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voj maintenance

Opinions please.

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I think the biggest problem is, where would you cut? If you take a slice big enough to mount the owl then the face will have no head....


At the risk of causing some offense, and none is intended as I love to see people having a go at carving, don't be afraid of carving really deeply, owl eyes are dished almost half way into the head, and the head is round like a fluffy ball, I would also consider re-working the human head as eyes should be halfway between the skull and the chin - you do have the wood available in the block. I wonder if you started carving with the nose and eyes and worked out from there? It is a good idea to get the overall shape right first and add the details at the end. All the best,


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Hi yes there good starts I would make the owls head a little more rounded like Andrew said push the eyes further back. Also being a rustic carving your eye socket looks a bit to perfectly round I would push them back a bit use the tool and then soften the edges with a dremel to make them less machine like cut.

The face was a good practice but perhaps use the bottom part of the log and carve it into some form of perch or branch like stand.

I know what it's like when you start you have lots of things you want to try and do but you can't run before you walk make a few single pieces before attempting multiple carves on one piece.

Anyway I hope that helps and keep going the more you carve the more you find form and it all comes much easier.

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One lesson I learned the hard way is to never outline features - lips, nose, face, none of them have lines, they are marked by changes of slope and pigment so if you can arrange to carve in strongly raking light it makes your job much easier as the shadows that show the changes in slopes as you carve are that much stronger. My carving area is next to a window with no additional lighting for this very reason.


Eyes are the hardest to carve in this respect as you think they actually do have lines but they do not! The eye ball is just that - a ball - you need to carve the skin as a sort of up-side down bowl as the first step. You do this by deeply cutting the eye-brow ridge and side of the nose and cheekbone which you run in a straight line from the wing of the nose to the temple. This raises a three sided block which you round over. Once you have this dome you can mark in the upper and lower eyelids and cut them in strongly - skin is actually quite thick - then dome over the surface of the eye. Course with a totem, you don't always carve the eyelids - they are often shown with paint but if you check the totems, the eyes are still carved as domes before they are painted.

Edited by stuckinthemud

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Big improvement all round! Well done. I always apply a finish but the Finish depends on the timber and the location, the job of a finish is to reduce the speed of drying-out, reduce the impact of rot/insect attack and to enhance appearance. Pine can be scorched, for example and the natural resins seal the wood most effectively. Oak needs nothing, although oil can slow down drying and reduce the number of splits/shakes. Varnishes and paints are particularly valid for certain carvings but can impact on the natural figuring in the grain while wax is fine on its own for indoor carvings.

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