Yeah, he does look a bit rough…but that’s the way that they start out. I’ve said it before, I tend to call this stage the “seal” stage as they look more like a seal to me than a Basset Hound. If you’re inclined to carve a hound, be sure to shoot for the seal look as you’ll know you’re going in the right direction!
Right off, you’ll notice that I’m missing a few parts. The arms are being done separately for a couple of reasons. First, the grain has to be going along the length of the arms to give them some strength. I like to think that my carvings will be around for a long time, so I want the parts and pieces to be strong and lasting. Second, I need to fit a banjo in there and I’m suspecting that I’ll need to fit the arms in their final spots after I’ve carved the banjo. I can’t wait to do the banjo.
The ears are separate as well for much the same reasons. They need to flow over the arms ( which will be over the banjo ), so they need to go in separately, and second, I want the grain to be in the direction of the flow of the ears for strength.
Finally, I decided to add one of the little back paws as a separate piece as it needs to “cuddle” the banjo.
I’m also painting windows right now ( what on earth that has to do with carving, I’m not sure, but I’m told is right up there in priority ) so I may not get an update on the arms until a bit later this week.
Now that I look at the photo, I should remind those that are carving to always wear a kevlar glove in your non-knife-holding-hand. It won’t save you from a puncture into the weave, but it will save yourself being cut by a glancing knife blade. They’re inexpensive and sold at all carving shows and many building supply stores. If you’re of the opinion that a real carver doesn’t use hand protection, remember that if you cut a tendon in your hand or finger you’ll not be enjoying your hobby for a long, long time. Although you might still be able to paint windows.