Some time ago, August 18th to be exact, I began carving a gnome along with one of my woodshop students and that original post is here. Alex had come to me asking if he could carve a gnome for his sister so I cut us both a rough-out with the bandsaw from a nice sized and well seasoned tulip poplar limb that I had found in the area. Well, Alex finished his gnome before me and I even picked up a few tips from his effort that I ended up incorporating into my own gnome.This ended up being a wonderful carving project and it came right from the mind of one of my students. All that I did was find the wood, sketched out the pattern, then cut it out for him and he took off from there. During our afternoon carving period I enjoyed him asking various questions about what I thought that he should do in a certain situation. Alex stuck with the project for more than a month until he got it finished and the final gnome looked really good I thought. That's Alex (to the right) showing it off just after the paint job.
Sometimes I'm amazed at what some of my students can accomplish when they have their minds set on a specific goal and there is a vision in their head. Carving a caricature in-the-round gnome is a tough project at any age but Alex hung in there and kept plugging away at it whenever I brought out the carving knives. I think that Alex is going to be one of those kids who will be successful with whatever goals that he sets in life as he's already shown that he has the ability to set a tough goal then carry it through to completion. Carving can be very frustration to a young beginner but Alex never gave up and kept that vision of completion in the forefront of his head. By the way, that's my gnome carving to the left and it wouldn't be here but one day a kid named Alex inspired me to also carve my own first gnome.