Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day III Chainsaw Carving

I can sum up the days activities in one word: "Wow". Today is when it all came together. I was more or less happy by the end of yesterday but I never imagined I would get this far by the end of the day. Today was a complete workday. No lectures or critics, just work. Michael worked with me about 3 different times over the coarse of the day and showed me some great modeling techniques using the chainsaw. He showed me how to use the tip of the saw to create troughs and modeling in tight areas where slicing cuts could not be used. The key to using the saw this way was to lock the saw into your body so you used the swing of your body to maneuver the saw. Other times he would use the top and bottom of the blade to brush the wood which was great for flatter areas or areas with a slight concavity. Another cut involved laying the saw on it's side to smooth over outward forms. I took lots of video so I can review these skills again at home.
One of the main things I wanted to see today was how they would carve the delicate features of the face using just the chainsaw. Michael suggested that we create the suggestion of the face instead of trying to carve a realistic face like one might carve on a smaller figure with gouges. The tip of the saw blade very lightly created the hollows around the eyes and even the parting of the lips. Very amazing to watch a master at work. If I finish up the carving tomorrow, and I may, I would like to spend the last day and a half carving just the head so I can practice these techniques. We will see how the day goes tomorrow.

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