The “initiation” into wood carving stems from my time in foundation year at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich in 1973.
The first piece I was fortunate to find as shape and form in a 50mm board from a Swiss Stone- or Arolla Pine ( Pinus cembra) under expert guidance from my sculptor/scientific illustrator/stone mason tutor with his unrivalled expertise and proficiency, in many other disciplines as well.
The band saw helped the basic shape out of the plank followed by chisel work (after establishing how to maintain the edge on a wood chisel, and if fit for carving, is also fit for shaving. Not having facial hair of any significance at the time, I had to resort to my forearms…) and endless two-days-a-week sanding with I forget how many consecutively finer grades of sand paper.
And didn’t I drop the thing when nearly finished, with some of the outwardly extending 1mm thick leaves and lamellae chipping off! Thanks again to my teacher’s capabilities it wouldn’t have occurred to anyone, that the piece had been repaired.
I estimate its size from memory at about 250x180mm, because I have only the picture taken by the then college photographer, as the little sculpture was retained by the school.
The second, a 155mm diameter lentil shape, 55mm thick, with the same design carved into its surfaces – positive on one side, negative on the other – came out of an unusually large piece of Box wood, very fine grained and hard in its nature. The chisel texture left untouched in the sunken surfaces of the design, smoothed out and polished away in the elevated parts, all hand sanded with increasingly finer sand paper.
Later I made this “One-Apple-Bowl” from a 70mm pine board offcut, left over after cutting up a lot of these planks for window frames while working for a carpenter/joiner in 1981/2.
Chisel and sand paper work – the usual.