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weeping


D.W.

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It's easy to carve. Much harder to carve something recognizable. Even harder to do it well. But i realize that i'm in the company of artists here. Artists so talented and accomplished that I weep with envy.

Hi. My name is Don. Everyone can just call me DW. I've been carving all of my life( more accurately: cutting or wasting wood, as you prefer.) I have made things that I've been proud to show to others, but not many. Work keeps getting in the way. One day maybe a merge of carving and commerce will keep me at home to do what we're all here to celebrate.

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Well I thought about this predicament for a while ( a day ;) ) and I think I may have identified the problem. You are carving the wrong stuff. It may either be your subject matter or the material itself. Whenever you are unhappy with what you have been pouring you heart into, something is wrong.

 

Are you trying to carve what you see other people do? For the past week I have been trying to replicate some of Janel's work and have been utterly unhappy and unsuccessful with my results. The problem: I can't carve wood! Not even to save my life!

 

The question is do your carvings make you feel good about your work and yourself? try something new! Carve unfired ceramic, carve bone (with power tools or you will die of old age), carve stone etc...

 

 

Well that's my opinion B):):D

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My first suggestion to everyone is to draw your ideas from what interests you, for me that is what I see in the world outside my door. Use a real frog as a model, use a leaf or a branch, an apple or an acorn... Draw on paper if you can, those things that you might be considering for carving. You don't need to be accomplished at drawing. The process just helps one to "see" the subject, to feel the shape with your eyes, to sense the texture and to begin to translate it, to understand the energy of the lines and flow of the future composition... Technique will grow from how your tools work for you, and will let you know when you need new tools to accomplish something you see but are not yet able to achieve with what you have on hand.

 

I am not sure that trying to replicate the work of another artist is a good way to go. The real subjects are the teachers. Your training will come from looking at the subject, and trying to interpret what moves you. Learning grows from one carving to the next. Each piece is a learning step. Find your own vision and keep searching.

 

Janel

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DW, what do you like to carve when you get the chance?

 

Janel

 

Hi Janel. I like to carve hard materials like deer antler, of which I have more than I could ever use. The nature of the material forces me to go slowly( I never use power tools beyond cutting the materials into managable pieces. probably the reason I'll never cross the line into the commercial end of it.)

As I'm technologically challenged, photos may be some time in coming,

At this point, I'd like to thank you Janel for this forum and your work. As well I'd llike to say that I'm from southern Ontario, Canada.

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Hi DW,

 

Where abouts in southern Ontario, across from what in the US? Don't sweat about the photos, do them only if it is easy to do. I am curious about the sorts of tools you use for carving antler.

 

Thanks for the good words about the forum. It is a good, friendly place for carvers to meet and to share knowledge.

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Hi DW,

 

Where abouts in southern Ontario, across from what in the US? Don't sweat about the photos, do them only if it is easy to do. I am curious about the sorts of tools you use for carving antler.

 

Thanks for the good words about the forum. It is a good, friendly place for carvers to meet and to share knowledge.

 

 

I'm in Hamilton, Ontario. About an hour or so from Buffalo, NY.

The tools I use are really commonplace ones. X-acto knives and engraving and stone setting burins or gravers(from my time as a jewellery repairman)

I've just realised that I'm more than just challenged in the tech department. Would love to post pics. of what I have, but I'm hopelessly lost. I have all the hardware needed, but not the know-how. Perhaps I'll spend some time studying today. ;)

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I understand what DW means. I have a lot of stuff in the shed that should never see the light of day, but I have discovered a motto for figure carving: "Keep going." It seems that my human figures have to repeat the entire sequence of evolution to arrive at some presentable form

Blob

Amoeba

Pig

australopithicus

hominid

Neanderthal

Cro magnon

Modern human does not come easy. To produce something that doesn't look like it wants to eat my grandkids, I have to keep going. Somehow, the early traces of heritage still show after eons of painstaking adaptation in the shed: fat brow ridges, jutting jaw and bulbed nose. I try to shape them toward modern expressions of desire, mystery or love and I sometimes keep getting closer. Keep going.

 

John Clarke

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