I just got back Saturday from working in Tunkhannock, PA for the past week. A very talented stone carving friend, Wayne Ferree (www.ferreestudios.com) invited me to help him finish a woodcarving project he took on for a college. It was a real brain tease, and I’m pretty exhuasted. I look back at the first photos and I have a little shiver when I think about how much work was involved in this project.
Day 1 and 2 was pretty much hogging out the wood and locating the depths of the building and defining the building planes to give the appearance of perspective. So, I used an AutoMach which is an electric carving machine (yes, I do sometimes use machines – when I have to) and removed wood down to the depth of 2-1/2 inches. The thickness of the wood was 5 inches, and the radius of this sign was 50 inches. I look back at the photographs and I get a little shiver as I think of how much wood was removed and what a physical effort it was for those 2 days.
Day 3 was creating a smooth surface on the building and finalizing the locations of the surfaces so they flow naturally back towards the right side of the building. This was also the day that I detailed the tops of the building where the overlapping and odd angles of roof and chimneys really were a brain tease. Getting all this in the correct perspective and angle was the challenge.
Day 4, I started to detail those tiny little windows and finish all the details on the building. It has been a long time since I have done that much focused detail – that day didn’t end until 8:00, and my eyes were definitely having difficulty focusing.
Day 5, I had to leave for the airport at 2:00, and at 1:45, I still had my chisels in my hand finishing up the last of the windows. The picture of me was taken about this time – you can see I was pretty much finished – in more ways than one.
I enjoyed the project – it was long days and a lot of focused carving, but I do enjoy a challenge and I seem to work better with a deadline.
Check out Wayne’s web site. He really is an excellent stone carver – a “master”. The stone carving business is not easy, as not many people even realize that it is being done any more. Most people end up being quite content with concrete castings because they really don’t know there is anything else available. I guess our job (woodcarving included) is to educate people about the fact that this is still being done by hand – custom made.