It’s been a while since our last post. A lot was happening, we visited our beautiful Poland and Bieszczady Mountains (in autumn they are probably the most beautiful).
We really liked working with briar, as feedback from our customers ordering pipes was very positive. As always – designing project takes the longest part in the process 🙂
Recently Ellie Webber from BSc Ecology and Evolutionary Biology contacted us about a survey – investigating the attitudes and preferences of woodcarving consumers in order to gain an understanding of the sustainability and conservation impacts of the trade.
We really appreciate any feedback given. Survey is anonymous and takes about 5 minutes to complete:
Recently, we bought a bed for the bedroom and unfortunately it was sent in two packs. One of the parcels was lost in transport. After all the adventures with the sender, we recovered the money, but we also had parts from one package: wooden sheds on which the mattress is placed.
I have a few entries for you that should rather be treated as an introduction to a given topic. These will be simple tutorials and as each name suggests, each of you must work out your own way of finally presenting the carved subject. As the first I will introduce anatomical elements separately then we will work on the whole character. It seems to me that it will be simpler.
Some time ago when I was working at a carpentry shop, I made a few different lamps. Because we worked mainly in solid wood, there was a lot of wood chips of different species everywhere. Piles of wood shavings in the full sun have always looked picturesque. It was not so cool when they had to be cleaned up 😛
Manual handling of sculptural chisel and – above all – health and safety principles while working with one.
Since I have told you what is not what about chisels, it’s time for health and safety instructions, or how to use it – not to lose any part of the body 😀
From the very beginning you must realize that the chisel is an acute tool. Hence, it is dangerous not only if we use it in the wrong way but also when it lies innocently next to us during work. I was surprised myself when it was when I was puttinga chisel into case after work or during the work, that I once more cut myself with a chisel lying next to it. And here is one of the most important principles for me.
Finally, it’s time for the second part of the chisel types article.
These will be four sub-sections in which I will try to include important information for the sculptor. I wanted to write all the important information, but this can not be included in one article because always with time will appear some new things worth adding 😀
This years holidays in Poland were a long trip – we have visited both our families and had a wonderful time. But there is always some time to work with wood. We have decided to paint old wooden house for dolls. It was created last year, Weronika has made walls and some furniture. I’ve added some electricity (led lights powered by two sets of AA batteries).
Allegro (“Polish ebay”) was a source of 4x400ml chalk paints from Vertigo. We have ordered Porcelain Princess, Violet Velvet, Havana and Azure Paradise colours, as for Weronika’s sisters advise : )
Recently we’ve made a small gift for our friend from Red Triangle Club – Bryan.
A quick sketch related with table tennis – we hope he had liked it! : )
Here’s some update. To be honest with you – creating simple shaving brush and razor stand is not as easy as I was thinking. Some parts of the project had to be recreated. I had to cut vertical part twice as I have measured something wrong. Also, there is huge mistake done while sculpting brush part. I have taken too much material and brush sits very loosely – but at the moment I will leave like it is. Maybe at some point I will add some metal parts to tighten it. Still there is a lot to do, but it finally is taking its shapes. SO PROUD! 😀
Some time ago, following a child’s dream of shaving like a real man – following the path of tradition – I provided myself with a straight razor and a shaving brush. Both the razor and the brush should be dry during storage between shavings (the razor has a tendency to rust).
Therefore, as a first-ever sculptural project, I wanted to prepare a simple razor and brush stand. Maybe I can sculpt some decorative fragments. The stand is to be made in basswod, pre-cut with a Japanese saw.
Project at it’s beginning. Pre-cut baswood fragments ready for sculpting.
Since there will be a lot of information on this subject, I have divided this article into two parts. The first part will be the introduction and in the second part you will find much more typical technical information about chisels.
I prepared the following entry for you based on my own experience but also the knowledge of others;) I would like to emphasize that the main point here is the chisels used for carving in wood.
As we know the sculptural techniques and the materials in which it is sculpted is a plethora, but personally, the wood material is the closest to me. Because of that, I will write a little on the tools used to process it. I also hope that pictures and auxiliary drawings will be useful to you 😀
The concept of afflatus
Under various forms, afflatus has been scrolling in literature, and not only, for centuries. People have repeatedly tried to find its origin. Plato called it furor poeticus – according to him it was a so-called mystical creative craze. The artist, under the influence of this craze, allowed himself to speak with a higher power (it could be god, a ghost or even a demon). What is important the artist in this state did not need knowledge of rules or principles, e.g composition, color or proportion.
The beginning is the most important part of the work – Plato.
I really love guitars, both electric and acoustic. I am not a pro, but certainly I can appreciate well designed instrument, that creates good tone and can be played with ease. That is why I get an idea to create carved electric guitar body. I was thinking of two body types, both having “strong position” on the market. From Stratocaster and Telecaster I’ve chosen the second one. I’ve never had Tele in my private collection and I consider I should have one because of it’s classic, yet fantastic, simple shape 😀
Fender Telecaster blueprint. It will give me an idea how to place the project on a guitar body.
