19th OCTOBER 2019 – A TALK OF TWO HALVES … JOHN TALKS ABOUT CARVING PETER CROUCH’s HEAD.
In a recent challenge John was contacted by a TV production company
and with a couple of weeks notice asked to carve the head of Peter Crouch.
It is due to make an appearance on the “Back of the net”, a Premier League
entertainment show featuring big match action, interviews, fun studio
games and much more… (so the blurb says).
John described the process of carving under pressure at short notice.
The carving is due to be picked up the following day and had about
5 hours of work left before completion.
Bob is a new member and told us about his first adventures in carving. One day, he had amazing luck, and found an advert in a carving magazine for a Furniture Making school that was only yards away from his front door. There he could make what he wanted with the guidance of Peter Shepherd, use professional tools and just soak up information. His first piece was a pie crust table. The top was made out of a solid wood, i.e. the crust was not carved separately and added to the table top. The detail especially round the central column and the legs and feet is impressive. He took 12 months to complete the work, time well spent in creating an impressive job, and in learning everything he could
Under the guidance of Peter Shepherd, Bob made a long case clock. More fine furniture making than carving with lots of fruit wood and laburnum veneers. The curly edges of the clock face were first turned to be narrower at the top and then carved into the twisted format,
Unfortunately Peter Shepherd left the country and Bob was left to his own devices, but he soon met up with a local group of artists and experimented with all sorts of materials.
This is an array of experiments that may one day be made in a bigger and better form. The heads are plasticine. The bird skull is real, and there is a version in wood. The two bits of wood and plywood, were made using the drawing and plasticine model.
The jaguar head is a traditionally made sculpture, starting with a clay or plasticine master, a flexible mould, and cast in cement mixed with SBR ( SBR is more formally known as Styrene Butadiene Rubber. … When added to a standard mortar or concrete mix, SBR significantly enhances its adhesive strength ).
This gull has a wire armature with a builders expanded foam body, which has been shaped and coloured.
Murray Taylor covered 3 topics, Chip Carving, Sharpening Knives, and Lettering with a Knife. There are no British books on chip carving but Murray hopes to remedy this in the near future, building on his articles in the Woodcarving magazine
Murray was aware that many?of our members consider chip carving to be boring, and set out to prove that it was not just a pattern of triangles; it can do lots of interesting designs, lettering, and pictorial work.
All the equipment needed is:-a Pfeil chip carving knife, a stabbing knife (don’t be worried – the blade is only 1?inch long), an ordinary ruler preferably with black markings on a white background, a T square, a mechanical pencil with 2B leads, a bow compass, a sharpening stone, a strop, and wood. Murray mainly uses Lime wood from the original Hobbies shop https://www.alwayshobbies.com . Murray showed us his way of chip carving. Accurate marking out is most important and he has designed a tool that marks 4mm dots from which a grid can easily be produced. A pyramid of 4mm is easier on the wrist than 5mm!! He showed us taking out the standard triangular pyramids. He has very strong arms and wrists from a life time as a manufacturing jeweller, but he showed us a way to apply extra pressure should we need it.
Some examples of various patterns that Murray uses.
For more adventurous work Murray uses a knife like a pen
The chip carving knife lends itself to various alphabets
All this work needs a sharp knife, and Murray showed us his way of doing it. Although some knives are sold as ready sharpened, that do not come to his standards. He recommends ceramic stones that do not wear so are always flat!!
Four of our newish members were very brave and told us how they came to join the club and how they were progressing with their carving experience. They were all quite different from each other. Nico Pantelides gives new members and introduction to carving, explaining the use and sharpening of tools, and setting fairly standard “first carving” projects. I was expecting that our speakers would all be at roughly the same stage, but NO.
Brian Grove had a walking stick that needed shortening, so he asked around. He was put in touch with a club member and saw his work, got interested and joined us. He has now gone into industrial type of production of carved hedgehogs for his grandchildren. His next project is a howling wolf . He stressed the helpfulness and friendliness of the club members. They are always willing to chat and offer advice
Glynnis Cruice discovered the club at Towneley Hall in 2011. She had to be convinced that women carved but was assured they did. A couple of years latter, when she retired, she joined and has tackled some ambitious work. Her next project is a chess set. I have
started to carve a set several times and have always been disillusioned by the number of pawns. I wish her luck. She appreciates the members help and friendliness.
