Saturday, July 11, 2015

Red Hawk II

Here's a new one I just finished today.  Approximately 8 inches tall with the base.  I have to admit that I had my doubts about him but after applying the facial paint everything seemed to come together.
For the texture on the robe I again used some fine gravel held in place by clear acrylic medium (Mod Podge).  I really ike the way it looks as the rough surface seems to disperse light more than the normal burning.  Again, like a lot of details, once reduced in scale they lose almost any resemblance to reality.  The ear rings are made from copper wire with aluminum ducting material for the fobs. The skin side of the robe needed something so I added a few designs to bust up the surface.

I hope you like him and will look forward to your comments.

Friday, July 03, 2015

The Plains Warrior

I put the final touches to this one just a few minutes ago and believe me when I say that I'm glad to see it move out of the shop.  Someone asked me just how long I've spent on him in carving and then in painting.  Who knows?  All I do know it was long enough.  Doing some of my carvings I reach the point of saturation to where I can no longer really enjoy the process as much as looking forward to the enjoyment of completion.  This is one of those.

There is one thing that I was going to do but at the moment thought better of it.  The leggins are kind of plain.  I could have ran beaded strips down each leg but I think that would have been just too much.  I also could have painted on black stripes on each leg to indicate counted coups but I think that too would be just too much.  Seeing it now I think I made the right decision.

I added some horse hair decorations to the ends of the bow and arrow cases and the tomahawk handle.  As they swing freely they add a little motion to a static figure.  I used low doamed brass tacks for the decoration on the belt and added a leather strap to the shield.  With the base the figure measures right at 21".  An impressive carving.

Wrapping things up I think this turned out to be an example of my best work and the collector who has spoken for it will have a really nice piece to add to his growing collection.  I know it will have a good home and lots of old friends.  Hopefully, they'll get along with each other.

Lots of photos in the Gallery and I'll look forward to your comments as I always do.

How To Make Glasses

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Plains Warrior-The Color Begins

With the carving finished it's on the paint table and getting some color.  I spent a few hours this afternoon painting the shield and attaching the feather.  The design comes from a combination of several shields I photographed while at the Prairie Edge store in Rapid City, SD last fall.  It really turned out nice.  On the breast plate it was kind of boring so I made a small decoration out of a carved circle and then, using wire and beads, added some flourish to hang from the bottom  That did the trick.  There is also a knife in a beaded sheaf that hangs from the belt.  Thats next on the list to be painted.  

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Plains Warrior

Here's my progress so far.  I haven't attached the arms yet so there is still a lot of carving to do up in that area.  Naturally, the remainder of the hair needs to be added and there is still a lot of detailing that needs to be done....feathers, burning, etc.  Unfortunately, the head is out of scale with the body and the feet are too large.  I'm going to have to give those to things a lot of thought cause I started out for this to be a realistic piece.  What to do?

Anyway, I thought you might like to see it in the rough stage.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Fence Work 2 - Finished

Yahoo!  Finally got this one off the work stations.  Had so many other projects going in the shop it was hard to get the time needed to complete it.  But it's done and I think it looks great.

In painting the figure I muted most of the colors to give the figure a look of having actually worked.  I really like the dark, bluish gray shirt and the dark neckerchief. I especially like the suspender area on his back.  I took a closeup of it.  Neat.   Another nice thing about this piece is that he will eventually join up with the earlier carving titled "Fence Work" that I did a couple of years ago.  They go together quite buy digging the post holes while the other is stringing the wire.  I've talked the collector into allowing me to hang on to the new one until after the Dayton show so I have something new on my table.

There are lots of photos in the Gallery and I'll look forward to your comments as I always do.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Fence Work II

At last!  Boy, it was a chore getting this one completely carved.  With all the work around the place and the hellacious amounts of rain, it seems like we've been mowing almost everyday to keep up with it.  But as the hot weather has finally moved in the showers seem to have stopped, it's on to the paint table with this fella.

I know I just recently finished a carving with the same title but I thought I'd do another showing another aspect of this activity.  If you've ever used a pair of post hole diggers around here where there seem to be more rocks in the ground than dirt you'll know why cowboys would rather be in the saddle than on the ground.  I constructed this set out of some roof flashing after measureing a real set.  Bending them into shape and anchoring the two halves to the pols a nail and a drop of solder hold them in place and allow them to operate. And they do operate, at least until their anchored to the figure..

The figure is basically the same as others that I've done but I did spend a little extra time on the back of his vest to add a little more detail to the strap.  I really like the way it looks now.  I had earlier thought of using a barbed wire fence and had carved a tin bucket which would have held a hammer and staples but decided that a wooden fence would be more interesting.  So, instead of the bucket I gave him a pick which he would definitely need if he dug those holes anywhere around our place.

So, it's off to the paint table.  More photos in the Gallery and your comments are welcome as always.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

John Wayne Gets Some Color

Finished this one up yesterday and it turned out really nice.  I forgot to measure it but it's around 10-12 inches tall with the base.  I was fortunate enough to sell it before it was even painted so I hope the collector likes the color version.  The Duke will take up residence soon in south Texas...a good place for him cause he'll be joining quite a group of old Out West friends.

There are several more photos in the Gallery and I apologize if it's hard to negotiate that site but Google just keeps changing things.  Hope you like him and I look forward to your comments.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

John Wayne - Duke

I finished the carving yesterday and made the base this morning.  I think he turned out really nice and should make a nice addition to someone's collection.   I made the hat cord out of some twisted wire and then carved the knots at the end.  I made the badge out of a piece of hammered brass, silver-soldered to a post.  I'll letter "Duke" on it once it's painted.  The base is walnut.

There are a few more photos in the Gallery and I look forward to your comments.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Duke

Well, it's been a while but I finally got back to doing something.  My Sister visited over the Memorial Day weekend and  on her way spent some time up in Winterset, Iowa attending the grand opening of the new John Wayne Museum (  She brought along a bunch of brochures, etc., that she picked up there and that was enough to get me interested in trying to capture his likeness in wood.

Tuesday morning I spent some time on the net googling photos, drawings and other art work to come up with a working sketch to work from and then roughed out the head while at our local carving gathering.  This morning I finished the head, worked on the hat and pretty well finished up that part of the piece.  I think I will keep it a bust as even that will make a pretty large piece when done.  The head with the hat on measures right at 7".  The hardest part was getting the eyes right and I think once they are painted they should look pretty good.  At least I hope so.  I stuck a smoke in his mouth as he was a heavy smoker as were most cowpokes.  The hat really adds to the character.

There are a couple more photos in the Gallery and I look forward to your comments.