tributesinwood

Wood Carvings by Mark Sheridan

Archive for the tag “country hound”

Photo-Op for a Country Hound

Our little Country Hound is finished and has now sat patiently for his photo-op.

I’m pretty pleased with the way that this little carving  has turned out.  Thanks to Lynne for her ideas on this carving as I would not have come up with this composition on my own.  It was fun to carve and complete.

I’ll put some additional photos on the Flickr site ( link at the side of this page ) a little bit later today.

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Some Rug Braiding

I’ve done some rug braiding tonight and the rug is now ready for paint!

The planked floor and the shaped base beneath it also got some stain and urethane earlier this week, so the base is coming to completion.  I’ve typically painted the wood grain lines on the plank floor with acrylic paints, however, in this case, the planks are running parallel to the grain in the oak base and, given that the grain is very fine, an oak finish looked just right to make a true-to-scale rendition of a floor.

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After doing some sanding, the edge of the base got a darker stain than the planked floor just to make the perimeter stand out.  I also included some small nails at a few of the plank joints in the floor just to add some more interest.

My next step will be to use some acrylic paints to provide a multi-colour rug pattern within the “braided” lines that I’ve already burned in with a wood burner.  I’m planning to use diluted “washes” of a number of colours so that the rug ends up not looking too bright…I’d prefer something that looks well used.

Happy New Year!

Well, I have to admit that we didn’t make it quite to midnight last night…but, we did watch a countdown from last year off of Youtube  ( I know that’s cheating ).  That, combined with a nice dinner and a little bit of wine ( just for the record, Paul’s drinking apple juice…I’m not ) rounded out New Year’s Eve just right for us.

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As you can see from the background on my progress photo of my little penalty box hockey player, we’re getting our fair share of snow today following a pretty green ( actually, more barren than green ) Christmas.

He’s coming along nicely.  I actually sanded the helmet down a bit…something that I don’t normally do with my carvings.  In this case, I thought that the helmet in particular would just look a little nicer with a smoother finish.  His face is coming along as well and I probably won’t do a lot more on it until I fit it to his shoulders, which are yet to be carved.

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The little Country Hound is making some progress today as well.  I decided on a circular base and will be routering a nice edge on the base today sometime.  It took a bit of thinking but I finally made up a little fence out of the portions of the base that I cut away to form the circle.  That fence will get a slot cut into the centre to accommodate the router bit, then I’ll just place the circular base in that “holder” and carefully turn the base within the fence and let the router do it’s work.

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Well, that’s about it for now.  We wish each of you all of the best things in 2015 and I thank each of you for being interested in and following my projects and inspiring me to try new things.  That meant a lot to me in 2014.  Mark.

Starting the Base

The Country Hound carving is now finished, has been glued together and has received a light coat of urethane to protect the acrylics.  I like the way this carving is turning out.

The base has been cut from a piece of oak and I’m just getting a sense of how I’d like it to look.  I’m picturing that rocking chair sitting on a wood floor with a throw rug.  I’m going to play around with that for a little while and see what turns up.

For now, here’s how it’s looking.

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Some Final Fitting

The banjo is looking so nice that I couldn’t resist doing some final fitting with everything together.  I added a bit of colour to the skin of the banjo to make it look well used.  I also added some of the aluminum tape to the frets to give them a metal shine.  To make the frets, I had started with a wood burning tool and a bit of silver paint, but just wasn’t satisfied with the look.  So I carved out small channels and inlaid the metal tape.  I’m a lot happier with that look.

If you remember the term “letraset”and the letters, numbers and figures that came with this product, you’ll remember this print application that basically rubs off on the item that you want to add some printing on.  Well I have a bit of that left in my shop and found a little swirly application that I added to the head of the banjo.

Still quite a bit of work to do on the banjo but I’m also getting very close to starting the painting on the hound.

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Gotta Love a Banjo…

I’ve been looking forward to working on this banjo ever since it was suggested to me…and now with the Hound’s ears well underway, I’m going to turn a bit more attention toward it.

You’ll remember from an earlier post that I used a bandsaw to carefully cut out the basic shape of a banjo from a piece of oak.  With that rough out, I did a bit of carving, but mostly sanding to get it to the shape that I imagined.  This will be a five string banjo, which means that four of the mechanisms ( ears ) will be on the head of the banjo and one mechanism will be on the neck.  If you look close, you can see that I made a little indentation on the neck to fit that fifth mechanism.

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Now, comes the fun part.  I want to put in a lot of metal looking parts on the body of the banjo in particular.  If you take a look at a picture of a banjo, you’ll notice that one style has quite decorative “tin” around the stretched banjo skin and is held together, or tight, with long-ish bolts.  This is the look that I’m after.

So, I’ve first started with the tin pieces.  My version is made with metal tape that you commonly see used on ductwork.  This is an aluminum tape with a strong adhesive back.  One nice thing about the tape is that it can be burnished ( rubbed ) with a tool to flatten out completely and to some extent accommodate small curved sections.  The other nice thing is that it can take an impression by pressing into it.

