Sunday, March 14, 2010


Late Feb. 2010

Time to carve: 3 hours
Other work: 1.5
Finishing: 1.5 hour

This slide has special significant for our family. While looking for some wood for "the herd", I contacted my mother-in-law to see if my father-in-law had any cherry. While he did not have any, there was lots of other good hard woods there including some black walnut cut from the family farm before he was born. Bob made many things from this wood and brought it with him no matter where he and his family were transferred to and since his passing the wood has been slowly given out to each of the children's families. I knew the rich dark brown color would make the walrus come to life without having to resort to any stain or paint. Carving black walnut take time, patience, and several sharp blades. I must say at this point that black walnut is the toughest wood I have ever tried to carve because it is really hard. Once I had carved the head it was time to work on the tusks. I looked a a couple of different kinds of wood for this but nothing seemed the right color (without resorting to paint). What I ended up using was some pieces of white plastic molding cut, sanded, and bent to the right size and shape. Following the instructions, the whiskers are made from toothbrush bristles but I wonder if when the original was made if the bristles were as narrow a diameter as these were. (Come to think of it, I could not think of doing this part without Crazy Glue ether.) As for the eyes, well I did break down and paint those with some black paint. A couple of coats of poly finish this off. One thing I would do differently if I was to make another. The whiskers would have been done after the poly since the poly collected on the bristles like droplets of water .

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