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1 Introduction

The Merlin, Falco Columbarius, is the British Isles' smallest bird of prey. In this woodcarving, I've tried to catch one sitting on a post, watching...

This project is quite challenging: the Merlin and post are carved from a single piece of wood. The bird is actual size and finished 'from the chisel', with one leg and the talons pierced through. I've not added feathers, other than the wing primaries. Rather I've let the tool marks imply them. At the end of the day: this is a woodcarving!

Subscriber download: Working drawing and tool list (PDF)


| 13 October 2011 10:01

Hello Nancy. It's about having enough information. The clearer you can see, visualise, what you are trying to carve, the more likely you are to be successful. We can recognise things very easily but that doesn't mean we can remember them, enough to draw or carve, say. The more complicated or unfamiliar my subject, the more I need 'information', which means research, not just the features of the subject but the pose etc and how that relates to your wood. You can never have too much information but you'll certainly find out the hard way if you have too little! Clay is great for getting your head and hands around 3 dimensional pieces but it's crucial to realise that I am not COPYING the model, just problem-solving. As soon as I can I stop looking at the model, which means I've found my subject in the wood. I'm not interested in the model as such and only model enough to get me what I need - thus I've never fired, or even completed a model to a gallery level. The models end up back in the bucket...

| 10 October 2011 02:18

I absolutely love your videos and learn so much frome them! Thank you, thank you!!!

I would like to know if you always make a clay model of what you want to carve? If so do you have them fired or leave them in their natural state? I am a beginner and haven't done any clay model but can see the reason and benefit for doing so. Please keep your videos coming for those of us that want to improve our carvings!
Again, thank you,
Nancy J Kelly (graphicgranny)
Ashford, Washington

| 03 September 2011 01:48

These videos are a dream. I loved your series of DVDs that you made with Rob Cosman, and these are just like have personalized instruction. Thank you so much for sharing your superb talents at such an extremely reasonable price!!!
Karl Pister
Woodburn, Oregon

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