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August 27, 2018


This was my first experiment using a medium I had read about and eyed in catalogues as well as on-line: cottonwood bark.

The figure is about 4 in thick, about 2   1/2 feet in length, and about 5 in across. The barks was a reddish-brown to start with, but when I added the finish (Puritan pine..a nearly clear stain) it really pulled out the red. I put a gloss over top to preserve it.

As usual, I just start carving and don't really plan where it goes. If I hit a soft spot, the plan changes and you just adapt and move on. What was going to be a simple wood sprite figure, a variation on the others I have done this year, became a Disney-like fantasy dog-like figure after the nose I was carving fell off in a spot of rot. Carving down to more solid material left a rather flat face, so I worked with that and left the lower part elevated, afraid there may be more rot if I carved top deep.

I used hand blades only - a V-groove and a straight edge. It was good to get back to carving manually, and not using a rotary tool. Softer materials allow for that.

* one of my sons observed that it resembled the miniature Schnauzers we had when they were kids. Quite a long beard, though? :)

Cootonwood Fanstasy Figure Head.jpg
CottonwoodFantasy Head Profile.jpg
Cottonwood Carving Sept 2018 small.jpg
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