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Another Escher Relief - "Day & Night"

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  • #31
    So now I'm about to cut out the birds and other overlays. Are they identical? No. The 3 dark birds on the left are very close to the 3 light birds on the right. If you look closely at the birds near the center, the tails of the dark birds curve up while the tails of the light birds turn down. This was Escher's way of adjusting the positions so the lead birds on the left & right are at the same level (3-1/8" from the top border). They will also differ in thickness, ranging from 3/4" thick for the left & right extremes, 1/2" for the next column, 1/4" for the 3rd column, and 1/8" thickness for the center birds & overlay fields. Fun!

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    • #32
      Here are the first cutouts - the extreme left & right birds. They will be mounted on a separate workboard for carving. The 3rd photo shows a similar bird from "Sky & Water I" that was shaped this way. Note the wings are both "up."

      image_21476.jpg

      DN4b.jpg​​

      DN4c.jpg
      Last edited by pallin; 07-30-2020, 02:51 PM.

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      • #33
        The challenge of this carving is along the centerline - which I have marked in red. Remember everything on the right side of the line is on the dark (walnut) background - things to the left are on the light (poplar) background. The eleven birds & farm fields along this line cross the dark/light joint. Even though the birds will have less detail, the overlays must be precisely fit to each other in order to make their final finish consistent across that piece. All the other birds, farm fields & villages fit over uniform areas of background. I will probably leave out the piece of dark bird at the top edge (left of the line), but most of it will be the dark background. Likewise the little piece of light wing. The light colored lines in the two dark bird overlays will be light pigment rubbed into incised lines, as will the light farm rows in the dark shapes below that.

        DN5.jpg
        Last edited by pallin; 08-02-2020, 07:33 PM.

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        • #34
          Why all this struggling with different colored woods? Why not just glue-up a basswood blank, carve the pattern, and stain the parts to be dark? Escher was experimenting with tessellations, or what he called "Regular Divisions of a Plane." To distinguish the pieces that fit together, it is easier if they are contrasting colors. E. J. Tangerman puzzled about this when doing a woodcarving of Escher's "Sky & Water I" and made the pieces relief & intaglio. Some of my Escher relief carvings are done in single wood, but these that have figures standing in relief over the background are usually different woods.

          103.jpg072.jpg

          Sky&Water9.jpg

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          • #35
            Here are some of the bird cutouts in place. The six thicker birds will be carved separate from the back panel. As you can see, there are many lines and features that will be carved into the back panel, and they will be between & under these birds. So the thinner birds and centerline overlays will be glued in place and the entire back panel carved in relief before the six birds are mounted by screws from the back. The four birds closest to the centerline plus the eleven overlays on the centerline itself will be glued to the back panel.

            DN6b.jpgDN6a.jpg

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            • #36
              The ten bird shapes that merge together at the upper center now have to be trimmed to fit exactly. The principal lines of the pattern will then be transferred to the back panel. At that point the exact location of the screw holes for mounting the outer six birds can be set (but not used until much later.)

              I'm thinking of carving the major waterways about 3/8" into the back panel and putting some rolling terrain in the fields. Hopefully the features of the night time village will be more defined in this relief than in the original woodcut. Did you notice that both villages are surrounded by branch canals?

              DN6c.jpg

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              • #37
                Hi Phil, I appreciate what you Carve and How you do it and done well , but it sure makes my Eyes do Funny Things . Ha,Ha. You have got to Love doing it for it to hold your Interest for so long . Watching your Progress as you go . Merle

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                • #38
                  The two walnut birds in the center of the previous photo were not cut for that position, so here is the corrected set - still trimming them to fit together. Note that four birds come together at given points. The actual carving will begin after the pattern has been transferred to the wood. The second photo illustrates how the highest relief birds will be carved on a separate work board.

                  image_21554.jpg

                  Bird.jpg
                  Last edited by pallin; 08-10-2020, 05:53 PM.

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                  • #39
                    Phil: this will be a great tutorial in techniques for others. Thanks for taking the time to show us all the progress.

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

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                    • #40
                      The birds have been fitted together and the screw holes drilled - still no gouge or knife cuts This photo shows the progressive thickness of the birds. Those near the center line will have little detail, while those at the outer extreme will be nearly full shape.
                      I have put a few of the pattern lines on the wood.

                      DN7.jpg

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                      • #41
                        Here I have finished the overlay pieces that cover the centerline. They will be shaped down to the surface and become the farm fields. First they will be glued in place along with the thinner birds. The six outer birds will be set aside while I do the relief carving on the glued-up carving blank.


                        Yes, I know that lighter bird at the upper right is crooked. It is one that will be attached by screws from the back after carving.
                        Last edited by pallin; 08-13-2020, 10:39 AM.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by pallin View Post
                          Here I have finished the overlay pieces that cover the centerline. They will be shaped down to the surface and become the farm fields. First they will be glued in place along with the thinner birds. The six outer birds will be set aside while I do the relief carving on the glued-up carving blank.


                          Yes, I know that lighter bird at the upper right is crooked. It is one that will be attached by screws from the back after carving.
                          Phil, no pic!
                          Arthur

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                          • #43
                            Try again, Arthur - I had to re-post and the photo shows on my screen.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by pallin View Post
                              Try again, Arthur - I had to re-post and the photo shows on my screen.
                              Still don't see it, Phil. Anyone else see it?
                              Arthur

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                              • #45
                                Nope.....................
                                . . .JoeB

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