Many hours of searching for the right tree to fit the idea, culminate in cutting and removing the log from the deep Texas canyon. It took three trips before a saw was found suitable enough to cut the log.
Figure 1: At this early stage some of the original shape of this massive tree can still be seen.
Figure 2: Even as she emerges from the wood the angle and turn of the head set the mood for the piece. Only gouge and mallet have been used to remove wood so far.
Figure 3: Body language is already beginning to speak in this photo.
Figure 4: The gouge and mallet have done their part to remove mass and shape forms. Now I use a Nicholson #50 Rasp to remove gouge marks, establish planes and smooth the sculpture. This is the fastest cutting and most versatile rasp made. It’s tapered end and 1/2 round shape really allow for a variety of uses. It’s small staggered teeth leave the wood remarkably smooth.
Figure 5: After rasping, filing, detailing and sanding with four different grits of sandpaper, (220-400-600-1500), jewelers rouge is applied with leather. The piece shines like glass in this photo before the oil is applied. I use Birchwood Casey gunstock oil for the final finish.
Figure 6: Six coats of oil, buffed with leather after each coat, combine to protect and show off centuries of annual rings recorded in the tight grain.