Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Carvings Roundup

Let's take a look at this year's hand carved ornaments. Some of these sold, some are still up for sale on my etsy shop, some are for gifts, and some are even for my own Christmas tree!

It's been a fun season for whittlin'. Upcoming projects include birthday presents for a couple of little guys about to see their 2nd and 3rd birthdays, so stay tuned!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wizards and Warriors: Adventurers in Wood

Inspired by the Lewis Chessmen, these toy wizards and knights are lots of fun to carve. They stand best when given a generally conical shape, and I try to keep everything smooth and blunt in order to protect them from rough hands. Kids like to throw these little guys, and they've proved to be tough and resilient.

I've been thinking of going a little more adult with these figures. A little red on a sword blade, maybe some battle scars to show age and grit.

Carving the Toy Horse's Mane

By reader request, here's a look at how I carve the mane for my toy horses. I start by outlining the border with a pencil, then go over it with a black Sharpie marker.

Next, I make a stop cut all along the border. In doing this I use only the tip and lead portion of the blade. On pocket knives this is mostly a natural grip, on larger fixed blade knives such as the Mora, this requires a higher grip that pinches the flat of the blade.

Now I shave up to the stop cut. The depth is subtle, no more than about 1/16", and results in the mane area being lower than the neck and body of the horse. At this point I usually go through and clean up any "fuzzies" and try to make sure the lines are straight and even.

Stop cut/shave towards cut is a good way to remove material in a controlled manner, especially if you're only using a knife. Specialty tools can be used, of course. In fact I'll often go through during the clean up phase and run a v-tool or gouge along a cut. Then again I think pure whittling is done with a knife, so your experience may vary depending on personal preference.

On a side note, I'd like to suggest you check out the Belfast Bushcraft Blog. Great photos, updates, and wilderness observations from an Irish outdoorsman.

(sorry for the delay, Abo!)