out rather good.
I have attached images of both for you to have a look at.
In the dragon piece I am really happy with the improved quality of my curves with very little chatter and no chip out! What I learned from this piece was the benefit of using a swivel and honing the know frequently when carving curves. You may notice a bit of a scratch above the dragon’s head. Even that was a learning opportunity: when trying to stifle a sneeze while carving remove the knife from the wood. Personally I think the scratch adds a bit of character.
Now with the Amaziograph Trivet pattern I thought placing a tea pot on it didn’t do it justice and it should be displayed on a wall properly. However, as OWS is a new style of chip carving for me I wasn’t willing to try doing the piece, right out of the gates, on a good quality piece so I decided to try carving this one on an old basswood plank I found from among my supplies. Well shortly into carving the piece I realized the quality of the wood was worse than I thought with discolouration from a couple knots affecting a large section of the piece and making the grain more unpredictable for carving particularly with some of the short grain cuts for the fans in the pattern. Despite some minor chip-out along the ridges of a couple fans I think the piece turned out surprisingly good. However I wasn’t really satisfied with the look because of the discolouration and knots still visable in the finished carving. So I decided to try out some painting techniques with a combination of gel stains and acrylics.
Overall, I am really pleased with the final results, despite my colour choices being a bit more “Christmasy” looking than I was aiming for, and I will have no problem displaying this piece on my office wall with pride.
I have attached some pictures for you to have a look at and am always interested in thoughts and recommentdations.
So that is my long winded answer to your question about the Babe’s philosophy and an example of how I try to live it.
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