A while back, I posted a few pictures of my carvings, [ a butterfly & a feather ] and people seemed to enjoy them. Due to the response I've had from
several people on and offline, I've decided to open a little side business out of my home and sell things at the local shops. It's something I've
wanted to do for a while now, but didn't have the confidence. I get people complimenting my work, but, with all the others out there, I didn't know
if mine were good enough.
I'll probably go online at some point and do custom carvings, but right now, I don't have anyone asking and I want to see the reaction locally. I
contacted a member who had shown an appreciation for my talents and even offered to buy something, but I offered to do something for free. This
member didn't ask for anything specific, but in the course of emailing back and forth, we came up with an idea. We spent several days talking about
wood working and in one email, she happened to mention she wanted a photo album. Eureka! The perfect opportunity to test my
Other than describing the dimensions she wanted, she put the final decision in my hands, trusting me to come up with something unique and even though
I had dozens of patterns in my books and thousands more online, none of them felt right
. I printed some out, cut them apart, mixing and
matching, but I just couldn't find that one that jumped out at me. Till I found that one. I don't know what it was about it, but it just seemed to
flow. Anyone who draws, paints or creates, knows how things just speak
to you sometimes.
I decided to carve it in a bas relief, because it's more of a challenge and I thought it would look much better than engraving. I never use power
tools, because I just don't get a feel for the wood. There's just something about the feel of that sharp tool cutting through the wood and the
crunch/scrape sound it makes. Other than that sound, I sit for hours, the whole house completely quiet. It's very soothing....almost hypnotic. I
constantly lose track of time when carving.
We've been emailing for a while now and last night/today, I sent pictures of the [ mostly ] finished album to get her approval. She really seemed to
enjoy it and even recommended I post them here.
[ She said she wanted to make everyone jealous ]
I won't include her name, but if she wants to step forward, that's up to her.
This is just after I started and was mostly just hogging out wood to get everything down to depth. Not a lot of detail yet, but removing wood from the
general area around the design is the easy part. There's a lot of small details that take time to get right and then sanding between lines, in the
tight spots, smoothing over, etc can take as much time as carving. It's made from basswood, a carver's favorite and although a light weight wood,
very durable, so I hope it holds up for years to come. As you can see, I started with a live edge piece [ which means it still has the bark on it ]
and trimmed it down to the dimensions she wants.
This will be the back and I think I'm going to add a bit more design in the corners. That looks a little lonely just sitting there in the middle all
This is basically what it will look like when fully assembled. There are no hinges yet and there's still of bit of sanding and shaving to do and I
need to bevel the side piece to fit the way it closes, but pretty much all that's left to do is the small details.
It will be finished in several coats of Tung oil, which will darken it a bit and bring out the shadow in the details.