Tuesday, August 18, 2009

WIP: Part 1: Carving a Tinny-Tiny Gnome From A Poplar Limb

WIP= "Work in Progress"

About a month ago one of my students asked if he could carve a gnome for his sister. Alex is quite skilled with his hands in woodshop class and I thought that if anyone could pull off this somewhat complex caricature carving for a beginner carver, then it would be him. After about a week I found a gnome pattern in one of my old carving books at home and made a few copies then during our next woodcarving class we got started.

As the pictures above indicate, when I was cutting it out from a nice sized poplar limb that I had picked up off the ground earlier I knew that I also wanted to try my hand at this project then perhaps I could help guide Alex on his gnome as we carved them together. When copying the pattern onto the wood I just sketched the gnome freestyle right onto the wood then cut it out so not only are both our gnomes unique and different, they are also unique to those in the book. That way they'll really be "ours" when completed.

So far we've had about 3 one-hour carving sessions to work on them but Alex is already much further ahead of me since I do spend most of my time moving around to all of the other students while also making sure that all safety guidelines for carving are being followed. Since I don't carve many caricatures my own skill in this area is not the strongest so I've actually picked up a few good hints from Alex on how to tackle certain carving situations on my own gnome.

We've really been having a blast with this gnome project and I'm sure glad that Alex has inspired me the teacher to share this adventure in carving with him. The kids in my classes have some of the greatest ideas! I'm so inspired that I'm now dreaming up a plan to carve an entire family of little tiny gnomes that will possibly include the mom & dad, the little kids, and of course the family dog with his own pointed gnome hat. I'll post more updates as our progress continues.

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