Friday, September 11, 2009

Latest Indian Walking Stick

I just uploaded my latest YouTube video on carving an Indian walking stick. While I don't claim to be a professional face carver, I thought that I'd put together the general steps in how I've come to carve a basic Indian face, hoping that it will inspire a new carver to stick with it until they are satisfied with their own work.

I used a 58" piece of straight sourwood that I cut about six months ago. The stick was very dry but not 100 percent seasoned, leaving just a touch of moisture for MUCH easier and enjoyable carving.

Carving an Indian face presents a very nice challenge since you can't hide details like the mouth and chin as can be done with all the hair & beard on a woodspirit face. For new carvers I would suggest mastering the basic woodspirit face first, then gradually progress to the more challenging details found on the Indian. But if you feel bold or like you're ready for this kind of challenge then by all means, "Go for it". In getting started the basic principle that I always keep in mind is to carve the eyes and nose first, then base everything else around that.

With the carving done I pained him with a variety of mostly watered down acrylic paints but that process would take another video. I put on a final sealer of polyurethane, then drilled a small hole just below the hair for a leather wrist strap. I also carved the name of my Order of the Arrow "Lodge 118" down the front of the stick since it will be auctioned by the Boy Scouts this fall as part of a fundraiser for our troop. Happy carving!

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