Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Stylized and Realistic Carving

There are many definitions of stylized carving.  So many in fact, that it suggests that everybody may be so inclined to define it to suit themselves.  I think that there are many "levels" of stylized carving.  Perhaps we need a "numerical scale" in order to classify a stylized carving.  My scale would be based on two extremes, with detailed realistic on one end of the scale and extremely stylized on the other.  What is a stylized wood carving?  Google stylized and this is what you'll find:  "...drawn, written, or performed in an artificial style that does not look natural or real, but that is still pleasant to look at".  Stylized wood carvings have less detail than the realistic carvings.  But there has to be enough detail so as to make the piece recognizable.  In this example, I was wanted to whittle a small wood Flounder to make into a necklace.  The key here is to whittle enough detail to make sure that one can recognize it as a Flounder.  This example is some where between totally realistic and totally stylized.  On a one to ten scale it's probably about 4 where 1 is very realistic and 10 in totally stylized.  There's no scales and no small fins.  There's just some detail missing.

For a less experienced whittler/carver this design may be just what "the doctor ordered".  It can be scroll sawed out of 1/4" thick Basswood, and easily shaped with a knife.  And, for those of us that have a very short attention span, it can be completed is a very short period of time.

The same design can be enlarged and carved into a quite attractive wall hanging.  This larger example was achieved by using rotary tools with a one inch diameter sanding drum.

Below is the finished 24 inch wall hanging.

1 comment:

Bellefromoz said...

I have just found your amazing site.
I started carving about 8 years ago, then had 4 strokes which have left me legally blind. I am starting to whittle again and with the help of a special program on my computer can enlarge your blog so as not to miss anything. I live in Australia and find it very hard to get basswood. i have purchased some from the states out of desperation but the cost is just toooo high. i am using some linden at the moment and intend to carve every single thing on your blog. Have you done a dog at all? What I am after is a Lab Retriever look alike. My guide dog's name is Sally and I thought with a pattern I might be able to get good enough to carve some to raise some money for guide dogs over here. I envy your lifestyle. I wish we had wood shows like you do in Australia.
Keep up the amazing work, you are truly inspirational.Cheers, Belinda