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6 Focusing

Holding your carving, so that you can get at the parts you want to carve easily, is of great importance. We need to continue the bosted in surfaces around and to the edges of the block, and eventually undercut beneath the gloves. And without a good way of holding the work we're likely to end up with backache or a cricked neck. So take some trouble to look after the carving, and yourselves!

I'm using an adjustable holding device, of which there are many on the market - and there are simple alternatives - and a carvers screw. I cover the hole left by the screw with my little brass name plate. If you don't want to put a hole in the book, glue (paper sandwich) a waste piece of wood to the back and fit the screw into this, cleaning it off later.

In this lesson I'll look at holding then start refining the gloves - what I call 'focussing', carving to a finished surface over most of the gloves and rounding over into the undercut, which you do when you are absolutely sure about the form. Although I don't talk about it, you can see how I let the overhanging parts of the gloves droop a little with gravity.


| 06 February 2017 08:34

Zachery - I've always found it quite difficult because the dirt includes oils and grease from one's hands, and in some cases, such as oak or mahogany, there is an indelible chemical reaction.
However, two methods that can really help sometimes:
1. A malleable artist's eraser - the ones you can shape rather than those solid little blocks.
2. Denatured alcohol (surgical spirit). Use a toothbrush to scrub the surface. The alcohol shouldn't raise the grain in the way water would.
Hope this helps!

For those reading this who don't know about carving gloves: Videos > Carving-matters > 3 Tricks of the Trade.

| 06 February 2017 05:54

Is there a good way to clean off a carving that has been made dirty during the carving by not using gloves?

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