Saturday, February 26, 2011

Beyond Carving-On-The-Corner!

My first head and face carving was done on the corner. Most of what I read stated that this was the best way to start out. Also at about that time some one told I wouldn't be satisfied with the faces I carve until I'd done at least 1000 of them. I never kept count, but I started out on the corner and kept it up for a long time. But soon I discovered that if you want to expand your carving to full bodies, you had to learn carve a face on the "flat" of the wood blank. I resisted, but soon found out that my corner carved figures were all "pigeon-toed" and weird looking. My first faces carved on the "flat" had small noses and were truly square blockheads (Above Elf).
I have noticed that beginners that start carving faces/heads on the "flat", end up with a squared block head. If you are carving a face on the flat, be sure to remove enough wood to shape the face, and the back on the head. You must establish "corner planes" that allow for the nose to exist as the furthermost part of the face. And remove wood to achieve a realistic roundness to the carving.


hwallen48 said...


Great advice for beginner's, how about a current face on the Flat

Anonymous said...

great advice, how about a current picture?
I can't comment with goggle, what am i doing wrong??


Tom H said...

Hal, I am moderating each comment. That means I have to OK each one before it is posted. The comments will get posted, as soon as I OK them. It's tham dang spammers that drive us to this..

Tom H


I have to agree... when I was teaching.. (After trying to get folks to remove wood from the FLAT surface for a number of years..back in the '80s) I always stared the class off with a 12 inch long 1 1/4 inch square.. and we did "eyes nose and mouth" down the the two sides...tring to make each a little diffrent(eyes open/closed/smiling/ etc.
and then we would keep that as a study aid..
after that we would start on the real carving.
I still to this day recommmed to new carvers to use the cornor to start as we are all prone to LEAVE to much wood...
Will Hayden
and after you do a couple a hundred a year..for a number of years..YOU "WILL HAVE YOUR OWN STYLE".. My wife always says all my carvings look the same...My answer..."so does Harold Enlow's"