This bird is significantly larger than all of the other birds that I’ve carved. It’s a “Great” bird and should be large. I realized during the rough out stage that I will have to tackle a few stages slightly differently than I usually do. In other words, forgive my periodic struggling. I’m learning.
Photo 1 – I drew my final design in a spiral notebook. I traced my pattern onto another sheet of white drawing paper and cut it out.
Photo 2 – Next the profile design was traced onto a massive (by my standards) piece of basswood. I prefer carving white pine, but large pieces of white pine are nearly impossible to obtain here. (If you know a source, please let me know.)
Photo 3 – I usually work out my top view on paper and cut a half pattern. A half pattern can be flipped assuring symmetry. I designed the top view for this bird right on the piece. First I transferred the important profile lines to the top (beak, head, winds, body and tail). I then sketched in the top view.
Photo 4 - The profile is cut on the bandsaw. It’s important to think through these cuts and save the scrap. They are instrumental in keeping the piece upright when cutting the top view.
Photo 5 – I don’t want to lose the eye location so I drill a hole through the blank before the sides are cut. This ensures that the piece will sit flat on the drill press and the eyes will be located symmetrically.
Photo 6 – Using masking tape, the blank is reconstructed for the top cuts. This blank is a full 6 inches thick and meets the capacity of the saw. This is slow going, but straight forward. Some re-taping is required after every cut.
Photo 7 – The finished blank…a big and heavy bird. It’s really amazing how much weight is removed from a blank when it is carved. Right now it seems very heavy, I suspect the finished carving will not.
As always…please make comments and ask questions. I’m a career educator and fell a need to teach!