Monday, December 17, 2007

Knuckles Pt.4

I couldn't resist this photo of the intitial paring of the volute. I generally try to carve this step to a uniform depth. Sometimes the stop cuts aren't deep enough to have the chip, or ring in this case, fall free. I never tear the chips out, instead, I carefully retrace the stop cuts until it is cut free.

My goal now becomes refining the over all shape of the volute and carving deeper where the volute begins. The depth gets progressively shallower as the cuts go toward the center.

Below an image of the paring into the curved carving on the outer part of the hand. The curvature creates a few problems worth mentioning. The curve means that the endgrain is exposed which can lead to difficulty in the stop cuts and paring. Striking to hard or deep when establishing the stop cuts can cause short grain failure and lead you to looking for part of your carving on the floor! Be gentle until you understand the weaknesses.

The most glaring trouble comes when you start paring. Because of the exposed endgrain, you can't always carve in from the outside to the inner circle like you can on the "flat" knuckle. The chisel will slide inbetween the fibers and follow or tear them as you try to carve. The image below shows the "safe" direction for paring.

This direction must be followed all the way around, awkward as it may seem, with only a slight range of variation to the left or right. Experimentation, and picking up parts of your carving a couple of times will show the viable direction to carve.

1 comment:

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