How to Plan a Carving
Florence Sutcliffe and John Adamson
Many members have only
ever carved projects that they have found in books and magazines.
This is an excellent way to get into carving as a lot of the hard
work of the planning stages has been done for you; the visualization of
the whole piece, the simplification of the design, and the ensuring
that the project is practical. But there comes a time when a carver's ambition cannot be satisfied that way.
Today we set out some of the steps that need to be taken to start a
carving from scratch. John illustrated that the first
impression of a photograph of the chosen subject, may look so
deceptively simple. Some photographs of a nightjar
illustrated the point. They showed the bird in it's natural
surroundings where it's camouflage made it difficult to see a clear
uncluttered outline. The image John had used for the carving he
had done was a painting, where the artist had only shown the bird.
Nightjars have a very complicated pattern on their wings
to resemble the dried bracken they favour for hiding in during the day.
This could not be replicated on the carving so some
simplification was required.
Florence took the members through the use of a clay model to help work out how a carving should be done. As the club has a project to carve some wild life subjects on post in
Springfield Park, Rochdale on behalf of the Mathew Moss School, the examples were of relief carvings of animals and fish . Florence provided some clay for members to have a go. They
found the usual problems of perspective and getting a reasonable
representation of the animal from a thin block of clay