Tuesday, July 28, 2009

WIP- Part 1b: Carving a Totem Stick

WIP= "Work in Progress"

Although I've already posted an entry on using totem sticks in my afternoon woodcarving classes I decided to let y'all follow the progress on my own latest creation. The earlier entry showed some of the beginning carving but now I've got it ready for painting. After completing the carving I seem to have begun adding a new touch to a lot of my carvings by highlighting the deeper areas with my Detail Master IV woodburner. I originally picked up on this idea by studying some of the magnificent caricatures that Lynn Doughty of Jay, Oklahoma produces and he seems to always do the same thing to his carvings before applying the final finish. For some reason I really like the effect that it has, if for no other reason than the powerful contrasting of dark on light that made the pictures above so striking.

Tulip Poplar 2Image by cadd48 via Flickr
This little totem stick stands right at 10" high with a wingspread at 6-1/4" wide. The best part is that I used a dry found tulip poplar limb (See picture to the right>>)to carve the entire project and this wood produces a creamy white surface prime for painting that is equal to basswood in my opinion. This proved to be one sweet piece of carving wood!

The entire pole is a new creation and my current mission is to come up with a story to go with the pole. Upon close examination you'll see some seemingly "strange" things in this pole that I'll attempt to explain with the next entry but first I've got to figure out what's going on in my head :) . Now it's on to the finishing process which will include the painting and hopefully a sensible story to go along with it. Stay tuned.

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