So, with the tape in hand I went about creating what I’ve seen on some of the banjos that I like.  After the burnishing, I used a few small tools that I had lying around to make little impressions that look like screw heads and the general decorations that you see on a full sized banjo.

Still a long way to go, but I like the way that it’s turning out so far…and, it’s fun.  My goal is to be able to play at least one tune on it before handing it over to the little hound.

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Trimming of the Ears

Some ear trimming was the next step for our little hound.  Basically, I just picked up where I left off earlier with the fitting of the ears to the arm and body contours using pencil lead as a marking tool to highlight the high spots that needed to be removed to get as tight a fit as possible.  Today, I shaved down the outside of the ears and added a bit of a fold at the front of the ear and a bit of a wave where the ear flows around the front leg, or arm, in this case ( because who ever heard of playing a banjo with a leg ).  Trimming the ear down went a long way to making the ear look soft and flexible like hound’s ears happen to be.

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The other fun item was working the handkerchief a bit more.  Again, the inner fitting had been done earlier and now it was just a matter of creating some interesting folds and waves on the outside of the cloth.  Again, I tried to trim it down enough to make it look like how you’d imagine a bundle of light cloth to lay.  I’m already thinking of a nice checkered pattern for this handkerchief similar to the way that I painted the hobo bindle used on my carving of Hobo and Ned.

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And lastly, I put a coat of satin urethane on the rocking chair and cushion to finish it up.  The urethane brought a nice glow to the wood and also made the “barnyard red” coloured cushion come to life a bit more.  I still want to add some cushion ties on the back, but, other than that, the rocker is complete.

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It’s All in the Details…

I had a chance to start a bit of detailing on the little hound yesterday.

I removed the ears to detail in the face.  Remember, that I only used a glue gun to lightly tack the ears in place for some initial roughing in.  I removed them again to add some wrinkles to the face and to carve the eyes and eyelids.  I’ll do some additional facial detailing then re-attach the ears permanently to carve in some detail lines and folds to them.

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I also included a few more wrinkles and folds in the legs of the hound’s overalls.  On this particular leg, a patch has also been added just for some additional interest.  It’ll look really good and stand out nicely once I paint it to contrast with the colour of the overalls.  I originally had the idea of a chest pocket…but, as it turns out the banjo is going to completely cover it anyway.  We’ll know it’s there though.

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The other leg also got a few wrinkles and folds.  You’ll notice that it also has a very deep and open pocket…which will contain a handkerchief very shortly…draped out of his pocket and hanging below the rocking chair seat cushion.  A wise country hound always carries a handkerchief.  Everyone knows that.

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Hound in a Hat…

I’ve carved in the cushion for the rocking chair and have added a nice barnyard red to it to provide that country look.  With the bit of dry-brushing that I did on the cushion, I’m thinking that it’s looking sufficiently worn like a good rocker should be.  I put a darker stain on it and then pulled away some of the colouring on the high spots, again, to give it a well used look.  When I get a bit of urethane on it, the colour of the cushion and the grain in the rocking chair will really stand out.  I’m also planning to add some cushion ties when things are in the final stages to really give it a complete look.

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I also did some roughing-in on the hat.  I was shooting for something that looked like a big straw hat somewhere between a cowboy hat and a sombrero.  I think I’m pretty close.  The trick was to ensure that the hat looked like a good fit on the Country Hound…and fit around the back of the rocking chair.  Took a bit of fitting back and forth.  In making the hat ( two pieces ) and fitting it to the Hound’s head, I used the process of scribbling pencil lead on one of the two mating parts and then cutting away the high points where the lead marked the clean mating piece.

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With all of the individual pieces together, our little Hound is coming right along.  Time to start adding some detail next.

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Ottawa and Progress on the Country Hound

Tomorrow afternoon I’ll be heading out to Ottawa to drop off my carvings for the “Poetry in Wood” Carving Show and Competition.  I’ll bring along the same carvings that I had entered in the Pickering Show of a couple of weeks ago: Hobo and Ned; and, the Three Louisiana Hounds.  I’m sure that they’ll be enjoyed in Ottawa because it’s a great group of people who meet there for the show.

My location in Kingston and my links to Southern Ontario are quite nice from a carving standpoint…the Pickering Show which is a couple of hours away brings in carvers from central Ontario around the Toronto area; the Ottawa Show which is a couple of hours in the opposite direction brings in carvers from Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec; the Hamilton Show at the beginning of next year brings in Central and Western Ontario and is located almost in the backyard of my daughter’s home in Ancaster; and, the Niagara Competition brings in carvers from Southern Ontario and is a stone’s throw from my Mom’s home.  So, I pretty conveniently take in the major competitions around the province.  There is one other great competition that I know of in Kitchener which is in Western Ontario…hmm…I do have an Aunt who lives in those parts…just thinking.

Here’s a quick couple of photos of the Country Hound.  Not much changed since my last update although I’ve detailed the rocking chair a bit more, added in some cross braces on the legs and did some wood burning on the upper-most head piece.  He’s coming along.

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