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Mouse on Cheese


kwinn

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It's not finished yet, but I'd like to share my latest project. I've been working on this for quite some time, so it's exciting to finally see it come close to completion.

 

The wood is Boxwood, and the size is 2.25" (5.7cm). Like some others have already mentioned, I used power tools for the rough shaping, and then completed it with hand tools, a few of which I ended up making myself.

 

I'm thinking of using light acrylic washes to paint the mouse, and then leave the cheese the natural wood color.

 

Kelly

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Very nice! I enjoy this piece!

 

I notice things like how nicely undercut the mouse contacting the cheese is. I am curious about what sort of tool you use to do the undercutting. (I'll show you mine if you show me yours! :o ) Nice fur too!

 

Janel

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Thanks everyone, I'm glad to see others like it too. I always go through a phase during a carving project (usually about when the rough shaping is done) that I convince myself that it's not going to turn out well, and then I resolve to just finish it the best that I can. Fortunately, most of the time a mysterious transformation happens and it turns out OK despite my early concerns. Anyone else go through this cycle?

 

Janel - it's been a long time since I had an offer like that! :D I'll try to work up some decent photographs to share some of my tools. I'm still a novice at this tool-making thing, but I'm happy to share (I'm nowhere near as sophisticated as Ko Baas -- see www.netsuke.nl). P.S. - Some of my tools I learned to make from you!

 

Kelly

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I got through that cycle most of the time too :(:) I think Jim Kelso remarked that it was the 'turd stage' . I guess it's common to all sculptors. I've stopped a few pieces at that point. I guess I have to learn to push on through it.

 

I've noticed there's another phase when a project is complete and the piece is born and it's no longer yours. if you made a mistake, there's not much left to do at that point. Hard to explain. :D

 

The painting part ought to be fun... :)

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This stage is a familiar one to me also. The first fun of roughing it out, with all of the potential waiting to be revealed, then finding just the right place to quit removing material to move onto another area until that is at that point as well. The next stage is the big questioning time, where the surface upon which all parts must meet each other in the right way, to await the detail and refinements. There is little room for adjustment by then, and much need for faith in one's self, clear vision, and steady hands to pass through that stage of suggestion, to what it is to be.

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Its finished now. Had a few minor difficulties while painting and finishing (painting is just not one of my strengths), but I think it came out OK. It's not quite exactly as I pictured in my head (do our works ever come out exactly as we imagined them?).

 

Its painted with acrylics. The eyes were painted solid black then covered with a thin layer of 5-minute epoxy. Then the whole carving was sprayed with matte acrylic spray. The boxwood was waxed with 4-0 steel wool then buffed with a cloth.

 

What would you have done different?

 

Kelly

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Hi Kelly,

 

What a nice transformation! You and I use very different techniques for finishing our pieces, and that is great, because you have acheived some very nice qualities that I haven't ever produced. I'd like to see this one up close! The mouse has come alive with the eye, fur and toe treatments.

 

Janel

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