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coin carving [ hobo nickel ] "question included "


billzach

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this is my latest carving on a buffalo nickel, now a question to forum members..i can,t draw a straight line, my circles come out square when i try to draw with a pencil on paper, my art work looks like a 1 year old child,s work..on a scale of 1 to 10 as a artist i,m a minus 0...but i can hang a picture on the wall and take hand push gravers and carve it on a coin, are any of you like this?

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this is my latest carving on a buffalo nickel, now a question to forum members..i can,t draw a straight line, my circles come out square when i try to draw with a pencil on paper, my art work looks like a 1 year old child,s work..on a scale of 1 to 10 as a artist i,m a minus 0...but i can hang a picture on the wall and take hand push gravers and carve it on a coin, are any of you like this?

I used to be pretty bad at drawing, but have picked up a lot as I went along. Still not great, but I don`t worry a lot about it. I just use it as a rough reference. Tho there are some carvers who would probably slit a vein if their drawing wasn`t of exceptional accuracy. "It aint me babe." cooch

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Thanks billzach for the interesting topic! Good food for thought. That is a very nice nickel.

 

Trying to find "the" line to make the 2 D rendition of a 3 D subject or landscape is a big challenge to many. I am able to draw, but it is an exercise to be sure!

 

So often I would rather be using a brush (would not help anyway) or my fingers, to record a shaded shape with a stroke, breaking the image into related dimensional shapes. That helps when I am looking at the subject, take a frog for instance. Drawing the gestural form of the frog draped over a branch in an interesting way requires a spherical roundness to the abdomen (I see the volume more, the outline less). The head and eyes are a combination of curves and off from round eye lid openings around a spherical eye ball, with hollows and folds for the skin, the tympanic ear spot roundness on a slant that disappears into the folds of the skin in some positions. The exercise comes from really looking at the frog, getting the gestural shape and then placing the detail into it rendering the 2D version with all of the cues, related shapes, that would record the information that will be used to make a 3D version in the material of choice.

 

I have some tree frogs, so the drawing is the exercise. When carving I look at the frogs and I am able to use the 3 D view to assist with getting the carving right. Without the real thing, the drawings would have to be pretty good. That is a weak link for me. They move, I am slow and not good enough for quick and thorough drawings.

 

Many a time, I will bring paper, pencil, smudge stick and eraser on a trip that promises time for drawing, and when faced with the blank page I freeze up. I know before I begin that I will not be able to translate the beauty before me into line and shadow, unless there is just the right sort of determination which helps produce a skeletal beginning.

 

I truly admire those who are able to decipher the code between eye, brain and hands. Some folks are able to do only 3 D or 2 D work, others are able to do both. I am one of the latter, but the 2 D is more of a struggle, likely because I do not exercise that skill very much. The mantra is ... I'd rather be carving.

 

When I made pottery in decades past, I was aware of being ambidextrous. I wonder if being somewhat ambidextrous lends itself to being able to do both 2 D and 3 D work.

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this is my latest carving on a buffalo nickel, now a question to forum members..i can,t draw a straight line, my circles come out square when i try to draw with a pencil on paper, my art work looks like a 1 year old child,s work..on a scale of 1 to 10 as a artist i,m a minus 0...but i can hang a picture on the wall and take hand push gravers and carve it on a coin, are any of you like this?

 

This is an interesting topic. I've been chewing on it since yesterday. It's impossible to comment on your drawing without seeing it, but my hunch is that your drawing is better than you let on. I tend to draw as little as possible to develop an idea, thus many of my drawings, although useful, do not stand alone well on their own.

Some work requires(for me) more detailed extensive drawings and I think these hold up well for what they are.I consider this minimalist approach to be a defect as I really believe anyone would benefit from as much drawing experience as they can muster. I don't know how it could be otherwise. Maybe this is a prejudice that I'll outgrow, but drawing seems so fundamental to any 2 or 3d art form.

