Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Successful Surgery

As you may remember from my post earlier this week, I was not satisfied with the way the feet turned out on my figure for the “Cooling His Heels” project.  After careful consideration, I came to the decision to amputate his pathetic little toes, and perform some judicious reconstructive surgery.  As you can see in the photographs below, the surgery was a complete success!

I am so much more satisfied with the feet now.  They now represent my ideal of what caricature feet should be.  The gentle curves and angles of the toes are so very pleasing now and the proportions are perfect for the mood I was attempting to portray.  Let’s have a look at the before and after photographs and perform a short critique.

The first photograph shows the foot the way it was originally carved.  Notice how the toes look deformed, small, and not very interesting; not to mention that one toe is missing completely.  After the repair, the toes have a nice curve to them, they are long, and have a natural shape.  Notice as well that the glue joint is almost invisible, and with a careful paintjob, it will disappear entirely.  Even though they have been exaggerated in the way all good caricatures are, they are still identifiable as toes and have a quality of uniqueness about them. 
Since the feet are to be the main focus of this project, it was imperative that I get them right.  Now, they should look fantastic, sticking up out of the bubbling little stream that I have envisioned in my mind.  With the successful surgery behind me, I am now completely satisfied with this feature and ready to move on to the next stage of the design.
The moral of the story here is, when something goes wrong and you make a mistake, don’t abandon your efforts.  With a little more thought and labor, you can fix your blunder.  Although sculpting in wood is generally a “subtractive” art, where material is removed until the subject is revealed, with a little thought and a bottle of carpenter’s glue, a seemingly disastrous mistake can turn into a satisfying triumph.  After all, we use add-ons on our carvings all of the time.  I have simply added-on some rather nice looking toes.


  1. Another fine bit of surgery by Dr. Brandant. The patient should be up and foot-soaking in no time.

    I think the best part is the toes curving down and out. You can almost hear the "...aaaaah..."

  2. That's what I'm going for Tom. Thanks for the comment.