I have decided that I had better put something up on the blog. Anything! So I decided to carve a tiny Santa head. A real quick and "dirty" one. The carving part of this tiny one took about 4 minutes. Hey I said quick and dirty! Really if I took a few more minutes it'd be a lot cleaner. But when viewed in ones hand this little fella looks clean.
The various techniques used to carve reasonably small items is no secret to a lot of carvers. But if you're rather new to carving small, they may be a secret to you. I know that I did not have any idea how one could carve small stuff. Take the small Santa head for instance! Most new carvers say they have a hard time carving the eyes and nose of the face. The first "secret" to carving small Santa heads is that the eyes don't matter so much. Here's a few things to consider when carving a small Santa head:
a. Carve the Santa on the end of a piece of wood you can hold, then cut the carved head off when completed. In this example I use a 1/4" x 1/4" x 6" piece.
TIP: Be sure that your knife is sharp. You don't have to have a "small" knife to carve the small stuff, just a sharp one.
TIP: Make a habit of using slicing cuts when you can. Don't just push the blade into the wood.
TIP: Make the cap "fit" over the head. Make it look like there is actually head in the cap.
c. Carve the nose next. Be careful, the nose can come off the face real easy. Start by cutting and removing a small wedge out that leaves the bottom of the nose. Next make a straight in stab stop cuts for the sides on the nose.
TIP: If the nose does start to lift off, it's Super Glue time. I just put a drop over the entire nose area. d. Carve the eye areas next. Cut and remove a wedge from each side of the nose. The three sides of the wedge are the side of the nose, top of the eye area, and top of the cheek. e. Carve the top and the bottom of Santa's mustache. This starts with curved stop cuts that define the top and bottom of the mustache. f. Define the bottom of the cheeks/top of the mustache by removing a sliver of wood at the top of the mustache. Define the bottom of the mustache by slicing up to the bottom of the mustache.
g. Finish Santa up by carving the bottom of the beard. Cut off the bottom corners of the nose to make it round. Taper the nose from the tip to the bridge of the nose.
h. I'll very carefully go over the head with a tooth brush, to remove what "fuzzies" that I can.
i. I'll cut the carving from the stick at this point.
j. If I'm to paint it, I'll stick a quilting pin in the bottom to hold while I paint.
"Shoot" give it a try. I know you'll be surprised at how well you'll do.