 

Your coin exhibits so many refined sensibilities toward line, plane, texture and form: all the qualities that go into excellent drawing. I have to say I'm having trouble accepting that you couldn't be an excellent draftsman if you worked at it, but believe me, I know what resistance to that is like.

 

Do you scribe lines in at all first, like the cross-hatched jacket?

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Guest DFogg

What good would a sketch be when you are carving a nickel? The 3D character of the material would make it difficult at best to visualize. Maybe if you had a CAD program.

 

While I would never argue against the value of drawing, try to carry on a conversation about the work without a paper and pencil and you will find guys drawing with sticks in the dirt, but I have also noticed that working 2D and 3D seem to use different parts of the brain. It maybe just a visual orientation, but a carving stroke is not the same as a pencil stroke. Your orientation changes, maybe it has more to do with going from visualization to the actual interaction with the material, I am not sure, but I more involved working 3D.

 

There is a tendancy to work to the drawing if it is very detailed. I have seen examples that force the drawing into the material. My old partner use to say that once the drawing is done then the rest is just work, but I feel just the opposite, the sketch is just the starting point and the joy is found in process of putting the tools to the material. That's where the discovery comes.

 

Of course, this might just be an argument to justify my lack of interest in drawing. There have been plenty of times when I wished I has spent a little more time with the pencil, an eraser is a wonderful thing.

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I agree; for me the sketch is often the starting point and is a means to an end. I simply wouldn't be able to do my work without it. Far from being a restriction, it is a gateway and a way to explore the connection between the mind and "physical reality".

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I find myself nodding and nodding, in agreement with you guys on all you have said.

 

One technique I used for planning the porcelain shallow relief carvings on the lid of round boxes, was to use tracing paper. The line drawing fitted into the circle for the lid of the box on one side, the shading was done on the other side of the tracing paper. I was able to fiddle with each element until the composition worked, without totally erasing the work in progress. This technique has not worked for me with 3D sculptural work though.

 

Don's use of the work "conversation" resonates with what has been going on for the past week with the new piece in progress on my bench. There has been much discussion between myself and the wood, the leaves, branch and frogs. It is a rather disjointed and tumbling conversation, but we are getting it moved along. A lot of words, a lot of shapeshifting in the brain, triangles, masses, spheres covered with stuff, waste material, tools not sharp enough, a lot of conversations with this one! It is very interesting, actually.

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Hi,

I design all of my pieces by developing drawings from a rough idea to a finished design. I find I can solve many problems with a pencil and paper. When I work on the three dimensional sculpture my hand and mind know what to do because it has done it already on paper. I draw in my sketch book almost every day. I think it keeps my hand and mind working together. Here is a drawing of a bronze sculpture I am starting to sculpt in clay and metal. The guns and accessories will be fabricated in metal.

Great carving on that nickel. If you carve that well you can draw just as well.

Dick

post-15-1149007892.jpg

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Hi,

I design all of my pieces by developing drawings from a rough idea to a finished design. I find I can solve many problems with a pencil and paper. When I work on the three dimensional sculpture my hand and mind know what to do because it has done it already on paper. I draw in my sketch book almost every day. I think it keeps my hand and mind working together. Here is a drawing of a bronze sculpture I am starting to sculpt in clay and metal. The guns and accessories will be fabricated in metal.

Great carving on that nickel. If you carve that well you can draw just as well.

Dick

all I can say about your drawing is "WOW" cooch

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Thank you. Good guess Jim, the sculpture is titled "With compliments of Colonel Colt". The piece will be a total 14" tall including the base. It will be a limited edition which will number 47. The cased pair of pistols were presented by Colt to Colonel James Cameron.

Dick

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How do you arrive at a number for the limited edition? Do you or someone else get the first of the edition?

Hi Janel,

The number of the edition in this case is the age of Colt when he died. I have been re-concidering the number of the edition and will make it smaller therefore more unique and more collectible. Number one has been taken by the person who gave me the idea. I do an "artist's proof" for myself which is the first piece cast by the foundry. Sometimes slight changes must be made so it is really a "proof piece". The numbered pieces are all the same.

Dick

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