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Thread: carving a shell.....Updated

  1. #1
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    carving a shell.....Updated

    Started a carving yesterday after having bought a shell. I want to use the shell as a still life model rather than do the idealic shell. To me these are the little bits that in time to come embellish furniture if one has mastered being able to carve them such that you would risk it on the real piece.

    Mike Henderson has a great tutorial on his site if anyone wants to see how to do a shell. There are also tons of other tutorials Mike has put up on the trickier bits in woodworking. (Thanks Mike you do it so well).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is Lindas progress to date....

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    Sent from my MB860 using Tapatalk 2
    Last edited by Rob Keeble; 09-02-2014 at 12:51 PM.
    cheers

  2. #2
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    Excellent Start!
    Jesus was a Woodworker

  3. #3
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    May 2007
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    Both of you did a great job!

    Looks like some good tutorials on his site...
    http://www.mikes-woodwork.com/Tutorials.htm
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
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    I see joint collaboration on carving projects in the future. Keep it up Rob and Linda.

    A few years ago I took carving class at a local community college. Mike Henderson was the guest instructor one saturday and he taught us how to carve the shell. It was a lot of fun.
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

  5. #5
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    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    You certainly got the background reduced nicely! That always seems like its harder than it seems like it should be.

    You did a really nice job of getting the basic profile roughed out but on the details I'm going to argue that you are starting at the wrong end of the shell. I think you would do better cutting away the deeper coarser cuts first for cutting the lines in the shell and then refine the shape back from that. Starting with the finer lines first you have to get them "more correct" whereas if you do the bigger cuts (not all the way down at first!!) first you have some time to look at the overall shape and correct as you go along.

    A more confident carver might well give different advice

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    To me these are the little bits that in time to come embellish furniture if one has mastered being able to carve them such that you would risk it on the real piece.
    The carvings and embellishment on the altar in our church are made separately and tacked or glued on. This seems to me an eminently intelligent way to handle the problem of mistakes during carving.

    That's a very good start!
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  7. #7
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    Rob.

    I think that I can see the your eagerness in finishing while I see the steady and more patient attitude on Linda's carving.
    You got the shape great, but those lines spoil the result. I do not know at what stage you are now Rob, but I think that you have been caught on the beginner's trap, which is jumping into making the details too soon. I've been there myself, so nothing to be ashamed, its part of the learning process.

    My suggestion would be to lower down the background 3 or 5 mm as I've said many times, "the art of a good barber is to obtain sideburns from where there is no hair". ( you've got plenty of wood to do it) and erase those lines. . Check the volume of the tail hinge of the model and the roundness of it. Its different heights at different points. Once the shape pleases you, ( keep on cheking with the model) draw the lines with a pencil and carve them away. It's no sin to draw lines on a carving. Notice that they are deeper and wider apart on the front edge of the shell and tha they converge and become shallower at the tail. On yours you started the other way round. Once you have them right round the edges in order to get the shell wrinkles or pattern.

    Don't rush, shape and volume proportions come first always, details at the end. If the shape beneath is wrong no matter how well you carve the details they won't hide it, if the shape is right, details will enhance it.

    Keep up with the work, it's coming out real good. As per Linda´s, my advice is the same, look at the volumes, at how do you want those petals and leaves curve, do not undercut anything until you are sure that the shape is what you want. If you undercut to soon you will not be able to move the shapes backwards.
    I look forward to see the progress of both of you, in a way I feel responsible for having planted the carving seed on you.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  8. #8
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    Shell ...progress pic added

    Made a little more progress today on my shell carving. Took the rear down a whole lot more and started to shape the back to get more volume.

    Thanks for the input guys. I appreciate the comments.


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    Last edited by Rob Keeble; 09-15-2013 at 11:51 PM.
    cheers

  9. #9
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    Good job Rob!

    One more advice, get rid of that step, I know that you must be clamping the piece by it but it will force you to put the tools in an akward and too steep angle when you carve the tail of the shell, make your life easyer, and leave it at the same level as the rest of background, and when you clamp it put a small piece of 3mm plywood or similar between the clamp and the piece to protect it. Besides it will distort your perception of the form.
    When carving you have to forget that it is a shell, you've got to see the volumes as independent ones and how they relate with each other, for instance, is some part too small or is it that the part near it is too big?in this case the forest is hiding you the trees and not the opposite as usual. If you get the trees ( proportions) right, the forest (the shell) will be right.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Made a little more progress today on my shell carving. Took the rear down a whole lot more and started to shape the back to get more volume.

    Thanks for the input guys. I appreciate the comments.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  10. #10
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    Jun 2008
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Re: carving a shell

    Got to work on my shell carving during some time away camping over this past long weekend.

    Here is where its at now

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    Few things that dawned on me during this excercise,

    I now understand why there are so many profiles of carving tools and i got a clear idea of where i am missing a few in my line up.

    Carving is like therapy. I find it really gives me a mental break. I dissapear mentally when i am doing it and think of nothing else but what i am trying to do. Grain direction, tool slection, angle of approach, object of cut, and more.

    Really badly need to refine and simply a method and process by which to keep tools sharp.

    My tools need sharpening badly, and this was very evident when i started to carve away from the direction of the grain on either side of the shell. I know at this stage clean cuts require sharp tools.

    Then i have a question to ask seeking as many views and inputs as possible.

    Should one use sandpaper during or after carving?

    What about tools like a dremel with burr?

    Hand tools for me have a aurora of tradditional craftsman about them, i dont seek perfection such that a carved item end up looking like a model for a mold or cnc template to copy.

    I started this shell (my first ever carving outside of whittling a spirit face or two) as a artist would do a still life. Wanted to try reproduce the shell i have and started out to copy.
    Found i did not have the tool to put the correct "u" valley between the ridges so settled for improvising but thats not what i wanted to achieve.

    However i have a dremel and other sanding aids that could help me achieve my goal, part of me feels thats cheating or going "against the grain".

    I like a finish of tool marks but not sure this item would lend itself to that style.

    Any comments welcome

    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Rob Keeble; 09-02-2014 at 01:31 PM.
    cheers

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