Day 1 of carving the shell niche. The inside edge of the molding that will be surrounding this shell is 24″ wide x 12″ tall. The shell will be carved 9″ deep. The difficulty here is that it is not a perfect quarter round – it is more of an elipse. There will be a center scroll design also, so as I hog out the wood at this point, I am leaving a section of wood in the center to be able to carve this detail later.
I had a good work-out. A great way to get frustrations out – just spend the day whacking at a large block of basswood. So much of my work is very intricate and detailed, it is nice to just take a big gouge, a hefty mallet and start knocking the wood away.
I have drawn the guide lines as to where I am going to cut to. I will be using a profile template as I carve to make sure the oval curvature shape is correct.
I have ordered several larger spoon bent gouges that I will need to carve the details as it gets closer to the center scroll detail. The straight gouges will never be able to reach them without the handles jamming. I already got my fingers pinched a few times between the wood and chisel when I tried to push their limits. Notice the very padded fingerless glove? I hope this helps.
And now – more hacking away. I hope to get the main dome shape finished today (if Hurricane Irene is kind to us).