One of our readers asked about a Gnome pattern for beginners. Here's one that I think will fill the bill.
The process that I go through to arrive at a pattern for a beginner is as follows. with the subject matter firmly in mind I ask myself, "what are the characteristics that differentiate the subject matter from all else. What makes a Gnome a Gnome, and not just something else.
Tall pointed hat.
Full beard and mustache
Beard, mustache and hair longish and white or at least gray.
Smock type shirt
The most important thing is the tall pointed hat that is painted red.
This pattern is intended to be whittle in-the-round; out of a square length of Basswood. The size of the wood makes no difference. This piece could be a Gnome or a wizard. It's simple enough that a new carver can carve or whittle it. It's simple because the ears are covered with hair, and the arms and hands are merely suggested.
In this piece there will be three parts to the Gnome: HAT, FACE, BODY.
Pattern sketched on the wood
1. Make stop cut around the base of the hat.
2. Knife cuts up to the stop cut and remove the wood.
3. Make knife cuts to taper the hat to a point at the top.
4. Make the hat bottom round when looked at from the top.
5. Make knife cuts to shape the head up to the hat bottom.
6. Make stop cut for the bottom of the nose, sides of the nose, and the tops of the eyes.
7. Make stop cuts for the top and bottom of the mustache.
8. Shape beard.
9. Make stop cuts outlining the arms as they come around the body with the hands clasped in front.
10. Remove a sliver of wood up to these stop cuts.
The next posting will be a different type of Gnome pattern, one that is a cut out. It will be a bit more complicated and more of a challenge for newer carvers.