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Ode to Simplicity

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  • Ode to Simplicity

    IMG_0151.JPG
    We who carve little figures don't have much space.
    To cut in eye sockets and whittle eyes in a face.

    So we take out our paints and dab on two eyes.
    That often don't do justice to our little guys.

    Still they look pretty good!! As for flaws, no one notices.
    Buyers like simple figures; too many details are bogus
    es.

    Some say the best carvers, don't make many cuts.
    Those who spend weeks on a carving are quite clearly nuts.

    It's best to carve quickly and sell what you whittle.
    To make a few bucks, although it's surely too little.

    Here is a carving, I've placed on the shelf.
    Buy one for the Missus and I'll throw in one for yourself.
    Last edited by Rodster; 03-26-2019, 02:52 PM.
    Rodster
    https://rodster.ca

  • #2
    Randy writes in the Wood Carving Tutorials Forum that he uses brass tubing to cut in eyeballs. BobK noted a few pointers for doing eyes in the Holiday Forum. These suggestions aren't much help for carving eyes on smaller figures. I wondered if using a nail set to imprint the eye might be a good technique. Then paint in the white and the iris. Forget the other eye features; our figures are too small for such detail.

    BobK's suggestion of using an off-white for the eye was particularly helpful.

    Perhaps carvers like Eddy-Smiles or Buffalo Bif have some suggestions? I certainly hope so. There must be carvers of small figures out there who have wrestled with this problem?
    Last edited by Rodster; 03-26-2019, 02:56 PM.
    Rodster
    https://rodster.ca

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    • #3
      Nice little carving. I usually paint on the eyes for my smaller carvings (3 inches or less...)

      Claude
      My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

      My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

      My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

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      • #4
        Rod...On my Jack Price characters, I use a small Dockyard gouge for the eye socket, and then paint the socket with white, and then a Black or Chocolate Bar pupil, and then a white reflection dot. The little guy is 2" tall, and I didn't do an iris. On my larger carvings, will do an iris, like the Santa in the picture.

        I use Oyster or off white on all of my eyes now instead of snow white.
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Randy, I've used a nail set to make decorative circles in a pattern before. I found that in order to avoid just crushing the wood fibers I had to file down the outside of the punch, in effect sharpening it. A larger punch works best.
          Arthur

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          • #6
            Rod, A poor man's got poor ways & Hobo knew your pain many moons ago. Just take a nail drive it into your handle of choice and cut the head off and drill it out a little. Shape using a file for a round eye drill a little deeper for a oval eye and hit with hammer these work good and it's cheap . You can make as many different sizes as you like. Try this on your next little guy or big guy carving project.
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tbox61 View Post
              Rod...On my Jack Price characters, I use a small Dockyard gouge for the eye socket, and then paint the socket with white, and then a Black or Chocolate Bar pupil, and then a white reflection dot. The little guy is 2" tall, and I didn't do an iris....
              Thanks TBox, I think I'll try your technique. I like the eyes in your little guy. I'd be interested in how you carved the eyes and nose before you used your Dockyard gouge. I cut a V-cut for the eye socket, but I don't think you did that. What size of gouge did you use? I appreciate your help. I like your little Jack Price figure. First rate.

              Rodster
              https://rodster.ca

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Arthur C. View Post
                Rod, I've used a nail set to make decorative circles in a pattern before. I found that in order to avoid just crushing the wood fibers I had to file down the outside of the punch, in effect sharpening it. A larger punch works best.
                Good thought Arthur. I have three nail sets and I'll experiment to see how it works. Advice appreciated.


                Rodster
                https://rodster.ca

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by hobo View Post
                  Rod, A poor man's got poor ways & Hobo knew your pain many moons ago. Just take a nail drive it into your handle of choice and cut the head off and drill it out a little. Shape using a file for a round eye drill a little deeper for a oval eye and hit with hammer these work good and it's cheap . You can make as many different sizes as you like. Try this on your next little guy or big guy carving project.
                  How do you drill a hole in a nail. Did you find a drill bit that works with steel? Thanks for your help. I like your practical approach.


                  Rodster
                  https://rodster.ca

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rodster View Post

                    How do you drill a hole in a nail. Did you find a drill bit that works with steel? Thanks for your help. I like your practical approach.
                    Old saying, Rod: Tool steel is harder than nail steel...until tool steel hits nail steel. I can't imagine drilling a hole in a nail without a clockmakers' lathe...which I would dearly love to have!
                    Arthur

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rodster View Post

                      Thanks TBox, I think I'll try your technique. I like the eyes in your little guy. I'd be interested in how you carved the eyes and nose before you used your Dockyard gouge. I cut a V-cut for the eye socket, but I don't think you did that. What size of gouge did you use? I appreciate your help. I like your little Jack Price figure. First rate.
                      Rod,
                      I got my Dockyard tools pretty well early on into my carving 'career'. Most all of my little Jack Price guys have had the Dockyard U-gouge eye socket and a painted eye. After I took a Mike Shipley class and learned how he did eyes, (Dockyard eye socket and a carved half moon), I changed to that method on characters that were a bit larger than the 2" tall fellas...

                      I made my own eye punches out of brass tubing filled with solder. I then put a concave in the punch with an appropriate sized bit in the drill press. I 'sharpened' the edges of the brass with emery paper.

                      It does an OK job, but I really like the simplicity of either the painted eye in the socket or the Shipley method.
                      Last edited by tbox61; 03-30-2019, 10:54 AM.

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