Monday, September 12, 2011
Holy crap updates! I went out and blew my birthday money from a long time ago on carving tools. The local art supply store went out of business. Is on hiatus. Is...not here. So when I need tools now and can't afford rush shipping, I did the next worst thing. I went to Michael's. It's like going to Walmart after midnight. I think Dante wrote about it. I'm not going to knock the chain too much (please give me money/supplies/craft cred). It's not as bad as Hobby Lobby or Pottery Barn (for you southerners). Your nose is not instantly assailed with potpourri. People are not vacantly masturbating to Thomas Kinkaid prints. I think you can still get model cars and planes there, which is actually pretty sweet (note, I live in a basement and spend most of my time leveling and huffing model cement. Pizza grease has nothing on this guy's face).
Dotdotdot. Anyways. I needed carving tools because some time between here and college all of my worn and cherished set of cheap ass knives have disappeared. I used to use whatever I could scrounge from the print studio. Things with mileage on them, but goddammit, I'd put them on there. Those ink stains were from my fingers, and those blood stains-- from my enemies. All I'm saying is that they had character, and for cheap Niji knives, they actually came with a pretty decent edge.
I bought the Beck's non alcohol beer version of those. Sharpened from the factory by rabid rodentry. Actually that's an insult to rodents everywhere. I'm sure they could have gnawed better edges in to these things themselves. I also bought some actual carving tools. Shorter, sharper, more expensive. Upon unwrapping, I found that the scoundrels couldn't sharpen these for shit either.
Grr. The sad thing is, if I sit down and do it, I'm actually pretty good at sharpening things-- Assuming the steel isn't absolute shit. Give me a good chisel or knife and I can get you to shave with it. Or remove skin. I've tried with these things and jeezuzchrist. I have a diamond stone now, so we'll see if that helps. I hope to get them into fighting shape by the time I attempt the next woodcut, or at least by the middle of the run on this one.
Detail-ish. This is actually pretty small for me. The first cuts on this guy's head were done with a V-shaped gouge. They removed far too much material. This is a pine block so it has alternating hard and soft grain, meaning you have to push harder, meaning more material is removed. In school I learned on basswood, super soft through and through. This board also has plenty of knots in it, so never let it be said that I'd turn away from a challenge. The figures were all carved with an X-acto knife. And many, many blades. Each line you see is at least two cuts. The chair is primarily a small U-shaped gouge.
I had to proof it tonight so I could email the image out for a third poster. I hear rumors that this might also go on a shirt.
I'd wear it.