The 'wiz' is now carved, painted, finished, and now standing its ground on the nik-nak shelf. I liked carving this project because I had only limited control over how I would shape the body since that was already pre-determined by the forked-branch limb itself. A block of basswood can be shaped pretty much into any shape preferred but not so for this kind of branch carving. It adds a neat new challenge to carving that I like to tackle on occasion.
As seen in the pictures I decided to use a watered down variety of acrylic paint to the point where it was applied more like stain rather than paint. I did apply the yellow stars in full strength color which was necessary to get the right contrasting against the light purple clothing. Looking back, I suppose that it wouldn't have taken much alteration in design and finishing colors to make this a Santa then perhaps the woodspirit staff could have been his reindeer whip... Just a little brainstorming :-)
As for attaching the wizards staff I first drilled a 1/8" hole straight through his right hand as seen in the picture above. This is something that needs to be planned before carving the hand which will grasp the staff because the necessary room must be allowed for the addition. I then went on to use a 1/8" piece of dowel rod for the staff then I drilled a small hole into another 'slightly larger' piece of dowel rod and glued them together as seen above.
As seen above I then carved a simple woodspirit face into the upper part of the inflated staff which compliments the wizard and makes the carving much more interesting. I glued the staff permanently into the hand and then drilled a super small hole for a small nylon wrist strap dangling from the staff.
This has been a super fun carving project and I'm sure that forked-branch carving will continue to have a place in my yearly carving endeavors.
If you would like to see 28 higher quality pictures of this project from beginning to end then just click here for my Facebook album on the 'Wiz'.
Living in the mountains of North Carolina I have spent almost 30 very
rewarding years working with at-risk kids in a wilderness camping program as a counselor, outdoor educator, and woodshop teacher. To learn more about what my blog is all about, just scroll down this sidebar to "About my blog..."
1. Woodcarving/Woodwork: Working wood has been a lifetime obsession for me and I enjoy sharing what I know. It is my belief that hands-on and experiential learning has a direct and profound effect on the development of a child's intellect, confidence, and character. Projects of mine (and my students) will be posted as they progress and I will occasionally include a video tutorial. All of my videos can be found here .
2. Bushcraft/Primitive Living Skills: Finding ways to live closer to the land has always fascinated me. Whether it's building a shelter, fire starting, animal tracking, or just making rustic furniture... you'll eventually see some of it here.
3. Long Distance backpacking, canoeing, & bicycling: Some of my long distance adventures include thru-hiking the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail, Mexico to Canada and I solo paddled the 1,800 mile Yukon river across northwest Canada and Alaska to the Bering sea. More detailed accounts of these and many other adventures can be found here
4. Sustainable Living: I'm always looking for better ways to do more by using less. It's not so much an "environmental" thing to me as it is a quest for personal independence from material things and finding a path to more substantive living .
5. Scouting Activity: As a scoutmaster of 6 years (and currently assistant scoutmaster) I'm actively involved with the troop and "Order of the Arrow" where it is a joy to volunteer hundreds of hours each year because investing in the next generation insures a better tomorrow for everyone. In an era when most schools don't value hands-on learning, outdoor education, and the arts... scouting soars in meeting these critical experiences for boys.
6. Profiles: Behind everyone's success you can usually find a trail of some very significant mentors and teachers along the way. And sometimes you don't completely understand how someone affected your life for the better until many years later. You'll find some of those stories here.