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.



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.



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.




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)



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.



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




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



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Doug
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 19:03:08

    Wow! Such as massive undertaking. This is amazing and great to watch unfold. Love the way you are recreating a tree from a tree … the knot! Almost like a puzzle.

    Waiting to see the ‘recarve’ of the leaves. Thanks for the update!


  2. markyundt
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 20:11:30

    Yes,, grew quite large. But I love pieces like this because there are no constraints. I can carve to my hearts content in a more free form way. I carve more from feeling the piece rather than on a piece such as a defined , repetitive molding for example. There I have to follow a specific pattern but here the carving is much looser and more sculptural.
    It took me about an hour to re-do the leaves and now they have a much nicer flow to them. I got rid of the squared off look to that area.
    I’ll post it in the next update.
    Stay tuned for more installments.


  3. dorisfiebig
    Dec 21, 2012 @ 14:00:03

    hello mark, it is wonderful to see you got such a great project again. i always loved the pieces where you can design and sculpt while you carve. this is a massive glue up, to me the tree appears even bigger than the last one you created. as doug i am looking forward to watch the progress, and enjoy seeing the carving come to life. given that the leafs you carved have a length about same as your chisels, and seeing the long 7 ft extended branch, there will be quite a number of leafs to carve. and, i imagine, you might “hide” some goodies, to find for those who take a closer look 🙂 …
    i wish you a happy holiday season


  4. markyundt
    Dec 21, 2012 @ 16:46:02

    Thank you Doris , and I wish you , and our readers a Happy Holiday season as well!
    You’re right, I do love this type of project. The leaves are a bit large and will be scaled back a bit but I like them to be visible from a distance for a job like this. I want it to ‘read’ well from across the room. When done they will be about life size,, maybe a bit more. Then too, leaves wouldn’t lay like this in nature,,but for what this is they should be fine. A bit whimsical but nice. And considering the number of leaves I have to carve it’s still more than enough for me! Either thousands of little ones,, or just hundreds of larger ones,,LOL….
    As far as goodies,, it will be limited to the ones I’ve mentioned. The two chicks in the nest, two adult birds and the Squirrel.


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