Walnut dolphin

Somebody gave me a piece of black walnut that had a dolphin outline drawn on it.  She didn’t want to work with the walnut, which is somewhat harder than most carvers are comfortable with.  I cut out the pattern at the beginning of December, but didn’t get around to carving on it until last week.

Although the carving is done, I still have a bit of work to do.  I need to make a final pass with fine sandpaper, apply the finish (probably an oil/wax mixture), and mount it on the permanent base.  That little disk of walnut is just temporary.   The glue joint is Elmer’s Glue (the white stuff), so it should come off pretty easily if I soak it in water for a few minutes.

I goofed a bit on the proportions here.  The poor dolphin looks like everything behind the dorsal fin has atrophied.  The pattern was fine–I just took too much wood off and didn’t maintain the curve of the back end.  Live and learn.  The next one will be better.

I have three dolphin cutouts cut from mahogany that should be beautiful when I get around to carving them.  The largest one is three inches thick and about eight inches long.  But I’m going to do a few more small practice pieces from this walnut, and maybe a slightly larger one from basswood or mesquite before I attack the mahogany. I want to make sure I have my proportions right so I don’t goof up the larger pieces.

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