My sister tells me that, as a girl scout, I used to carve bars of soap, and she says I was pretty darned good at it. too. I have exactly no recollection of this. None. And, as far as I can recall, I never took a knife to wood.
But I’ve really felt the pull to put my hands on things that don’t resemble a laptop keyboard lately. I’m willing to try pretty much anything that doesn’t involve typing. So woodcarving seemed like a good way to spend some time this weekend as I sat in front of the TV watching a Walking Dead marathon.
Yes, I like zombies. But I didn’t carve one (this time).
BADGE TASK UPDATE: ART IN 3-D
Here are the three things you need to carve wood: an idea, a piece of wood, and some carving tools. That’s it, folks. I actually bought these supplies a few months ago:
Supplies at the ready, I poked around online for some guidance, and you won’t be surprised to learn that there are a lot of pages dedicated to carving mallards. But there’s not a darned thing about my house that says “duck on a shelf.”
One thing from my scan was clear, however: Start by sketching your idea onto your wood before you carve.
From here, I say be fearless! Carve away the wood that won’t be needed.
Once the basic shape was carved, I started experimenting with the carving tools to refine and shape the fish. The tools, cheap as they were, were ideal for working with soft wood. They can cut grooves of different sizes, shape edges, and plane the wood.
The more refined I tried to get, the longer it took to get things right — a mouth, eyes, gills, fins, and even the suggestion of scales. But while I felt far more focused, I also felt some satisfaction that I wasn’t totally botching it. It did, in fact, look like a fish!
At the end of carving, I used a fine sandpaper to smooth rough patches.
Because I’m also big on using up supplies I’ve already got around the house, I gave my fish a two-tone stain, topped with a coat of gloss.
And here you have the finished fish, my first foray into simple woodcarving:
I’m pretty happy with this little guy. Was it fun? I’m not sure yet — I think I need to do several more carvings before I make that call. And I will–I’m feeling a big pull to work with my hands these days. And, as with most things, if I get better at it, my satisfaction quotient is likely to grow.
Last tip: This task may be better suited to a back porch than a living room. But then again, that’s what vacuum cleaners are for, right?
Finally, here’s a little more fun I had with this guy:
Jean Synodinos, Jean Synodinos, Jean Synodinos, Jean Synodinos, Jean Synodinos, Jean Synodinos, Jean Synodinos, Jean Synodinos, Jean Synodinos, Jean Synodinos, Jean Synodinos, Jean Synodinos