2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 51,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 12 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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Tree Carving part 2

At this point all the gluing up is completed. At last count I was just over 100 pieces  that were prepped and put in place. I’ve also used a gallon and a half of glue.

As you’ll see the trunk is carved and I’m working my way into the upper branches and leaves. Though nature always looks good in it’s random arrangement of leaves/branches, in a carving everything has to have a flow to it in order to give it some movement and life. I do this by trying not to have the leaves look  “stiff” and giving them some curves and sweeps.  You can see the curved ‘S’ lines I use on the leaves and having each twist and turn a bit while following an overall movement in their direction.

I’m also planning on re-carving the left hand side of the upper branches as I feel they look a bit to square at this point. That’s the advantage of roughing everything into place and not having any one thing completely carved. It allows me to make changes as I go along to have everything live in harmony and look balanced and graceful.

 

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Here is a view looking up the trunk. I will go back and add texture to this area in the form of chiseled cuts. This will add some texture to the trunk and give it some interest.

 

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Part way up the trunk I encountered a knot. Instead of trying to carve it which is very difficult and generally makes a mess I turned it into a branch ( which it once was) and made it appear as if the branch was pruned at one time.

 

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This is a view from the far right of the extended branch looking back towards the trunk. This will require quite a few leaves and branches to complete it. This span is nearly 9 ft across (7 to the trunk)

 

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The area where the branches start to fan out from the trunk. The cuts in the trunk lead up to where these branches begin adding to the flow of the piece. Just under the chisel handles in the upper right of the photo is the area where a birds nest will appear , holding two chicks. It will settle into a crook of the branches.

 

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A view from the top where you can see the flow of the leaves. This is the area that will be re-carved.

 

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The same area as the above shot just from a lower viewing angle.

 

 

Tree Carving

In the past I’ve done two versions of this current project. Those consisted of two tree trunks on either side of a refrigerator /freezer with the branches arching over the top.

In this piece it will be mounted on the left side of a built in entertainment cabinet with the branches arching over the top.

It stands 8 ft tall and the branch alone will extend at least 7 ft. from the trunk. Including the tree itself and the other branches it will span approx. 9-10 ft. wide when done.

Butternut is the wood being used for this and currently there are over 45 blocks in place with maybe another 25 or so needed to finish the glue up.

Details on the tree itself, besides the leaves and branches will be a Squirrel sitting at the base of the tree, a birds nest carved into one of the branches which will have two chicks in it and two adult birds carved further out on the branch.

I’ll keep post updates as the glue up and carving continues.

This is one of the two completed tree carvings done in the past shown here for reference.

This is one of the two completed tree carvings done in the past shown here for reference.

This is the center section for the above tree carving. It was done it three sections with this one being over 6 ft. wide.

This is the center section for the above tree carving. It was done it three sections with this one being over 6 ft. wide.

Here is a view across the span of one of the original carvings during the carving stage.

Here is a view across the span of one of the original carvings during the carving stage.

 

 

Here is a sketch of this current project

Here is a sketch of this current project

The initial glue up of the trunk.

The initial glue up of the trunk.

 

Clamping up the "roots" of the tree. There will also be a Squirrel sitting here.

Clamping up the “roots” of the tree. There will also be a Squirrel sitting here.

 

The beginnings of the top of the tree which will end up being approx. 4 ft. across. To the right is where the branch will attach.

The beginnings of the top of the tree which will end up being approx. 4 ft. across. To the right is where the branch will attach.

 

In order to attach the branch I made these cutouts to secure bolts in order to draw the two sections together. This particular joint will be a series of interlocking pieces to avoid a flat joint.

In order to attach the branch I made these cutouts to secure bolts in order to draw the two sections together. This particular joint will be a series of interlocking pieces to avoid a flat joint.

 

Top view  showing the growing mass of the upper part of the tree.

Top view showing the growing mass of the upper part of the tree.

 

It's starting to gain some thickness with each glue up.

It’s starting to gain some thickness with each glue up.

I needed to get the Squirrel in place prior to carving the roots which will appear to come out of the floor.

I needed to get the Squirrel in place prior to carving the roots which will appear to come out of the floor.