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Self portrait relief

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  • Self portrait relief

    As promised in a recent thread (see Escher Self Portrait), this is the start of a WIP relief carving of a self portrait in a reflecting sphere. The other thread discussed the conceptual phase of this project. Now it's time to get carving!

    The basswood blank is 1-1/4" x 12" x15" and the pattern has been enlarged to fit (the white line across the middle is where I pieced together the copies). It's a good time to examine the wood closely. Heinecke Wood Products had to do this as a glue-up due to the dimensions. I had ordered two blanks, so I checked the grain match on the front side and the growth ring alignment in the end grain to choose which blank to use.

    Next I will trace the pattern onto the wood with carbon paper.


  • #2
    Re: Self portrait relief

    Your projects are always what I call a mind bender! This one looks as though it will be quite interesting, and challenging for most, can't wait to see it.

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    • #3
      Re: Self portrait relief

      Phil
      fantastic cant wait to see your progress

      Shakey

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      • #4
        Re: Self portrait relief

        Phil, suggest graphite paper instead. Carbon paper is a pain to get rid of the extra marks!
        Steve Reed - Carvin' in the flatlands!
        My FB page:https://www.facebook.com/stephen.ree...7196480&type=3

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        • #5
          Re: Self portrait relief

          Yes Steve, the stuff I'm using is called "transfer paper." Don't know if it's carbon, graphite, or soot but it seems to come off easily.

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          • #6
            Re: Self portrait relief

            These are the first cuts on this project. I made stop cuts around the sphere using first a gouge, then switching to a knife - pushing down about 1/4 inch. Then I angled down to that cut with a #5-12 gouge - just a start to establish the edge. Most of that edge will be cut down to 3/4 inch to form the background.
            As you see I didn't put much detail into the reflected objects in the sphere because I will redraw them after the convex shape is done. As discussed in the previous thread, I plan to replace Escher's likeness with mine, and room objects with my own.

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            • #7
              Re: Self portrait relief

              Continuing to outline the hand & sphere - background depth is now 3/8 inch. Working with a knife and one gouge (#5-12mm). A brief word about my workspace - I'm using one corner of our dining room table (!) with the complete encouragement of my wife. It's a sturdy old table that spend time as a workbench in our brother's shop (goldsmith). I'm using a Jorgensen 12" geared clamp which it really quick to set or release.

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              • #8
                Re: Self portrait relief

                now that is a beautiful floor, but I don't see any chips

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                • #9
                  Re: Self portrait relief

                  I thought someone would notice that! ha ha I moved the carving to a different corner to get better natural light on it for the photos. After taking the photos I noticed there were no shavings around it or on the floor.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Self portrait relief

                    Haaaa... I was waiting for you to start since you talked about it !
                    great, great !

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                    • #11
                      Re: Self portrait relief

                      The figure is now outlined down 1/2 inch and I'm beginning to see how the hand will be positioned on the distorted sphere. Soon I'll start to carve the curved shape of the sphere - a flattened lens. The sphere should be smooth (polished?) before carving the reflected person and objects into it.

                      I like using a #5-12mm gouge at this stage. It can be pushed through the wood, removing material at about the rate my mind can assess. A wider gouge would remove wood faster, but might require mallet taps.

                      Not much accomplished, but I took time to start the finish of the "Chip Carved Illusion" plate. (Photos soon)

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                      • #12
                        Re: Self portrait relief

                        Interesting subject won't be easy but not impossible I will follow the show

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                        • #13
                          Re: Self portrait relief

                          Here are some progress photos. I continue to deepen the background cuts around the perimeter of the hand & sphere, and have started rounding the surface of the sphere. Switched to a wider gouge - #2-20.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Self portrait relief

                            Continuing on - a little deeper and rounder. When I get the background depth around the hand, I'll begin shaping the hand.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Self portrait relief

                              I'm continuing to make progress with this relief, and have begun think of how to produce an image to carve into the sphere. We tried taking some photos of the reflection in a Christmas ornament, but the camera will always be in the center of each image. It's okay because I will draw the image that I intend to carve. I just want the distortion to be correct.

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