A few wood chips glued in place are making the little guy’s project a bit more interesting…
Things are moving along although I haven’t put that much time into the carving as of late.
I did manage to make a base from red oak. It’s a couple of inches thick and I simply cut out a circle on the bandsaw and then used a router to add an edge at both the top and bottom. I like to add a little edge to undercut the bottom of the bases as I think it just makes it look nicer when sitting on a table.
After staining and applying a few satin urethane coatings, I applied about an 1/8″ of white glue over the top almost like you’d put icing on a cake. I then lightly pressed in about a 1/4″ or more of sawdust…who doesn’t have lots of sawdust laying around the shop?
When that was dry, I brushed away the loose sawdust to find that the glue made quite a bit of the sawdust look “wetted”, which I didn’t like. So, I sprayed a coat of aerosol adhesive onto the sawdust base and then laid another 1/8″ of sawdust on top of that. When that had dried, the sawdust looked dry and just the way I wanted it.
Out of a scrap piece of basswood, I carved the beaver’s project…a maple leaf. And, of course, on the bark I carved a smooth section and burned in 150th, representing this year’s 150th birthdate of our nation. A small groove gouge made all of the markings on the bark.
Everything is epoxied in place now with a couple of wood screws also holding the two pieces onto the base. Next step is to get a nameplate made up and to add a few larger wood chips here and there.
I used Cheryl’s suggestion from the last post and applied a bit more of a dark wash on the fur before dry brushing some yellow ochre and later some bright yellow in small areas over the fur. Once that was well dried, I applied some satin urethane wiping away the excess to prevent the carving from getting too shiny. I’m pretty pleased with the results so far.
Also notice that the little guy now has a small ruler and a pencil in his apron pouch to help him with his carving. I’ve given him some wire shoe laces and plan to go back with some brass nails and silver straight pins for the rivets on the pouch.
Here’s the start to the painting.
The apron is a blend of washes of yellow ochre and asphaltum ( brown ). I then added a few dabs of burnt sienna and raw sienna for highlights. The whole thing was then dry brushed with an ivory.
The fur has many washes of asphaltum, burnt umber and yellow ochre. I even added a single light wash of purple to give it a bit of richness. I still want to go back and lighten up spots, especially around the face area.
With the last project wrapped up, I’m returning to “Another Dam Carver.”
Any hard working Canadian beaver needs a toque…so, that’s what we’re working on this afternoon. Now, for non-Canadians ( you unfortunates! ), a toque is a knitted wool hat that absolutely everyone owns. They’re great for those cold Canadian winters and can be generally worn anytime from about the end of August to the following first of June!
I still use and enjoy Lynn Doughty’s method of “sizing” the hat to the head of the caricature with a bit of pencil lead on the head that transfers to the inside of the hat to highlight the high points that need to be shaved away. The dowel is used to ensure that you’re replacing the hat in the exact same spot every time.
As you can see from the photo above and below, after shaping the toque, I used a burning tool to make vertical ridges in the hat. Later, I burned further marks into each of the ridges to make a herringbone pattern. All in all, it looks pretty close to a knit pattern ( if you squint a bit ).
Here’s another entry on Emily’s crocheting blog. This one reminds me of the stylized maple leaf that was used in 1967 to celebrate Canada’s 100th birthday. Dad and I mapped it out and mowed it into the front lawn for everyone in the neighbourhood to enjoy. I remember Dad saying that I should think about him on the 150th birthday of Canada…so I am with Emily’s help.
Here’s an entry to my daughter’s blog that I liked. Mark
Well, Canada Day is right around the corner. This Canada Day, of course, is special because it’s 150 years since confederation. If you’d rather not say “Happy 150th, Canada!” (because age is just a number after all) you can always go with “Happy Sesquicentennial, Canada!”, because silly words are more fun to say.
My Dad is experiencing some crafty patriotism – and I think it’s his fault that I’ve felt the Canada-crafty bug recently. He recently finished his part of a project called the Maple Leaf Forever Project.
Here’s the background: 150 years ago, Alexander Muir wrote a song called ‘The Maple Leaf Forever’, which was inspired by a large maple tree in Toronto. That tree stood where Alexander saw it for almost 150 years; in 2013 it was damaged by a wind storm and had to be taken down. Since the tree was so culturally significant, parts of…
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Well, things have been pretty busy around the homestead lately, but here’s an update on some of my activities.
The Maple Leaf Forever Tree project is coming along nicely. You’ll recall from my last post that this particular maple tree which was felled in a wind storm was the inspiration for our first national anthem written by Alexander Muir back in 1867 or so. The Ontario Wood Carvers Association saved a small portion of the tree and have carved a memorial that will be displayed at the Ontario Science Centre for years to come.
I spent several days travelling between Kingston and Toronto so that I could carve a portion of the tree at the Centre in Toronto. The carving and just being a part of this project with twenty other carvers from Ontario was a delight…the traffic was not.
The unveiling of the tree is planned for July 19th at the Science Centre. Guest speakers, a band playing “The Maple Leaf Forever”, and several carving activities for the kids who are always present at the Science Centre will round out the day’s activities.
The tree is just getting the final coats of stain-over-urethane finish and it’s looking superb.
I’ve also finished up the chalice box depicting Saints Timothy and Maura and am pleased with the way that it turned out.
I’ve been spending more time with the Ontario Wood Carvers Association and had a chance to drop by the Burlington Ontario Club to see what they’ve been up to. All of you carvers will be very jealous ( as I am ) of their workshop. They meet at the Art Gallery of Burlington ( south of Toronto ) for their weekly carving sessions and have full access to a very well equipped workshop in the middle of the art gallery. Pretty nice set-up.
And last, but not least, Rosie and I have been doing our fair share of gardening. Now it’s back to some more carving.
Some years ago a very old Maple tree, some 170 years old, blew down in a windstorm in Toronto. This particular tree had an interesting history in that it was believed to be the tree that inspired Alexander Muir to write the song “The Maple Leaf Forever” in 1867. This song stood as the unofficial national anthem of Canada for some time.
In preparation for Canada’s sesquicentennial ( 150 years ) celebration this July 1st, the Ontario Wood Carvers Association got hold of a portion of this old tree over three years ago and began the design work and the carving of the tree trunk as a Toronto area tribute.
Thirty Maple “Leafs” are situated around the trunk, each with a particular image representing famous people ( including Muir ), famous landmarks and area First Nation artifacts and scenes.
I’ll be taking part in completing the “monument” by carving a depiction of the Toronto Old City Hall. I’m starting next week and will be carving a couple of days at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, where the tree will continue to be on display after it’s finished.
Last week, I spent a few hours at the Ontario Science Centre and enjoyed chatting with the other carvers and hearing the young visitors’ questions…one question aimed at me by a youngster was “Isn’t it illegal to be carving a tree”…certainly a young fellow on his way to a career in litigation.
I’ve completed the latest panel for the new chalice box and now all panels are ready for joining. This was an interesting panel as the figures were a bit smaller due to the fact that I had to include two figures together on the panel. The folds in their robes and their facial expressions were also fun to carve.