This crow's head is carved from a pale green soapstone which has darker veins running through it. When polished the effect can be really spectacular.
The beak has a fault line running through it and I'm just hoping that polishing will smooth that and not shatter it completely!
The pod is nearing completion at last - I seem to have been working on this for ever! Now there's just the polishing. I say just, but it's very fiddly with lots of indentations and grooves that have to be polished with Wet & Dry paper, then a little T-Cut until it's finally ready for its waxing. Quite a bit of work still to be done - all those white bits in the grooves have to be polished away.
I've just started working on a head using a very small piece of English alabaster - a lovely gingery colour with brown swirls which looks lovely when polished. The head is in a very early stage and looks pretty awful at the moment, but hopefully will improve - heads are not my best subject, but I live in hope!
The magnolia pod took a back seat while I was concentrating on the chameleon, but recently I've been working on it and it's beginning to take shape.
I've spend a few hours using wet & dry paper on my crow and my chameleon; rinsing them off, letting them dry and waxing. Then starting all over again because they weren't right yet... and again...and again.
Ended up with a coat of Liberon black patinating wax to enhance the dark feathers of the crow, but have since taken most of this off. Still not sure what looks best as there are lots of fault lines on that side which don't look great, so may try just a little black wax again. The chameleon alabaster also has fault lines running through it but on this they're not quite as noticeable as on the crow.
This term I've been working on a piece of Cenerino alabaster carving a chameleon and also some white Spanish alabaster to carve a magnolia pod. Have to confess, not got very far with either! I've got a lot of photographic reference for both - our Magnolia Soulangeana produces these amazing seed pods every year that start out red and gradually darken till they become black and drop off the tree. Their seeds are bright glossy red and the whole pod looks rather prehistoric. I've made some maquettes and after completing some preliminary shaping, last week I started to carve the pods.
The Chameleon is progressing more slowly. I downloaded lots of images from the internet but also photographed some preserved specimens in a museum. The Cenerino alabaster is quite hard - much harder than the white Spanish alabaster and I'm not happy with the shape of the head so far.
Meanwhile, the little fish is finished except for polishing. It's tail fin is now very thin and very fragile, so I'll have to be careful polishing and handling it.
I started writing this blog in December 2016, but it covers projects started in spring 2015 onwards, so it was written retrospectively until I caught up with the current term.