Sunday, June 7, 2009

Project 2: Whale

For this carving, I wanted a smooth subject.  I recently added sandpaper to my arsenal ($8 total) and wanted to try it out.  

The sperm whale was intended to be my first project.  Elegant, simple, and smooth, he is prime for my sandy mood.  I'm also attached to whales in general - their great size, their woodwind mood, their alien calls.  They make us proud to call ourselves mammals.

He is about 5 inches long; 1:160 scale.  Real sperm whales can reach 67 feet.

He is made of basswood, coincidentally a white wood, he is not intended to be Moby Dick.  He seems a bit too calm for that unfortunate whale... maybe it's Moby before he met Ahab.  It was a fun challenge getting all of his proportions right - I'm still not sure everything is where it should be.  But oh well, you get the sense... I think.

Pre-Ahab Moby took about 7 hours.  Especially time-consuming was his tail.  The underside arc must be carved against the grain of the wood and therefore requires more force and awkward knife strokes.  I must say that I did not avoid cutting myself during this project, though it was minor.  Sanding took about an hour total: medium-grain and then superfine-grain.  

I am pleased with him.  The sanding made him extremely smooth.  Though the robed figure had a stimulating, jarring look, the whale perhaps looks like a more finished work because of his smoothness.  What do you think?


  1. I really like the idea for your blog.. it's more unique than most blogs out there, and I really like your work

  2. Thanks! It's nice to have feedback. I'm glad you enjoy it.