A few Christmas carvings along with eating all kinds of Christmas goodies got in the way of completing my latest Basset in a Basket! But here it is all finished.
Finishing included a variety of washes of different tones of brown on the darker sections of the little hound along with a slightly off-white for the remainder. The basket also has a number of tones but predominantly yellow-ochre and shades of almost a butterscotch colour.
Everything was topped off with a light coat of satin urethane that was mostly wiped away before it set.
I added a handle and small bow as two separate pieces to the carved bell. Both the handle and the bow have a little dowel drilled into the neighbouring pieces to locate it and were epoxied in place after I had finished the painting. That bow was actually a lot of fun to carve.
The handle is several light coats of asphaltum brown. The bow is cherry red and gold. You can see from the previous photo that I separated the two colours with a wood burning line. This not only looks nice but it also makes a bit of a dam when you’re painting…the two separate colours stop dead at that line and don’t bleed one into the other.
The face is flesh colour with some red mixed in for the nose and cheeks and some Payne’s grey above the eyes. The brass portion of the bell is alternating light coats ( washes ) of gold and “worn penny”…which looks like copper. I was quite surprised that the flesh colour of the face blended nicely into the brass colour without looking odd. At least as non-odd as a bell with a face can be…
After a bit of dry brushing with a beige colour to pick up the high spots on the knife cuts, the whole thing got a light coat of satin urethane. A slightly grumpy looking Christmas Bell and a fun project.
Well, Emily and Paul received their Christmas Pickles and were happy and confused by them. But it was fun.
After the festivities, I started carving another little face figure. This time, a face within a bell. You might recall the “Claymations” Christmas versions of the bells. I guess that my bell is loosely based on those. I’m not finished yet, but here’s how things are coming along.
I started with a pretty simple bell pattern cut out on the bandsaw. The face is located on one of the corners of the bandsaw cut so that you have a lot of wood to play with as you start shaping the face.
I won’t go into the detail of shaping the face. I basically have been following Lynn Doughty’s method of laying out the face and find that works well for me. Check Lynn’s work and his videos out at outwestwoodcarving.
I want to add a handle with a Christmas bow on it…so, there’s more to come.
I was wondering why many of my carving friends were posting pictures of carved pickles on their Facebook pages. Well, I now know that there was a German tradition of hanging a pickle on the Christmas tree. Whoever found the hidden pickle would receive an extra gift.
Those clever Germans…Mercedes, BMW’s and Christmas pickles.
Anyways, here’s my version of a Christmas pickle. Pretty simple bandsawed blank from basswood, a bit of acrylic paint and sealed with urethane. Use a few different tones of green to give it some life. Drill a hole in the top and glue a little cord in place so that you can hang it from the tree.
Just be sure to have an extra present around in case the person who finds it knows about this tradition!
You’ve seen my original Basset Hound in a Box post, so I won’t go into great detail on what got me to this point…just look back on the previous post if you’d like to see those steps.
It was suggested to me, though, that the same carving would look nice with a woven basket rather than a bag. That turned out to be a good suggestion as the carving of a basket weave is something that I hadn’t tried before and it turned out to be fun.
The thing that you have to keep in mind is that the weave has a horizontal band and two vertical bands, or in my rendition, more of a rounded cane. The horizontal bands weave over one vertical cane and under the adjacent cane. Once you get your head around that, it’s just repetitive carving. I finished up with a wood burning tool to keep everything nice and neat and “split” the horizontal band just to make it look more complicated!
You know, I’ve never carved a Santa. I always think about carving one just before Christmas and by the time I get around to things, Christmas is over and I’m on to something new.
This year is different…maybe. At least I’ve started on a Santa.
So, here’s how I’m coming along with it. Started with just a quick sketch directly on the basswood and then went from there. I threw it out twice before finishing it! I’ll do a bit more wood burning to clean up a couple of spots and then on to painting.
The “Props” were actually a lot of fun to make and they turned out ok.
The Vicar’s wine goblet was just carved and sanded and then painted with silver acrylic paint. I mixed a few drops of reddish-brown into a little pool of clear epoxy and dropped it into the cup. The outside of the goblet got a coat of clear epoxy to give it an ultra shiny appearance.
The shot glass was carved and then I built up just about a 1/16th of an inch of epoxy around what would be the rim. I sanded the epoxy as flat as I could and then painted the wood and again covered everything in epoxy. I’m not over-the-moon about it…but it’s ok.
The beer mug was also carved with the handle being added separately. I hollowed out the rim area and after painting the wood, I added some flour to the epoxy and “frothed” it up by stirring it for a while. When I came back to check it, a little drip had formed over the edge of the “mug” and I thought that looked pretty good.
I think that the ashtray is my favourite piece. Just carved and painted it followed by a satin urethane finish.
So, here’s how it all came together. I should mention that I went with the very long caption on the carving so I ended up painting the caption on a base that I made. To get a bit of a template for the script, I printed it out on a Powerpoint program ( in reverse ) and then rubbed the ink-jet printed paper onto the base. It came out pretty light but I just wanted it as an indication of how to space the script…I followed up with a small brush and black paint.
Well, first you start by putting a bottle on your work table. Then, without touching the bottle, you carve the shape of the bottle and then sand it. After you sand it and, again, without touching the bottle, you use some asphaltum, burnt umber and black to get the right shade of the bottle. Then ( don’t touch the bottle ), you use a light beige to create the label and outline it in gold. And then, with a soft HB pencil, you draw in the label script. Apply a bit of satin urethane on the painted label and paint the rest of the bottle with 30 minute epoxy to give it a nice gloss.
The Vicar followed the same steps as I took in making the Admiral and the Cowboy. I gave him a little cape to bring some colour into the figure and then it was on to building the bar.
The “box” of the bar is just a solid piece of basswood. I used a dremel tool to router some inlays into the front of the bar. The top is a separate piece of hardwood and, again, I used the dremel tool to make a bit of a decorative edge.
I painted the bottom with some house latex paint that I had laying around and then added some highlights with asphaltum, burnt sienna and raw sienna. I then dusted it up a bit with some “desert sand” dry-brushing. The top of the bar got a walnut stain.
After beating it up gently with a small hammer to give everything a well-used-bar look, I put a coat of satin urethane over everything.
I still want to add some details ( like drinks for the poor fellows ), but I’m really pleased with the way it’s looking.
Again, I started with a quick clay model and then used it to make a very simple line diagram on the front and side of a block of basswood that I brought to the bandsaw to do its magic. After some roughing out with a Foredom tool equipped with a very aggressive Typhoon bit ( and, again, be careful using these ), this is what the rough-out looked like. I had already carved the head for this piece, so I just drilled an oversized hole for its placement.
The hat was created in the usual manner with the crown and brim separate so that the grain matched the strongest direction. The head is cut away to accept the brim of the hat.
Then, with knives and a few small gouges, I started adding detail. The neckerchief, gloves and vest were a must for this ranch-hand. I used a dilute coat of urethane over the entire carving to seal things up and to harden any “fuzzy” sections that I later sanded lightly away.
Yellow ochre, chocolate brown, asphaltum ( why is it so hard to get that colour at stores right now? ), midnight blue ( light washes ) and dabs of yellow ochre and raw sienna here and there gave the little guy a nice set of working clothes. The final finish was with some dry-brushing to highlight the high points of the carving followed by a satin urethane finish. I really like Lynn Doughty’s methods and, in particular, his application of the urethane…so, check out one of his tutorials on Outwestwoodcarving to get a step-by-step “how-to” on this method.