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2 First Pass

I decided to call this lesson 'First Pass' for a change, rather than 'Bosting 1': the technical woodcarving term that I've used elsewhere in projects. I wanted to give you a sense that bosting can be seen as a series of 'passes' or runs across the carving, becoming ever more focussed.

This first, then, is about separating and placing the big shapes, the main forms. Carrie has given us lengthy clips of me carving in this project, working my way round, defining and making decisions.


| 24 December 2021 18:27

Michael - A good question! Joining up boards is a common, often necessary thing to do to get the width you want. So no problem there.
However, there are some important aspects of joining panels for carving I'd like to flag up...

1. What you have to remember is that this is a woodcarving, and all about the light and shadow of the relief; there's no smooth surface like, say, a table top or turned bowl. So, we (as carvers) and not interested in lovely figuring, which is actually what you do want when you have a clear area that would otherwise be boring. Thus, 'book matching' has no place here. We need simple, clear, un-figured wood (such as limewood, basswood or oak) to show off the carving.

2. Although it may seem the obvious thing to do, a join down the middle of the carving is the worst place to put it. Our brains pick out symmetry and, with any grain change across the join, the join will be readily visible.
We want any joint to be innocuous. So, with your 2 x 12" boards, although it's more work, split one so that you have a centre 12" board and a 6" board on either side. Counter-intuitive perhaps but less noticeable.

3. Though having said that, do join the boards so that the annual ring patterns alternate - like you would a table top to keep the whole board as flat as possible. You also want to match the colour and pattern across the join as good as you can.

Hope this helps! Thanks for the good wishes and hope to see your squirrel in the Members Gallery in the new year.

| 23 December 2021 17:48

A general question: how bad an idea is it to edge join boards to make a bigger one?
At 12 inches across, Herr Squirrel is quite a big boy, but easily accommodated with 2 6" boards...
the grain would look messy, of course. Though book-matched might like good?!

Thanks for everything this year.

I wish you both a Happy Christmas and New Year.

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