Wood Carvings by Mark Sheridan

Archive for the tag “1812”

Cpl. Duncan Sowerby

We took a trip to visit family over the last few days and had a great visit with everyone.  During the car ride we came up with a name for the 1812 Infantryman caricature…Corporal Duncan Sowerby.

What do you think?…Sound right for the era?

Here’s a quick snapshot of the first pass at his hat.  Eventually, a feather plume, some knotted cord and a brass badge will decorate the front of the hat.

It’s interesting that the hat was termed a Shako.  Some quick surfing came up with the origin of the word being from Hungary and meaning a peaked cap.

In general, it’s interesting that the uniforms of the time were so colourful and ornate.  Similarly, the hats would be tall and equally ornate.  Neither reflected the sense of camouflage that we know of today.

For those interested in the construction, again, you’ll see that I made the hat in two parts.  The peak has the grain running horizontally in the photo so that it has greater strength and won’t break as easily as it would have had I run the grain vertically through the entire hat.

After roughing-in the hat and cutting off a bit of the top of the head level, it was just then a matter of dishing out the bottom of the brim to fit the head.  The dishing out gives the impression that the hat is pulled right over the head.


Happy New Year 2013!

Happy New Year!  It’s going to take a while to get used to writing 2013…I was just getting used to 2012.

Here are a couple of photos of my latest carving of the British Infantry Soldier.  I haven’t come up with a good name for him yet, so, if you have some ideas, let’s hear them.  The Niagara Carving Show is in April and I think that will be his first showing…fitting, given the Battle of Lundy’s Lane fought there.

Still a lot to carve, but you can see how he’ll be holding his musket at the ready across his chest.  I’ll be adding the hands separately once I put the musket together.  I find that this method of adding the hands works well when you are trying to carve the hands such that they hold something…in this case, the musket.  Adding them with separate pieces of wood also gives you the chance to get the grain of the wood going in the best direction for strength of the carving.  A hand or a small finger would break away with the slightest impact if the grain wasn’t going in the right direction.

ImageHere’s a shot of the back-pack, ammunition pouch and canteen.  I’m pretty sure that the two stripes indicate a rank of Corporal.  He’ll also have a bed roll strapped up on the top of the back-pack and a hat when he’s finished.


Some New Ideas

Over Christmas I did a bit of extra carving on my latest project…a British Infantry Soldier from 1812.  My daughter gave me a very nice leather apron for carving and I’ve been using it since Christmas morning.  It’s nice to wear to keep the wood chips off and give you a bit of protection from a slipped carving knife.  Of course, it’s also quite the fashion statement.

The soldier will be more of a bust than a full figure caricature.  It’s something that I’ll attach to a wooden base.  Although it will have arms holding onto a musket, I think that it will still qualify as a bust in that category at wood shows.  We’ll see…I’m just learning the ropes.

The soldier bust has a back-pack right now, a canteen and an ammunition bag.  From diagrams, I suspect that the back-pack must have had a wooden frame interior as it was very box-like and didn’t look like it would have been comfortable at all to wear.  The canteen appears to have been made of wooden slats on a circular metal rim…a bit like a wooden barrel.  The ammunition pouch was just a heavy leather pouch with a metal catch of some sort.  It looks like an industrial strength purse.

I’m working on his head and hat right now and I still have to carve up the cloth bag that the soldiers at the time carried.

I’ll get a photo of my progress up on the site shortly.

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