If a mask has no holes for the wearer to see through is it still a mask?
This is the dilemma I am facing with today’s sculpture due to the way I wanted the eyes to look…but I am getting off track a little.
Day three was a day full of frustration and just ugh for me and the way I wanted to show that was through squinty, screwed up eyes…..easy to draw and not so easy to carve! It seems to be all about the eyes at the moment. I am not thinking too hard about it, just trying to go with my gut and follow the flow.
It took me a while to hit the right feeling with the drawing, but once I got there I knew that that was what I wanted. I do find it amusing how suddenly something just jumps out at me. I always know that if I don’t 100% know which sketch to pick I haven’t come up with the right sketch yet and so have to keep on drawing.
The only difference I made at the start was to remove some of the excess wood with the bandsaw so I had less to remove by hand. As I had a very good idea of the overall shape of what I wanted I felt confident to do that where I had been more unsure on other days.
I knew that I wanted a pretty bold and simplistic design full of curves, so it was easy to follow the sketched lines to remove the wood straight away.
Sometimes I can see my way around a design really well in my head before I start working, those pieces always seem to go quicker as the decisions are already waiting for me. I am trying to match what is in front of me with the image in my head. When I can’t see the three dimensional shape so well in my head before I start it takes me longer as I have to make more decisions on the fly. And sometimes even if I can see it in my head I may still change things as I work depending on how I feel it is going.
The nose was something I was not so sure that I actually wanted, it appeared in the sketch but I wasn’t sure that it would be right on the sculpture. I decided to put it in as I knew that I could always take it out again if I changed my mind. You can always take more wood away but it’s pretty difficult to put it back on again if you change your mind.
One decision that had to be made was how deep in to push the bridge of the nose, I knew that pushing it in more would help the effect of the wrinkling of the eyes, but I didn’t want to push it in too far. I think I hit a good compromise. Though I would like to carve it a few more times just to try out some of the variations .
I found the eyes really interesting to carve, trying to get those few strokes on the paper into the third dimension was a challenge. I do love how they have turned out. I made sure that they are carved around to the back so that they look like a ball. I’m not sure they are squinty enough but I do love them.
Back to that dilemma…I have not carved out the back of the sculpture as there was no way to open out the eyes so you could see through them so I felt that it was not right to carve it into a thinner outer. So for the moment I have left it as is. I will think on it a bit more before I make a final decision. I have left it without colour as I feel that for this sketch I want to see the form more than anything else.
I am very pleased with today’s sculpture and again I can see an awful lot of ways forward from here. And I am so chuffed that these sculptures are sparking off so many new ideas. The fact that it is different to the other days’ work pleases me no end, for some reason I never expected that!
Who knows what tomorrow will bring…
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’ .