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  • Leaves and Knots

    I'm now ending my first month of carving. As I mentioned when I joined, I seem to have images of leaves stuck in my head that end up in the wood. In addition to the leaves, I've also tried carving Celtic knots. I quite enjoy those. Most of the items in the pictures I've attached are about 3" long. In total, I've done about 50 small pieces during these last 4 weeks.

    All the pieces are carved in basswood. You'll notice that apart from traditional stain, some of the items are quite colorful. I experimented with dyes to impart the color - usually multiple layers of dye. In the circular piece with the Celtic knot, I was also attempting to add an aged look.

    I'm now trying to carve leaves where the leaf is curling or undulating in some way or in multiple ways. I definitely have to think that through some more as I am producing more wood chips than successful projects at this point. I suspect that having a real leaf or a picture in front of me will probably speed the process along.

    Of the items I've produced, some are turning into door knobs, others are broaches, some are gift tags, and other ones will be ornamentation on box projects.
    Jane

  • #2
    Re: Leaves and Knots

    Wonderful job on those small items Jane , it is great to see some fresh ideas, I love the leaves.

    Al

    http://picasaweb.google.com/al.hillis/WOODCARVINGSMINE

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    • #3
      Re: Leaves and Knots

      Thanks for the feedback. I'm hoping to shake loose the rest of the leaf pictures out of my brain so I can get a bit more adventurous. I didn't post the pictures of the super small items I've created and dyed. I didn't want to waste the basswood. Those ones I've turned into necklace pendants.
      Jane

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      • #4
        Re: Leaves and Knots

        Great job, Jane. You have some really rich colors. I've never used the dyes. Can you tell us what you used and how you apply them?

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        • #5
          Re: Leaves and Knots

          Hi Jane! You've done a lot of nice work. I, too, really like the rich colors from the dyes.

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          • #6
            Re: Leaves and Knots

            Well done. The Celtic Knots are splendid pieces and you have them done to perfection!

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

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            • #7
              Re: Leaves and Knots

              I like them. Very Nicely done.

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              • #8
                Re: Leaves and Knots

                Nicely done, Congratulations!
                Kathy

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                • #9
                  Re: Leaves and Knots

                  What did I do to dye the wood.......

                  I used alcohol-based dyes that I already had in the house. Standard liquid fabric dye just didn't produce the transparency in the colors that I was looking for. As for application, not knowing what I was doing was probably an advantage. I tried several ways. My most successful approaches occured when I used dye on felt and then applied that to the wood and also when I applied the dye directly to the wood BUT the bottles I was using for the dyes had super-fine, needle-like applicators.

                  I didn't have formulas for the colors I created. I grew up in a country store and spent years mixing paint so I think that knowledge influenced some of my basic color mixes - that and a certain lack of impulse control. What you can't see in the photos is the flame-like undertones that are present in real-life.

                  A little too much of a good thing could be diluted with the application of some plain alcohol. Shellac also reacts with the alcohol-based dye and would act to dilute the colors just a bit so the stopping point was somewhat impacted by the choice of finishes one intended to use.

                  In some cases, I just left a piece alone for a while instead of continuing to tamper with it. Most often, when I came back later, I would decide not to change anything.

                  As I type this response, I can look over to my right and see my collection of pieces that are all done where I used dye. There's probably a good 30 items in that pile. Glancing at them reminded me that I should also tell you that in some cases I also mixed applications of traditional oil stains with later applications of dye and vice versa. I have about 10 more Celtic knots and leaves that I have carved but which haven't had anything done to them as of yet. I'm hoping to find time to try some other experiments to see if I can improve upon what I've already discovered.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Leaves and Knots

                    Those look really great! I appreciate even more your enthusiasm for experimenting and trying new things which makes the learning curve so much shorter to achieve your goal. Thanks for such good descriptions of what you're doing!
                    Dave Brock

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                    • #11
                      Re: Leaves and Knots

                      Thank you for the kind words. I know I've picked up a lot of ideas from the efforts of others posted to the forum. I take those and combine them with other areas in which I am working. I find it helps me come up with new ways of doing things or else it causes me to re-discover the wisdom of tried and true approaches!!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Leaves and Knots

                        Thank you for the explanation. That is something I have to try. Those colors are really rich.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Leaves and Knots

                          Jane, great work for first month of carving!! You definitely have a very good sence for colours.
                          Fred

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                          • #14
                            Re: Leaves and Knots

                            With only a month of carving behind you did very well. You have a gift for painting as well I see. Great work.

                            Patrick

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