Method of Work – “Tumblers”

(African Zebrawood, April 2009)

These images depict this piece in various stages of the direct carving process. The first image shows the raw plank dampened with water to show the grain. The next images reveal the initial sketch, rough cut out and the carving and shaping process.

This piece presented two significant direct carving challenges. The first stemmed from its raw dimensions ( 5 feet high by 8.5 inches wide by only 1.5 inches thick) and creating the visual experience of depth and substance in the figures from wood which is so thin. The second was that the wood is very fragile and brittle and the nature of its unusual grain makes it prone to splitting and tearing. Consequently, most of the final shaping of this piece had to be done painstakingly using only rifflers, rasps and files-not with chisels.