Dolphins, an experiment

This piece is an unfinished experiment. I carved the black walnut dolphin last year and had it on a temporary base. Somebody gave me the mahogany dolphin cutout a few weeks ago and after I finished it I was wondering how to display them together. I was considering trying to relief carve some waves when Debra mentioned the possibility of using a piece of bark.

I just happen to have a whole lot of bark from an oak tree . . .

As I said, the piece is unfinished. I’ve sanded and finished the dolphin carvings, but the oak bark is still raw. I’ll have to put something on the bark so that it won’t flake off and deteriorate over time.

I realize that neither of the dolphin carvings is especially good. I goofed on the back of the walnut piece–making it too straight and too thin. And I didn’t round the front of the mahogany dolphin very well. That one’s dorsal fin is too small, too. That’s not my fault. The person who gave me the blank had cut it a bit short.

That said, I rather like the idea of using bark as a substitute ocean surface. What do you think?

Here’s another view, closer up.

A couple of yard pictures

I spent most of the weekend doing yard work. Specifically, burning the remains of the fig and the wisteria that didn’t fare well over two or three years of drought. I also took down the garden fence, seeing as how we hadn’t actually cultivated a garden for a few years.

Removing the fence posts was no problem. But I set the gate posts in concrete. Removing those is going to be some work. Unless I decide to leave the gate as an artifact.

I also mowed the back yard. I ran out of time to do the front, and I won’t get to it until Sunday. That’s going to be a big job. The recent rains and abundant sunshine have made for ideal grass and weed growing conditions.

It’s surprising how much the grass grows in just a week. If I let it go two weeks, it will be high enough to scratch Charlie’s belly.

Charlie, by the way, is doing well. He was feeling his oats this afternoon, doing laps around the pool. Still a heck of a good lookin’ dog, ain’t he? The bald spots are from surgery to remove some mast cell tumors.

Gnome home

The Hundred Birds Project has occupied most of my limited carving time the last few months. But I’d go crazy if that’s all I carved. Last week I started working on this whimsical house (gnome home) in cottonwood bark, and I finally finished it Monday night. All told I probably have six or eight hours in it.

The piece is a wall hanging, about nine inches tall on the right side, and about two and a half inches wide. Don’t know yet where I’ll hang it.

This is the second “flat back” I’ve carved. I did the other one about two years ago. I also carved a larger whimsical house in a class back in October of 2010.

I like carving the cottonwood bark. The only real problem is that I have to buy the stuff! I might have to find a good supplier, though, and stock up. These things are addictive.

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