Some tips on how not to lose your fingers when sculpting hard wood 😀
As we wrote some time ago, I decided to undertake the carving of a pipe in a material made of briar. We had to wait a while for delivery and this time I spent on designing. Although, I will tell you honestly, it’s hard to design when you have no influence on the dimensions. We had no influence what exactly piece of wood would come to us, so curiosity was even greater 😉
It’s just for post purposes. No one got hurt! 🙂
Today I will write shortly about a new experience for me, that is carving in wood based on manga/anime. Let’s start with what kind of reliefs we have. Wikipedia briefly describes it this way:
• flat (bas-relief) – relief extends over the surface less than half of its thickness
• convex (high-relief) – relief extends over the surface more than half of its thickness
• concave (sunk relief) – the surface plane protrudes above the composition.• mixed technology – the plane is machined in two directions
What exactly relief on the basis of manga/anime was different from my previous experience? First of all in the manga the most important is the dash, line and shading with the color that fills the space between it, creating an image that is keen on the eye, while giving the illusion of space on the 2D plane. These three features are in this case our form, which properly performed will give the viewer the right aesthetic experience.
Creating relief based on manga might be demanding, despite the theoretical simplicity.
You would say, that sharpening chisels is not something complicated. But with some experience I will tell you – it’s not that easy.
There are multiple ways you can get your chisels sharp, including using electro-tools or manual techniques.
Sharpening chisels requires a lot of patience 🙂
We would like to present a good recipe for how it should be done. Just add some creativity, passion and tons of hard work and you must succeed! Just like that. 🙂
Now I will briefly talk about poplar as a material often used in sculptural plein-airs 😉 In the old days of my luminous youth I took part in sculptural plein-airs. Due to the fact that the poplar was a generally available, cheap material and as a young students / learning technicians – we were given this material for processing.
After finishing Octopus and Wasp (you have to wait few more days before it will be released on our website and Etsy, still waiting for camera to take some good quality photos), we have decided to take a journey to the past.
My Neighbor Totoro (1988, Hayao Miyazaki)
With the last delivery of wood, a beautiful olive board arrived. I have never had the opportunity to work with this wood both in the production of furniture or carving. Only sometimes in shops I saw different cutting boards or containers for spices made of olive wood.
So, guided by curiosity, as in the case of briar – we also ordered some olive wood. You would ask: how it is to sculpt in olive wood?
I will tell you honestly: that’s not what I’ve expected 😉
Wasp (2018), olive wood, work in progress
Poppy (2016) //Weronika
Below you will find a lot of photos from the implementation of my diploma project. Initially, it was to be the whole figure of a woman immersed in floral composition and water. I prepared a model made of clay (up to 4 different proposals) followed by a plaster cast. I managed to glue the wooden form for the sculpture and start carving. However, in the process I realized that I do not want to make a character and I want to focus only on the floral composition. I abandoned the current concept and focused on flowers.
When I was a little kid my dad used to smoke pipe filled with Amphora tobacco. I remember that smell since now, full of mystery and desire that couldn’t be fulfilled at that very moment (I was maybe 5-6 years old).
When we started to think what can we work with, I have found this piece on Polish online auction platform:
Briar raw kit with fishtale mouthpiece. //Kuba
Today I want to tell you more about working in a cherry wood.
A few years ago at the end of my high school for the diploma, I prepared a bas-relief “Circle of life” carved in this type of wood. Interestingly, the bas-relief took the second place in the bas-relief category in the nationwide competition and I have visited Brussels as a prize 😀
I know it’s a bit like “reheating steak”, but since I’m waiting for the delivery of wood, I will tell a bit about my own experience with woodworking. I will not analyze the work and I will leave it to your own appraisal for its artistic and aesthetic value.
Working with “Circle of Life” //Weronika
While waiting for the ordered wood, I will tell you a bit about my sculptures made in wood. The first one will be a sculpture inspired by fragility and delicacy – physalis, the so-called autumn lantern. Maybe it is not known to everyone.
In summer, it produces intensely orange flowers in the shape of a lantern. At once with a fading, the tiny parts die revealing an unbelievable skeleton. I recommend that you look at it whenever you have the opportunity. The most interesting is that in the middle of it appears a beautiful sphere of red fruit. The whole looks like a fairy tale.
Physalis (2013, birch)
In the years of artistic education my main subject was sculpting. In high school – woodcarving, in my studies most of my projects were also created in wood.I also had the pleasure to work for several years in the woodwork workshop and that gave me a lot of experience. It was interesting to get to know the wood from the technical side – how to dry it, glue it, how and why anything happens. Believe me or not, you can learn about wood for years and it will surprise you anyway, it’s fascinating. All the information that I hope to use as soon as possible in my own small workshop. As it is said, nobody will take your knowledge away and that is the honest truth.
I have decided to choose Kirschen carving set as main working tools. Chisels are smaller than standard sculpting ones, providing more flexibility while working on smaller formats (it will be our main deal). I have proven that Kirschen makes some high quality stuff with exceptional handling comfort and durability.
Since 1858 – nearly 160 years family owned – the company produces high quality woodworking tools with factory brand ››TWO CHERRIES‹‹, the symbol for the full maturity of the products. Even today wide range of products is manufactured mainly by hand.
Kirschen Carving tool set (6 chisels, 4 carving knives and grinding stone).
Our weapon of choice. //Weronika