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Dancing Bear

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  • Dancing Bear

    Another Louisiana Ranger and I met in the Utah desert many years ago and became fast friends. Our lives separated as each of us followed our careers to other Parks. We remained in contact, seeing each other at Conferences every couple of years. I retired to the Ozarks and he moved near here for his final assignment.

    Stylized Fish.jpgTung 05.JPG

    I have given a carving to each of his two oldest children and am now planning one for his youngest daughter. She is the hardest to carve for as she has so many different interests ~ but she does love music and loves to dance.

    This aided me in planning an ambitious carving for her that would relate to both her interests and my being a carver of Birds and Beasts. I am embarked on carving a dancing bear.
    It has taken me several weeks to come up with a design but I am getting close now. Once I had a rough drawing ~ I started constructing a non-hardening clay figure to aid in my carving.

    The bear will be clutching a drum held against its chest with one paw, a drum stick in the other. head thrown back in enjoyment, standing on one leg with the other up to indicate dancing. I plan on placing the bear in a flower for the base.

    I have yet to lock in on natural or painted wood for the bear. I will use a basswood magnolia blossom that has been bleached for the flower. The whole figure will be somewhere around 8 inches.
    Front.jpgRight side.jpgSeft Side.jpg

  • #2
    Awesome project, Paul


    • #3
      Looking forward to seeing this one Paul.



      • #4
        Fun project, Paul!


        • #5
          I'm sure the bear will march on, looking forward to his advance
          . . .JoeB


          • #6
            Great work Paul, looking forward to more


            • #7
              Now that will be a project to follow. Good luck with it Paul.

              Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.


              • #8
                Looks like fun. Keep us posted.


                • #9
                  My main concentration right now is on a barn owl.

                  But, as I wait for Apoxy or Model Paste to dry ~ I do a little more work on the dancing bear. I have found the non-hardening clay difficult to work with when warm enough for at easy molding ~ it's just too soft. I solved this problem by getting it close to the position I want while the clay is room temperature ~ then using the hot setting on a hair dryer to soften the clay.

                  My plan now is to put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to let it get hard and then use my clay working tools to get it close to the final ~ if I can find my tools that I put somewhere safe!

                  Molding the carving in clay has several advantages. Note that I changed the feet, arms and head position. Clay makes it easy to do that. Clay will also allow me to get the bear to the size I want.


                  • #10
                    Very interesting, I've got some of that clay, but about all, I've ever tried with was to get knife handle shapes, will keep your process in mind though
                    . . .JoeB


                    • #11
                      Now that is going to make one very cool carving. Best of luck with it my friend.

                      Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.