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A "Simple Bear" by a simple man - Steps in progress.

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  • A "Simple Bear" by a simple man - Steps in progress.

    For anyone who sees this and says why is Eddy-Smiles posting that for. He already posted it. You're correct but I thought that I'd post a version for the Forum for those who do not follow Helvi Knives on Facebook. Much like yourselves, I'm hopelessly addicted to "Whittlin' and creating piles of wood chips that seem, much to my wife's chagrin, to follow me around the house. many of the people that see my meager creations seem amazed and ask me how I do it, like I'm especially talented or something! Believe me friends, I'm not artistic nor am I very talented, just persistent. One of my favorite subjects are bears. I carved my first bear from a Lynn Diel article back in the #9 issue of the now defunk "Carving Magazine." But if you asked me to carve you a realistic looking bear you'd be very disappointed. Everything that I whittle comes out looking like a cartoon character no matter how hard I try, but that's half my fun of creating them. The other great thing about carving is that it's very meditative. You can't be thinking about the world's problems when you have the equivalent of a surgical scalpel in your hands. If you do , you'll end up with a hand covered with scars as mine are. The following photograph shows the step by step progress in carving a bear. Step #1 - Start out with a 1-1/2" x 1-1/2 " x 4-1/2" piece of wood. I use basswood but any wood will suffice as long as it's soft enough to carve. For this project I glued together two lengths of 3/4" x 1-1/2" basswood from a picture frame that I salvage from a trash pile (as the saying goes, a carver never sees a piece of wood that he doesn't like!); Step#2 - glue on a pattern sized to your piece of wood. As stated, my original bears were based on Lyn Diel's article but I soon began to follow Gene Messer's work. Gene has a carving channel on YouTube. I have since modified his idea and have drawn my own pattern. Really, I just use the pattern as a guide as no two bears come out looking the same; Step #3 is to rough out the piece of wood to the general shape of the carving.; And Step#4 is a completed bear waiting to be washed, then painted or stained. There is no right. There is no wrong. The beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. The entire purpose of carving is to have fun, not to impress anyone. The goal is not to necessarily seek a finished product but to enjoy every minute of the journey!


  • #2
    I would argue persistants is a talent Eddy. And you do it very well! Nicely done. And I could not agree more. If it is not fun why do it? Other than fly fishing I do not know of any thing any more relaxing and fun. Even when it is flustrating trying figure out what the next cut should be. I guess that is why we are all here on the forum.

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    • #3
      Nice post Eddie, I find whittling/carving a great form of meditation for myself as well. Bass fishing is my other outlet.

      Hope you enjoy your weekend Eddy. Keep on chipping away.

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      • #4
        Well said, Eddy - except for the part about not being artistic or talented. In my opinion you are both artistic and talented!

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

        My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

        My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

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        • #5
          Thanks for this post Eddy.
          Herb

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          • #6
            Originally posted by uvawyo View Post
            Thanks for this post Eddy.
            No problem Herb! My three month cysto check-up scheduled for next Thursday. Wish me luck that they don't find anymore abnormal cells!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Eddy-Smiles View Post

              My three month cysto check-up scheduled for next Thursday. Wish me luck that they don't find anymore abnormal cells!
              Good luck Eddy, and my cysto scope is on Monday the 23, so I will need the same good luck wish

              Herb

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              • #8
                Great post Eddy. Good insight into the mind of an artist. Love your bears! And I agree it's all about the journey.
                Terry

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                • #9
                  Great post, Eddy. The tips on the bear are very good by themselves, but I really appreciated your take on the philosophical aspects of whittling. I agree completely with your points.

                  It might be interesting to see a separate post discussing (A) what folks like most about making chips and (B) just what other things folks on here do for fun, for artistic expression, to relax, etc. I see a few fisherman have already weighed in.

                  Website: http://www.ronmarr.com

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by uvawyo View Post
                    Good luck Eddy, and my cysto scope is on Monday the 23, so I will need the same good luck wish
                    Thanks Herb and best wishes on your test also. You'll be in my thoughts!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nomad View Post
                      Great post Eddy. Good insight into the mind of an artist. Love your bears! And I agree it's all about the journey.
                      Thanks Nomad! ....

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                      • #12
                        Really, I just use the pattern as a guide as no two bears come out looking the same...There is no right. There is no wrong. The entire purpose of carving is to have fun...The goal is...to enjoy every minute of the journey!
                        Thanks Eddy! I concur with what you say. My Whittlebears always have a little variation from one to the next.

                        It's nice to have a signature carving. I just wish I could make some productive use out of the little bears without having to sell them. You can only give your family, friends and neighbors so many. I find a smile is all I need to make my day when I do. I already get satisfaction and enjoyment out of carving the little bears.

                        Thanks again!
                        Bob L

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rontana View Post
                          Great post, Eddy. The tips on the bear are very good by themselves, but I really appreciated your take on the philosophical aspects of whittling. I agree completely with your points.

                          It might be interesting to see a separate post discussing (A) what folks like most about making chips and (B) just what other things folks on here do for fun, for artistic expression, to relax, etc. I see a few fisherman have already weighed in.
                          [SIZE=24px][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Thanks Rontana.... I can't speak for anyone else but whittling is my primary post-retirement activity. However, I never run out of other things to do. between pitching in to help my wife with the chores, reading, listening to music, playing a harmonica, practicing origami...etc...etc...etc... Before you ask, I'm about as talented with a guitar and harmonica as I am a whittler.... Same philosophy I've had all my life. I've always been too busy doing things to take the time to learn how to do what I'm doing!

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