Monday, July 12, 2010

Frisky Froggy and Carving on the Porch

Even in the cool Blue Ridge Mountains the July heat has been somewhat brutal this summer. Hard to believe that there was a couple feet of snow on the ground about six months ago. Fortunately for us, today was a cooling off period and the killer humidity died down a bit. Being a wilderness camp we live and work in the Great Outdoors so keeping an eye on the weather becomes the forefront of our daily planning as teachers, students, or staff.

After lunch this afternoon I held a great woodcarving class out on the porch with about six students who participated in making a variety of woodcarved crafts which included woodspirit faces, hillbilly pencils, and other neat little projects as seen in the pictures to the right. Something about cool weather in the woods that  mixes well with woodcarving as the kids were anxious to be using their hands.

For any successful carving class it's first important to "prime" the kids prior to bringing out the knives. This morning I began that when I picked up a random sycamore limb off the ground and saw two distinct knots lined up just perfectly for the eyes of a little frog as you can see in the pictures to the left and below. As the kids were finishing up chores or waiting on their logs for breakfast I kept their curiosity on high alert as the little frog came to life. I continued working on it wherever I could muster up a few minutes and in-between the groups scheduled classes.
This was a relatively easy carving as I first sketched the outline of the frog using the natural shape of the knotty eyes to center my drawing. From there I made a series of stop cuts along the outline then began removing the wood around the frog until I reached a depth that felt right. I then shaped up the body a bit then used my small U-gouge to create a somewhat "worty" frog skin. Before lunch I had named him "Frisky Froggy" which was a name that brought out a nice smile from the group. Now the kids were primed for a successful carving period where everyone had a great afternoon just relaxing, laughing, practicing their cuts, and everything else that makes up an afternoon of carving on the porch.

1 comment:

  1. could you show somw knifes you think is good for carving?