Thursday, August 27, 2009

WIP- Part 1: Chainsaw Carved Bear

WIP= "work-in-progress"

I know that I've got a lot of "works-in-progress" at the moment but I suppose that having a lot of irons in the fire is just the way that I'm wired. So thus, I now present my latest carving which is a small bear. This little cutie will be up for auction at our camps annual fall fundraiser so I'll probably be positing a lot more projects between now and then if you'd like to see what's "in the fire" from time to time.

This afternoon I had a good full hour to sneak in some carving and as the above pictures indicate I managed to get the bear roughed-out and prepped for further detailing whenever I can get back to him. I used a Husqvarna 16" chainsaw but will scale down to a much smaller saw for the detail, then finish up with my carving knives for the super fine detailing.

I've been chainsawing bears for several years now but this little fellow brings a couple of new challenges. As seen in the pictures above this bear is holding up a sign where I will engrave a cute little message (yet to be revealed). This was actually an idea that I gleaned from one of my students this spring when he requested a rough-out for a small bear holding a sign for one of my afternoon woodcarving sessions. I've chainsawed one bear several years ago where I attached a sign separately but never before have I attempted to carve it from the solid log itself.... until now. I figured out how to do it on a small bear first for my carving student, then cut it out on the bandsaw. This method of bear carving soon became popular with many students requesting the rough-outs so I couldn't see why I couldn't do it with a BIG bear using the chainsaw. Thus far I'm quite satisfied with the results and am anxious to get back to it.

The second challenge that I'm presently contemplating is making this a black bear. Before I've always gone with an oil cedar stain (and I still might again) but I'm kicking the idea around in my head right now. I'll need to do a little further research with my friends in the chainsaw carving chat rooms so I'll let you know what I eventually decide. Black bears are what we have living in the forests of the southern Appalachians so black sounds right to me.

Well, that's it for now and I'll post more progress as the project proceeds, but don't be surprised if a couple more works-in-progress' pop up beforehand. Hey! It's just the way that I'm wired! :) Thanks for browsing around the blog.

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