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Un bonjour from Quebec

Antoine M.

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Hi everyone!


Glad to join you on this exellent forum!

My name is Antoine Marçal and i'm a knifemaker from Quebec (Canada!). I'm actually just an emissary for my girfriend Sabrina Rhéaume who started small bas-relief sculptures and unfortunately does not write english...

So I'll be translating for her:


Hello, I'm an audidacte artist from Québec. I have painted for a few years and lately I decided to try and tranfer my paintings into bas- relief...

The picture is my third sculpture, so please any constructive comments are more than welcome.

I make the initial outline with a dremel, then a home made scraping tool and then small file and lots and lots of sand paper :D ...This one is bloodwood and I realised is a difficult wood to work with, it checks quite a bit...



Thank you all!




Here is my web site for more and different work: http://sabrinarheaume.canalblog.com/

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Welcome to The Carving Path Forum Antoine and Sabrina! Thank you for introducing yourselves. Antoine also has a web site, I hope that he will share the url with us.


The grain of the bloodwood begins to give the piece an appearance of aged wood. The color is quite rich. Did you use a finish on the wood?


If you are welcoming a constructive comment, I have one. The design appears to have both foreground and background, or positive and negative shapes. These elements compete for attention in this piece, being similar in color and roundly carved. My senses want to see the background recede, by carving some away, and to flatten it. The background might work with a subtle texture that is similar to the grain direction, or simply add a slight darkening color that would give each element, foreground or background, some contrast. That would give the foreground importance, and give the background it's own shape and help it to recede.


Thank you for being brave and sharing your work with us. The first many pieces we all carve are so instructional. Your carving abilities will grow as you carve more. And, when you continue to carve, you will likely increase the number of tools and begin to have a great deal of fun with carving!



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Bienvenue Sabrina et Antoine,


Sabrina, your pendants are very nice, there is a little « Chantal Gilbert » side.

Je ne sais pas ce que vous fumez les filles mais c’est de la bonne…


Keep up the good work





Si j’avais les ailles d’un ange…

Je partirais pour….

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Welcome Sabrina-

You've chosen some difficult wood with difficult carving. Spirals and round shapes in relief can be difficult as one rarely has the grain in the direction needed. From a design perspective, I like the imagery.

Do you know of the work of Owen Mapp, a bone carver in New Zealand? He has a style that involves curvilinear work as well. Have a look here: http://www.objet.co.nz/OwenMapp/OM_profile.htm

Also, 'guri' lacquer work of China and Japan (and what I suppose are its precedents in Chinese Zhou dynasty bronzes and jades) approach the problem of positive and negative space formed by curves.


Above all, keep those scrapers sharp, to get past some of the difficulties of the grain direction.





Thanks for the reference to Chantal Gilbert http://www.chantalgilbert.com/gallery/art#

I haven't heard of her, and now looking at her work have never seen anything quite like it. Very interesting combination of materials and approach to knifemaking.



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Thank you for your comments!


Janel, I did not used any finish on this piece, just a polishing paste on a buffer. It did take me a good dose of courage to post my work but i'm happy cause you gave me good advice.

I started a new piece and i'll put some textures in the backgroud and also a bit of color. It will be in the same wood and the same type of pattern.

We'll see what it gives.... :D


Thank's Doug for making me discover this artist; he makes beautiful work. It made me realise what you meant by the positive/negative spaces. Scrapers will become my favorite tools!


Chantal does magnificent work, it's always a pleasure to see her creations. ;)


Thank's everyone!






P.S. here is Antoine's web site:


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The bloodwood looks rich in color like cinnabar (sp?). The mention of scrapers reminds me of how useful they are. Carving of the hardest woods often uses a scraping action with the sharp edged tools. It is almost like micro-planing. When your tools don't seem to be doing the work you think it should be doing, take a sharpening break. Either a short touch up or a longer and serious correction and sharpening. The sharpest edge will do the best work. (Often reminded of that as I work and seem to not be getting anywhere :D )


Thanks for the links to the web sites for Sabrina and Antoine.

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