'Levelling' produces a lightly facetted background. It doesn't have to be engineeringly flat, but it does need to 'read' flat, passing though the carving as if you have planted the carving on the background. So again, a great exercise in tool control.
It's a finished surface - make sure your tools are slick! Don't forget that regular stropping (keeping the cutting angle low on the strop).
Police the area as you go along and, when you think you have finished, change the lighting and have a look.
Could you use a router for this background work? Yes, of course. Even easier, you could cut the head out and stick it on truly flat piece of wood. These are options (not moral choices!). But what if you wanted to add the cameo to a curved surface? Then you want to be able to carve it like this. It's all good practice: slicing cuts and finishing surfaces smoothly. And, as a carver, you want the biggest repertoire possible for maximum choice and adaptation.
| 25 January 2018 17:19
Chris, just to remind you - in the Coastline deep relief with the boat on the shore, you showed very well a handy use of the router which has helped me lots the few times it was really worth doing it.
| 14 November 2017 09:51
Robert - We will indeed look at this. A router can be very useful for removing background wood quickly and efficiently. I've been a little reluctant in the past because there are lots of router videos out there and I didn't think I could add anything useful.
I can't say when we will do it as we have quite a schedule already, but it's on the list!
| 08 November 2017 20:01
Chris. How about a lesson on how you use a router? I prefer using hand tools but the ability use the router for carving would be great.