Archive for the ‘3D’ Category

Harlequin New Year

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Time to try to get back in the swing of things! Hope you have bounced back from the holidays better than I have. A little more than is shown in the last post of 2011 has been carved, but not much.

Today I was thinking about the design for the sides of the peg head. There usually is a diamond pattern carved into the sides.


Traditional design for the sides of a peg head

harlequin-patternIn keeping with the rest of my instrument, I want to do this with inlay. I will use the same four wood veneers I used for the “3D” basket weave on the lid of the keychest. I won’t do the exact basket weave, though, just diamonds. But how to repeat the colors? I did the ol’ Google search for harlequin pattern to get some ideas. Some had the colors fairly random. And some repeated various ways but had too few or too many colors.

In Adobe Illustrator, I made two repeating patterns I liked using four colors. One of them vaguely resembled a basket weave more than the other, so I decided to go with it.


Obviously, the outer shape won’t be a diamond, but will match the outline of the peg head. This illustration is just a test of the pattern. I won’t do that traditional shell-thing seen on the right. If I do anything there, I might inlay a French fleur-de-lis. I’ll have to see. The grains and colors of the woods themselves will have to substitute for the stars and flowers inside the diamonds.

Figurehead – initial cap carving

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

I gave Abigail the week off for Thanksgiving. That way, I can focus on the cap, a safer thing on which to practice my carving. If I mess it up, no one will notice. But if I mess up the face, everyone will notice! This way I can get used to the tools and different techniques. The cap will be a lot of work, and I don’t have to worry about damaging completed facial details with a lot of handling. It is also hard to work on the head with the cap not being trimmed down to size, especially in the back.


Cap progress, with shavings swept up from the floor and tools used

I was mostly concentrating on the back half of her cap, where it curves around the back of the head to that gathered tail-thing on the back. I stopped there, because I’m not sure yet how to do all those wavy crinkles, and where wood needs to be left to do them.

Figurehead – left cheek

Monday, November 21st, 2011

With the help of Abigail, I got a good start on sculpting the left cheek and jaw. Before they were very angular, but are starting to smooth out and look more realistic.


I also did some of the shaping of the right side of the cap, not shown.

Abigail to the rescue

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Okay, even with a number of 2D digital images of the same woman, it is still hard to visualize the 3D shapes. You don’t have a real object that you can move around to where you need to see. I realized I had a perfect model laying around the house that I had picked up a few years ago at a sale for $2 – a “Cameo Girl” Lady Head Vase of Abigail from 1858. This particular praying Abigail is entitled “Amazing Grace.” [I like the way women used to look before blue jeans and t-shirts, and other blah modern clothes.]

Auray head 4

Abigail has volunteered to pose for me and pray for the outcome

The interesting thing about this vase is that the head is about exactly the size of the head I’m trying to create on my hurdy-gurdy!  It might be easier to just figure out a way to attach it to my peghead — ha!

So, I definitely have no excuse as far as a suitable model to give me the best shot at reproducing a decent face.

Figurehead – basic oval for the face

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

I’m now cutting inward to the rough oval pencil outline of the face with the chisel. This involves undercutting the edge of the lace cap.


Right side of face roughly carved out underneath the cap edge

Extra wood was left towards the back for the ear and hair. The long ridges made for the rough profile of the nose and lips were shortened to their proper areas. This is giving more of a 3D look, and hopefully start to look slightly human, too.


Her other side roughed in

Her right side was done on Tuesday and the left side on Wednesday. Definitely looking more human, now — just like a wooden Indian made with an axe!


More of a profile view of my hopefully temporary wooden Indian


Figurehead – silhouetting the face

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Over the weekend I gave a very rough profile to the face: nose, lips, chin. I did this by drawing horizontal lines at the low spots, sawing along them, then chiseling into these slots from both directions.


Beginning stage of creating silhouette of the facial features

I drew in some lines for the neck and collar, to help solve the 3D collar problem. I also drew in the 1/4″ parallel lines where the peghead sides will be narrowed to match the width of the keychest. La femme’s cap will be wider than the business end of the peghead.


Besides rough profile of face, large areas of scrap removed from sides

After doing the notches across the face, before totally losing the rest of my reference photo of the face, I chiseled in diagonally on the sides towards the neck, according to the angles of the bottom lines of the cap in the front view, to get rid of a large amount of scrap. The cutting from here on will have to be more true carving and sculpting, and not just waste removal.

I sketched in the oval for the head, and added some very large ears and hair below those, since at this point I am not exactly sure of ear placement and don’t want to remove too much too soon. It will be a challenge from this point on, not having photos in place to serve as accurate cutting guides.


We've definitely arrived at the end of the straight-cutting phase

You will see there is a thin, flat, original block edge on either side of the head. I hope to keep that intact for as long as possible because it should come in handy when narrowing the sides of the peghead, which I expect to do mostly with the router.

Figurehead – silhouetting back of neck

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Last week I sawed and chiseled out the back behind the neck.


Rough silhouetting of the back of the head

I got a little carried away with the initial shaping of the top edge of the stiff lace collar in the back, not thinking correctly in 3D. I cut out what would be a cross-section view of this shape, including the notch where it stands up, not remembering that the collar has to wrap up over her shoulders towards the front. Cutting that straight notch [or the notch at all, at this stage] was a mistake, because it cuts through where the high part of the collar should wrap around to the front.


Back of cap will stay flat for now to serve as a base for carving

I will just make the highest point of the collar lower on the shoulders, and so this mistake shouldn’t be a big deal. It doesn’t have to stick up as high as the following example.


One of many samples I found of the costume's collar from the back

Lid marquetry – background

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Here are the thirty-three background diamonds. Since that wood is real light, the pattern isn’t quite as subtle as I was expecting. Hope it isn’t “too much.”


Pattern completed, awaiting the border

There are 130 pieces in the design. Next is the frame.

Lid marquetry – light shadows

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Here’s the thirty diagonal ‘edges’ with the lighter shadows on the 3D lattice.


Now it actually looks like a lattice

 Next is the ‘bottom’ —those diamonds— which will be the lightest color.

Lid marquetry – dark shadows

Monday, August 8th, 2011

The thirty dark-shadowed ‘edge’ pieces have been put in.


Starting to get a little sense of depth

Next will be the thirty lighter-shadowed ‘edges.’