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6 Refining

'Giving the carving some love.'

That's a really good way to put it, even if it sounds just a little affected. What I mean is: you've completed the first and second pass of the carving and you should be able to see your cap appearing quite well; you are more or less at e finished surface; you have captured the main shapes and proportions and the carving is well 'bosted in'.

Now, you work over the whole carving, refining and modelling, cleaning up as you go along with lighter cuts from narrower sharp tools. I love this stage! The carving really starts to consolidate and look like something. Don't be afraid of going deep using bent tools. Use your model as the guide.

Leave the strap part as a block for now. We will deal with it later...


| 14 October 2018 07:28

Thanks for the great advice, done some additional experiments and talking to the locals here find that chataigne wood reacts with the moisture from the hands from some people more than others. So I have followed the below and am now armed with some “sawn off” hand gloves made from your video. It is working a treat many thanks again.

| 17 September 2018 08:38

Richard - It's a problem with light wood: keeping them clean. It's not a problem when you are bosting is but as soon as you say, 'This is a finished surface', it must be clean. Waxing etc later just preserves the dirt, which is not like a later patination.

First thing - sorry if this is obvious - it's YOU that is making the wood grubby; it's not happening spontaneously, and the dirt is coming from your hands, the tool, the bench, or the carving brush. So think about these things one at a time as you come to finishing.

Some thoughts:
* Wash your hands regularly.
* Make sure your bench and carving brush are clean.
* Wipe your tools after sharpening (Wash your hands!)
* Wear carvers gloves (see: videos> carving-matters > 3-tricks-of-the-trade)
* Put a cloth over the parts you are resting your hand on.

I'm sure you can think of other preventative measures - and prevention is the word here.
I've never tried it but I have heard of carvers who wash their carvings in denatured alcohol (surgical spirit) or petrol to remove pencil or other marks before a final wax or other surface finish.

Well done for tackling this carving! I hope this helps and we see it in the gallery.

| 15 September 2018 18:48

Chris and Carrie thanks for this a very enjoyable project I am having great fun with it and making good progress now onto the refining stage. I am carving this in Chataigne or the local French chestnut which is used here in southern France quite a lot, It carves quite well but the grain can be unforgiving at times and tear easily. The problem I have is that my hands get black as I carve and this transfers to the carving, do you know what it is causing this and any suggestions as how to avoid this would be most welcome? Is there anything I should look out for when finishing to avoid it looking grubby since it cries out to be handled when finished. So would you use oil or wax to protect it ?

| 20 August 2017 08:44

Chris.. I like that you mention how long you had been working on this piece at one point. I often wonder how long it took/takes to get to a certain point in a carving (gauging my own personal progress).

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