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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Carve Away Anything That Doesn't Look Like a Table....

That's what one art teacher told me to do in sculpting... Makes perfect sense, when you think about it.  It's easier said than done though.

Here's a not very good pattern for what I am doing. 

This is all I have right now.  I will draw a better one later.

The top is the simplest part.  Just draw a line on the graph paper of how long you want one side of the table to be.  Do the same at a right angle.  Then connect the two.  Instant table top...Almost.
This is what I am using as a guideline for the leg.  I will draw a more accurate pattern after I finish the table.  It will look mostly like the left half of the pattern. 

My carving changes as I work.  If I give you a pattern now, it might not even resemble the finished table.  That's just how it goes.

I cut out the two leg pieces on the jigsaw.  You have to make an allowance for the thickness of the wood.

This is 1/8" thick walnut, so I have to make one side narrower by that 1/8". 

If you have never carved anything, there are a couple of tricks to doing it.

First, you should always try to carve with the grain of the wood if you can.  See the first carving photo?  Notice that all of the curls from the carving curl in towards the center of the curve.  If you do it this way, there is less chance of splitting the wood and you get a smoother cut.

Speaking of smoother cuts... I always have an emery board at hand when carving.  It helps to smooth the edges and then go in and cut again.  If you just keep whacking off chunks of wood, you may run the risk of taking off too much at one time.  As you can see from the above photo, I make a stop cut straight into the wood along the line that I am about to carve.  That way there is less risk of taking off wood that you didn't mean to.

I still have a long way to go on the leg.  Where I am now is really just a rough cut of when I want the lines to go.

This is going to change the kitchen quite a bit, but I couldn't resist.  It has been a few years since I did any carving at all.  It is one of the things that I enjoy most about miniatures. 

If you try this, don't be afraid of using walnut or cherry.  I prefer those.  They are harder to carve, but less likely to split than bass.

Bass is OK for beginning and practice, but don't be surprised if your knife bites off a bit more than you wanted it to.

Wednesday Witches will interfere with this today, but I am going to try to get it done fairly fast.

I am anxious to see what it is going to look like in the room...If it doesn't look right, I may have to find another place to use a triangular table or.... carve three more legs... I will keep telling myself that it's going to look good.

See you tomorrow.


12Create said...

Carving is something I have been a bit scared to have a go at in miniature but I love what you have done so far and look forward to seeing the finished table.

Lucille said...

It's looking good! A big job all this carving! You're very patient!

Daphne said...

I admire those of you who can carve like this! I'm an additive sculptor. Things never come out right when I try to carve intricate things. It's so different from sculpting - adding bits to a piece rather than taking them away. Just can't wrap my mind around it.

This is going to be so organic and lovely, can't wait to see it finished.