Herbert is now finished and standing his ground proudly wherever I decide that he will stand. As previously mentioned in part 1 of this carving, it was one of my funnest projects ever. In the past I have dabbled with forked-branch carving but this particular project has taken my curiosity to the next level, which as a carver, has always been an ongoing goal.
Note in the pictures above the "Popeye" forearms of Herbert. That is just one of the wonderful effects that I was able to achieve by using the mortise and tenon joinery. The bulging eyes, nose, and ears also benefited from this method of carving by attaching various parts of the carving with joinery. I thought about adding a ball cap on Herbert's head which would have added additional joinery but decided that I'd rather have all of his bright green hair showing. After all that's why he was named "Herbert Sherbert".
In the pictures directly above I give you an idea about how I carved the hands for Herbert. I used a small limb of rhododendron, carving one hand on each end of the stick. Keeping the hands on one single long stick made the carving much easier with the natural "handle" then I cut them to size when done.
Since the body of Herbert didn't come with forked limbs for the legs I had to attach them separately as seen in the picture to the right. Once again I drilled a mortise into his body then a tenon on the "legs" section. I also decided not to apply wood glue to this joint since it fitted so squeaky tight and most of all I discovered a nice surprise. I found that putting the mortise hole close to my lips and blowing air at an angle across the surface I had a very loud whistle. That was just too cool for hiding in a permanent joint so Herbert's legs can now be removed at will to amuse folks with the bonus whistle. Sweet!
I finished up Herbert with watered down acrylic paints (including an American flag belt buckle) then applied a rub-on polyurethane. Forked branch carving has now become a regular part of my daily carvings and more interesting creations will follow in the days ahead so stay tuned.
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.