I am not sure what it says about me that I am finding happy designs more difficult to come up with than any other kind of design….
Day four was a really lovely day, the overwhelming emotion was of joy and happiness and contentment. Boy is that difficult to draw and design! I am realising that I need a lot more practice at expressing emotions in drawing and sculpture, something that I do plan to do.
The design that I came up with turned out to be very simplistic and will rely mostly on the outer shape and the placing of the eyes and mouth.
After yesterday’s dilemma with the mask/not mask thoughts, I did decide that I definitely wanted to have proper openings and I wanted to try to get a thinly carved mask today so keeping the design simple helped a lot.
I started the same as yesterday using the bandsaw to cut the outline and to remove quite a bit of the excess wood. That helps so much time wise. And I had forgotten how much I enjoy cutting things on the bandsaw, which is a bit of an odd thing to say but I do enjoy it.
You can only take so much off with the bandsaw and you have to be careful. Power tools are really helpful as they quicken the process, but they can also be a massive problem if you end up taking off too much wood or in the wrong place. It is really difficult, if not impossible, to stick it back on again. Once I had got the overall shape carved out I sketched on the eyes and mouth to check the placement. Then I carved them in so that I could work around them.
I was a little worried that the mask was looking a bit egg shaped, so I went back and readjusted the outline on the bandsaw before I started to cut out the back. Cutting out the back takes quite a while, I spent a long time while I was working trying to decide how thin to take the whole mask. I thought that the side walls should be left thicker than around the mouth and eyes which needed to be thin enough so that they didn’t look chunky when I cut through to make the openings. Speaking of which I found that it was quite difficult to tell how thick the wood was and I resorted to drilling into the eye and mouth carvings so that as I carved the back away I would know when to slow down when I hit the drilled holes. Actually that worked really well and I think I got the mouth and eyes the same shape as I had drawn them in.
For such a simple design it took quite a bit of time, but I am pleased with him. There is something very strokeable about him and I like that the surface is not completely smooth.
I know that I have said it every day but I have even more ideas floating around after today and I am so excited. So many choices going forward. I am making a note of them and I already know which series of work I will be making after this challenge is finished, which is brilliant. And I also know that I already have another three paths to take after that.
Tomorrow is the last day of my challenge and I am really looking forward to it. Let’s see what it brings….
Jutta M Stiller is a wood carver and sculptor specialising in Sculpture, Netsuke and Couture frames click here to subscribe to her newsletter ‘Tales From the Woodcarving Bench’ .