Saturday, June 13, 2009

Project 4: Squid

During the revealing of my fourth carving, a good deal of the work was done at the lake.  What an appropriate place for carving!  The place demands that one is comfortable with his mind - there is simply nowhere to hide.

Typical lake sunset.

And so trips to the lake invariably focus on activity, games, and good conversation, which are all somehow hard to come by when not there.  The world is stripped of its extraneous parts, just as my carving is whittled down while sitting at the gazebo, near the waves.

Each visit, one is reminded (or informed for the first time) of what actually makes him happy; which activity or game he prefers and how he can fill his social interactions with vigor and magnanimity, as he must spend many, many more hours with those present.

Also, the lake is a place where woodchip cleanup is never necessary.

During the 4 hour car trip, I was frequently tempted to carve.  Though it took some cleanup, I'm glad that I did it, as it was great for passing the time.

Here is a photo of the preliminary shaping stages with prop assistance from the dashboard.

For this carving, I decided to make a squid.  I wanted to make another aquatic critter that was smooth - the sanded basswood is just too attractive for me to get away from.

The hardest part of the squid might appear to be his thin and delicate tentacle bundle, (which I anticipated being the hardest) but in fact it was getting his proportions right.  As one of my friends and I discussed, squid are "formless, shapeless blobs."  This lack of features made it difficult to navigate his revealing, just as it would be to make one's way using a map with few details, street names, etc.

After carving him and recarving him, he started to become quite miniscule, so much so that I decided to simply stop making him smaller, proportions be damned.  I ended up with a slightly chunky squid with a runty tail, but something that looked like a squid nonetheless.  

It was fun carving the details on his tentacle bundle.  It was a moment when I felt creative in his design.

Overall, I am happy with him.  He is made of basswood, is about 3 inches long, and took about 8 hours.  He is sanded - first with course sandpaper and then superfine paper.  He is about a 1:1.5 scale.

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