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Probably a stoopid question

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  • Probably a stoopid question

    I'm about to carve a Flat Plane Nativity set from a Schiffer book. The illustrations are flat plane to the extreme but I'd prefer to round off some of the sharp corners, probably add some faceting where it makes sense. Is there a limit to the amount of rounding before it's no longer considered Flat Plane?

  • #2
    As the saying is, it is your work your project. Do what you wish and then love it.
    My 2 p
    Chuck
    Chuck
    Always hoping for a nice slice that won't need sanding!

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    • #3
      I agree with Chuck.
      Bill
      Living among knives and fire.

      http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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      • #4
        I get the idea that it's my carving and all but what's the point of having a specific category if it really doesn't mean anything?

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        • #5
          Maybe a picture would help? We don't have any idea of what you have carved and it could be a carving of a Mona Lisa...we just don't know.

          What are you rounding? Where? Lots of questions, and it is subjective.
          Last edited by woodburner807; 03-16-2020, 09:36 PM.
          Bill
          Living among knives and fire.

          http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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          • #6
            I’m not a flat planer just want to be upfront. But I’ve looked at lots of flat plan carvings. I’d suggest searching flat plane carving images online, the spectrum is wide. Many of the works done buy famous flat plane carvers have so many facets that they seem more rounded than what I think of as flat plane. So again from what I’ve seen it’s pretty open.
            Ed
            Living in a pile of chips.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Squid-61 View Post
              I get the idea that it's my carving and all but what's the point of having a specific category if it really doesn't mean anything?
              It is a means of describing a carving and a carving style. Categories are useful when you are competing against other similar carvings. I don't carve flat plane, but I could probably tell you what isn't! Judges use their individual interpretations of what category something belongs in, whether it is too rounded or not, but generally flat plane was meant to use a minimum of cuts to produce a recognizable figure. And carving competitions are not like dog shows, where you have specific standards for each group. Art is always very subjective. My problem was that I always wanted to round things off! So I carve what pleases me and am happy if it is just a regular caricature.
              'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"

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              • #8
                I looked at the Schiffer figures, and If I were to pick one thing I would want to do differently, it would be to make sure they don't look so square. You can do that without rounding the figure off. FP would prefer additional facets over rounding. Think hexagons- six sided legs, arms, torso. Schiffer figures clearly have four sided bodies.

                Buffalo Bif
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                • #9
                  I'd also suggest checking for Harley Refsal books and he is the go-to guy for flat plane carving. "Scandinavian Style Wood Carving," by him shows how it began and why as well as many photographs. Excellent read. Also check Youtube for Gene Messer carving tutorials and he is a flat plane carver.

                  Flat plane is a great art when you know the history it is easy to insert yourself back in time to the origins...mentally.
                  Bill
                  Living among knives and fire.

                  http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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                  • #10
                    The plans call for a light sanding to give a worn look, I don't like that idea. I think using faceting to soften some of the harsh angles will be more pleasing, it will preserve the sheen of the knife cuts and highlight the light and shadow appearance. The only other modification I intend is to use knife cuts where the plan calls for gouges since I don't have gouges. I have some wood ordered and will attempt to send some photos as I go along.

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                    • #11
                      We all adapt our carving style to what meets our creative satisfaction. Chip carving does not have to be limited to chips. Relief carving does not have some required depth. Caricatures do not require some defined level of distortion of facial features or body proportions. You know you've gone too far when your brain tells you to re-carve something.

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                      • #12
                        Bear in mind that to some extent carving "categories" are rather loosey-goosey and subject to a degree of personal interpretation. I don't do flat plane, but do have the book you refer to (I carved one piece, but couldn't keep my interest in it).

                        I think previous remarks that refer to additional facets instead of rounding would be more appropriate, but as I understand the FP concept (and I may well be incorrect) it's more of a minimalist style that envisions as few planes as possible to execute a recognizable figure. But unless you want to be a purist, I'd say do whatever pleases your eye and categories be hanged.
                        Arthur

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                        • #13
                          I agree with the rest: flat plane is a style of carving that varies widely in how it's done. BB mentioned six sided arms vs. four sided arms. Carve one of each and see how it looks to you; use the style of the one you like best and carve a small figure and see how it looks before starting on a larger project. You could also try the four sided arm as diamond shaped instead of square.

                          Claude







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                          • #14
                            First figures yet to be stained and finished.

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                            • #15
                              Nice looking carvings and am looking forward to seeing them finished. Good one Squid.
                              Bill
                              Living among knives and fire.

                              http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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