Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WIP: Forked Branch Carving: Meet "Da Wiz" (Part 1 of 2)

WIP= "Work in Progress"
Just a few days ago I posted a short series about my experiences with "forked branch carving" and it was so enjoyable I thought that I'd share my most recent endeavors into this unique kind of carving. The best part is that you don't need an expensive piece of basswood to get started. Instead, this kind of carving provides you with the perfect excuse to get out of the house and into the woods to find a good forked branch suitable for your project.

Of course the first thing that you'll need is a forked-branch. As seen in the picture to the left I found a small red maple tree that had fallen in a recent wind storm. I'd been watching it along the trail for several months until the leaves had browned and the wood had become relatively dry. I cut off the portion of the branch that suited me and sat it inside the woodshop for a couple more weeks just to see if it was going to start cracking. Finally I was confident that it would be a good piece of wood for carving.
As seen above I first prepped the stick using the bandsaw to put a little curve into the top part where I wanted to carve the wizards tall, pointed hat. I then went on to begin shaping the face.

With the face and hat finished I then went on to carve the old mans beard and hands. I found a nice piece of river birch under the table counter that was left over from an earlier lathe project that I used for the base as seen in the picture to the right. I just carved the end of the wizard stick to fit nice and tight into the stand, applied some wood glue, then secured a tight fit.

Ahhhhh, all done... except for the light sanding and paint job which I'll post soon. I'll also show some pictures about how I carved and attached the little tiny woodspirit walking stick into his right hand.

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