Martin Haigh is self taught and came to carving as an extension of his marquetry work and is working towards a collage using a marquetry background with carvings of animals in front. He has stuck veneer to the back of some of his carvings to increase their sturdiness and prevent them breaking along the short grain.
Mike Illsley trained as an architect and has brought those skills to the designing of carvings. His first work was a rocking horse, unusually he did not use a kit or published design, but worked with the wood he had. He played around with the idea of spilt paint and other stuff. Has made lots of sardine coming out of a tin sculptures, and has progressed to carving a very realistic bison. His next project is wooden neck tie, and shirt.
David Kershaw has always loved makings and uses wood, brass, plastic and electronics in his work. ? There seems to be various levels of accomplishment in the model making world. From bought plastic kits ready to be painted, through models made from scratch ( all the parts made by hand), to museum standard models that are too good to be played with in case they got damaged. David placed himself in the middle of the range, making some things from scratch, buying in other peoples failures from E Bay, but not achieving museum standard of finish.
The Gun Carriage was made from scratch. He had made a jig to ensure that all the wheels were the same size, and that the axel was in the middle. A brass tire was added to hide the method of manufacture. To a chainsaw carver this seems very fiddly work, but he manages all his work on a small table, whereas my workshop extends the whole of the basement and is still crowded.
David showed us two boats. The Fire boat was an E Bay wreck which needed to be stripped of paint, have certain repairs , and some parts made from scratch. The other boat he is making to plans and he described the problems of this sort of work. It is so easy to get the keel out of line, as the glued on pieces may exert strong forces pulling the whole boat slightly out of shape. He will sail these boats in Heywood with the Mutual Model Boat Society from 9.30 to 12 on Sundays. He says he prefers boats to airplanes as planes crash more frequently . A trick of the trade? ?He used a curtain ring as a life?Lifebuoy!!
David has a web site that shows the process of building a boat www.perkasa.co.uk
The gun carriage was built from scratch. A kit would have cost 30, would not have a solid brass cannon, and would not have been half as much fun to make.
Three members showed us the way that they have made walking sticks. These were sticks meant to be used rather than show pieces made to the exacting standards of the British Stickmakers?Guild. Nick showed us the proper way of making stick!! A potential stick should be collected in Jan or Feb, allowed to dry out bit so that shrinkage has happened, straightened whilst there is still some moisture in the stick, and a handle attached. There are lots of designs for stick handles in magazines, but do check that the illustrated handle is the right size for your stick. The stick can be made from such odd things as Brussels sprouts stems and bamboo. The joint of the handle to the stick needs to be strong. Nick recommended a quarter inch hole in handle and stick, and a threaded bar. Adrian Carter suggested using a washer that fits the diameter of the stick, to help find the centre of the stick when drilling. Make sure that the handle meets the stick without a gap, and that they meet smoothly. Use Araldite glue or similar, only glue rod into the handle first, and protect the outer surface from excess glue with some masking tape. Drill a small hole at the bottom of the hole that will hold the threaded bar in the stick, to allow the excess glue to escape. The stick needs a ferrule of some sort and can be finished with whatever you have.
John Adamson showed us another way, he collects his sticks ready made from the hedgerow, and uses them without any straightening. It is just a matter of being there at the right time ( a minute before the other chap), and having your eye in for sticks. It helps to go somewhere that is likely to have plenty of sticks. His favourite place is besides a railway line where some ash trees were clear felled some years ago. For a ferrule he uses shot gun cartridges. If he finds a wonderful stick handle that needs a stick, he fixes it on to a commercially available metal walking pole. These have the advantage that they can be collapsed down and fit into a suitcase.
Stewart Hood showed us some of his wonderfully carved walking poles. May be a bit too heavy for actual use but a good talking point
The Club was invited to exhibit our work at Hollingworth Lakes Wood festival. It was a lovely sunny day but with a sharp wind at times. Some stalwarts stewarded the show outside all day and they look cold in the photos.
Others stayed inside, and looked happier
Interesting linksHere are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)
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