Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Demystifying Wood Grain

Because many beginners, as well as seasoned carvers alike, often have a difficult time understanding and dealing with wood grain and all of the difficulties that arise because of it, I have compiled a document entitled "Demystifying Wood Grain, a Wood Carving Primer."  In this tutorial, I attempt to demystify the somewhat elusive subject of wood grain and how to deal with it properly.  I hope you will stop by and take a look, but mostly, I hope that it is useful to you by shedding some light on this sometimes difficult subject.

Here's the link:
Demystifying Wood Grain

You can also link to it from the Tutorials Page.  Happy Carving.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Picture Gallery

If you haven't visited my Picture Gallery page lately, you might be pleased to know that I have reduced the prices on many of my carvings.  Although parting with one of my pieces is like giving away one of my kidneys, I'm simply running out of room in my house to display my creations properly.  Since I would rather sell them to a collector than put them into a box for storage, I have drastically reduced many of their prices.  So, if you've had your eye on one of my carvings, I hope you will take advantage of this "Sale" and help me clear out some space for new pieces.  If you aren't interested in purchasing one, that's okay too, I still invite you to stop in and take a look at my work, it's my bragging page after all.

Thank you all for your interest in The Old Stump and I hope what you find here is helpful, inspirational, and entertaining.

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Latest Knife

It's been a while since I last posted.  I've been awful busy the last couple of weeks getting the yard cleaned up for spring and working on the list of "Honey Do" projects that just seems to keep growing.  Why is that I wonder?  Because of my busy schedule, I haven't had much time to dedicate to carving.  I have made a little headway on my knight; the head is done and the body is underway.  I also found out that my friend lost his horse of many years, so I put my knight on hold for awhile so that I can carve him a horse to show him my sympathy.  I'll take a few pics and get them posted to the Carving Bench page.

I did manage to fill a knife order last week for a customer, and I have to admit, it's probably the most beautiful knife that I have produced.  The octagonal-dolphin-shaped handle is made out of apricot, and the grain was just amazing.  Here are a picture of the knife:

There are a few more pics in the Knife Gallery page, just scroll all the way to the bottom.  You don't see that kind of grain very often, but when you do, it sure is a wonder to behold.  I still have a few more knife handle blanks of this apricot left and if they produce handles half as nice as this one, I will be pleased.

I've been kicking around ideas for another tutorial.  I received some good feedback from the Archer Bust Tutorial, and though that it would be fun to start another one soon.  If you have some ideas that you would like to have me entertain, leave a comment or send me an email.  Several have said that the Archer was too advanced for them.  Would you rather see something more simple; a beginner's tutorial perhaps?  Or would you rather see something more complicated?  Or maybe, just another bust of some interesting character?  Let me know if you have any ideas.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Live Long and Prosper

This one's for all of you Trekies out there.  May I present, the First Officer of the Star Ship Enterprise all cleaned up in his dress uniform.

I think Mr. Spock turned out quite well.  My wife said that it's her favorite bust that I have ever carved, and he rates right up there on my own scale too.  Of course, I wasn't going for an exact likeness, but I think I got some of the most important features: the hair, the eye brows, and the serious look.  I sure like to carve these little busts; they really bring me a lot of pleasure and since I can carve them in a couple of days, they never seem to get old.

I'd sure like to know what you think, so leave a comment or drop me an email.  Lots more photos in the Picture Gallery.  Stop in and take a look.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Peasant

Here's a little bust that I did before starting on the next big project.  He's kind of simple, but he was a fun little study.

I do have a confession to make.  When I started carving the head, I thought that I would carve a knight with a big mustache and a huge grin on his face.  In my zeal to carve the smile, I forgot what I was doing and took off too much wood with out leaving enough wood for the mustache.  So, the knight turned out to be a peasant.  Just goes to show that even when a carving takes a different turn from where you intend it to go, good things can still come out in the end.

Tip from the Stump:  when you make a mistake, and believe me you will, don't throw your carving in the fireplace, take another look at it and make the best of things.  Serendipity is on your side.

There are a lot more pictures in the Picture Gallery.  Stop in and take a look.