Butterflies and Feathers!
I really don't consider what I do "art". Not like some of you that can paint and draw so well. I consider it a way to keep David sane, because he has
way too much time on his hands. I see something
in almost every piece of wood. A dragon's tail in that twisted branch, a eagle feather, ruffled
by the wind in flight in that other one, that knot in the tree is the Oh! of surprise on the mouth of a Dryad, because I looked at just
right time and caught her peeking at us humans.
Some may know I'm disabled and a stay at home Dad for about the last 11 years. I loved to carve and do wood working before, but now it's a
therapeutic way for me to relax and let my imagination run free. Hours go by and I find myself amidst a pile of shavings without even realizing how
long I've been concentrating on that bit of wood. Even though she's very soon to be 16, my daughter loves butterflies and I like to do little things
for my kids and even though they're older now, they still like the stuff I carve and sometimes ask me to do this or that.
I hate to waste a piece of wood. Little scraps accumulate here and there and I almost never throw them away, because..well..I think there are spirits
in trees. Maybe not the mythical ones, but it was a living thing and to just throw it on a burn pile or grind it up is, to me, the waste of a life.
It's stood there for decades, maybe even hundreds of years and patiently watched history unfold. Use it. Don't waste what Nature gives you.
I use basswood a lot, because it's a great medium for carvers. It's a tough, tight grain wood, but very light. It's also an odd wood, because it's
easier to carve across the grain, instead of with it. It comes in all sizes and you can order it online, but, if you know what to look for, you may
even have some growing near you.
The butterfly is not quite finished, I need to put in a few more details, like thin copper wire for the feet and antennae or maybe a bit more curl to
a wing tip. Sometimes it takes me weeks to be satisfied with a carving. I'll lay it down, only to pick it up days later because I happened to see it
in just the right light or shadow and it gives me an idea. I took the pic of the feather with my hand for scale, just to make it easier to see the
size. It's still wet from the linseed oil, but that will soak in a few hours and I'll put a couple more coats on it later. The feather is made of
cherry. I had a board that was scrap because it was broken on the end and I couldn't use it on the table I was making. The jagged way the edge looked,
reminded me of a lost feather from some great bird. Maybe he lost it in battle. Maybe he was just old and toward the end of a long life time of riding
Like many of the things I build or carve, I give them away. Coffee tables to butterflies, they find a new home. Trust me, if I kept everything I made,
I'd need a 2nd house.
This is an on going project I've been working on and need to finish the face. Like I said, sometimes it takes me a while to get it just the way I want
Thought I should throw in a pic of my tools. As you can see, there's a handle in which you insert the blade and changing is quick and easy. They're
not Pfeils, but they are excellent tools at a good price [ $80 ] and have held up extremely well. Each blade has a different shape, curve and purpose.
Warning!! As it says, These - Are - SHARP. I've been cut just brushing against them, when I was getting one out.There are very good videos that tell
you how to keep them razor sharp. You will need a slipstrop and honing compound. The strop fits the curve and angle of each blade.
Grab a carving knife, a piece of wood and let your imagination run free.
edit on 13-8-2016 by DAVID64 because: nothing nefarious - just a