Wood Carvings by Mark Sheridan

Trick Ridin’

When I carved the female head for my last carving of the cowgirl with the fiddle, I had actually carved a second female head at the same time. I didn’t really have a plan for either of the heads, I just wanted to take on the challenge of carving something other than a male caricature.

So, that left me with a second female head and I enjoyed doing the cowgirl figure so much, I decided to come up with another little scene…and, what I’m picturing is a grown young woman wanna-be-cowgirl practicing her trick riding on an old store front mechanical riding pony! With that, here’s the start to the scene with the little pony well underway.

You all know by now how much I enjoy the artwork of Lynn Doughty, so I collected a few pictures of his caricatures of horses along with some photos of mechanical ponies from the web and came up with a bit of a pattern. As you can see, I went to the trouble of ensuring that the strongest orientation of the grain was along each leg and I used a Forstner bit to fit individual legs and glue them in place. To be clear, the round, flat bottomed bit allowed me to make a perfect semi-circle where the legs with the same semi-circle pattern cut on the bandsaw would fit tightly. Again, just click on the photos, below, to make them bigger for viewing.

After everything dried, I used a Foredom tool with a Typhoon bit to quickly remove the edges and get the rough form of the mechanical pony. Remember, if you do this…be careful…wear leather gloves, a leather apron, heavy sleeves, safety glasses and a dust mask…and work over a vacuum system.

With a bit of carving using mostly a knife but also small gouges, I added the detail that I wanted with the facial features, leg profiles and saddle…and, I only broke one ear off a single time during the whole process!

Then came the mechanical parts with a wooden base that would house the motor ( I didn’t carve a motor!), a baseplate with a coin box and the pylons that make the horse rock back and forth.

Placed all together, it’s starting to look like something…

More to come!


Single Post Navigation

7 thoughts on “Trick Ridin’

  1. Lynn O. Doughty on said:

    Excellent! Years ago I tried your technique of attaching the legs as separate pieces but it just didn’t work for me for some reason. But seeing you do it and the great result just might make me try it again. You’re exactly right about building strength into the carving and using this method is a way to do that. Again, great work. Are there how-to videos in your future posts? I sure hope so.


    • Thanks Lynn. That method of using the Forstner bit worked pretty well, really. You don’t get as perfect a semi-circle on the legs from the bandsaw but I also used your graphite transfer trick to pull it in as tightly as possible. I have to admit that I added just a hair of wood putty to close up an already tight gap here and there. Thanks for all of your fine example.


  2. Roger on said:

    Looking great. Can’t wait to see the ‘rider’. Suspect it will be the usual imaginative and beautifully carved figure. Wish I had your imagination and skills.


  3. Very beatyful, iam carving figures like Lynn( he mine Inspirator). Once I will try a horse. But your looks like a merry-go-round horse. Do you still have to paint it?


  4. Lynn is an inspiration to us all! I haven’t watched his latest Youtube video on painting but I’m looking forward to that. I did try to make my little horse look like a merry-go-round horse with a bit of “caricature style” dialled into it. I’m planning to paint the whole thing after I carve the cowgirl rider. Thanks for your comment, Peter.


Leave a Reply to Lynn O. Doughty Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: