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"woodcarving ain't easy!"
 

 
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Carving a long distance friendship

Peter Paces not resting on his laurels

Woodcarving ain't easy

Famous Faces


This article appeared in the June 2006 issue of the UK magazine The Woodworker.

To view the carvings mentioned in the article click on the name of the carving
or visit my  Galleries  or the  Album  to see these carvings and more.

 
What a carve-up!

By the editor Mark Ramuz


In just over ten years, Peter Paces has risen from novice carver to one of the leading figures in the craft, taking prizes in the UK and North America with his diminutive figures. Mark Ramuz went to meet him


Working away in a 6x4 shed with only enough floorspace to turn carefully around and pick out another piece of lime, Peter Paces tackles his next project. Apart from a dusty pillar drill and 1970's hobby bandsaw, there's  no other machinery. Instead, Peter is king of his domain of grotesquely contorted Action Man figures, used as models in his 1/16th scale life classes. In front of the shed's window is a small selection of carving chisels and knives brought over from a contact in Peter's native Czech Republic. Most have a decorated pale green resin handle and look more like a tourist gift than the tool of a skilled craftsman.


A period of unemployment in the suburbs of Croydon left Peter with time to try some adult education classes. He took to carving immediately but found it difficult to work with full-size tools. It was only after switching to the much smaller tools he imported from his home town of Pilsen that the work began to come to life.

Since then Peter has become a familiar face at our Ally Pally show as well as the bigger North American events that attract upto 650 entries. He is used to going home with the first prize, thanks to his artist's eye for the human form and an incredible skill at capturing living detail in wood.

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What a carve-up!

Peter Paces not resting on his laurels

Woodcarving ain't easy

Famous Faces


This article appeared in the Nov-Dec 2000 issue of  Chip Chats , the magazine of the NWCA, USA.

To view the carvings mentioned in the article click on the name of the carving
or visit my  Galleries  or the  Album  to see these carvings and more.

 
Carving a long distance friendship...

By John Raucci


A couple of years ago, my good friend Carl Borst, president of the Mohawk Valley Art and Woodcarving Association, went to visit his daughter who was working in London, England. As he does on most trips, Carl looked up a few folks in the carving community and was invited to pay them a visit.

 

He met some nice folks and quickly made friends. One of them was Peter Paces. The following year, Peter attended the  show in Davenport, Iowa,  and while in the U.S.A. he decided to take a short ride (about 1,000 miles one way) to visit his new friend Carl. While here, he stayed at Carl's home and visited our club, bringing some photos of his work.


Amazing talent is the only way I can describe his work. There was no surprise after meeting him why they hit it off so well. Both are fully skilled in the art of slapping people with comments and quick remarks that are cutting while hilarious at the same time, and their carving is not bad either!

 

Twice this summer our friend visited us, once before the Davenport show and again after. On the before visit, Peter brought in his work to share with us. Personally I was ready to throw my tools away after seeing a level of perfection I didn't believe was possible in wood. His attention to the smallest detail is astounding.

(To see what he brought with him, turn to the front section of  Chip Chats  September-October 2000).


After seeing the  The Three Musketeers  carving up close, most of us guessed that it would likely win best-of-show in Davenport. Even Carl, who was teased continuously by Paces that he should "carve something of substance rather than those silly caricatures", thought that Paces had the best-of-show in the bag.

 

It was a great surprise to all of us when we heard that another good friend of our club, Pete Ortel, showed up in Davenport with - what's that ... a caricature? and won the best-of-show! It was the first time a caricature had won best-of-show at such a prestigious event. (Our congratulations to Pete Ortel).


Peter Paces phoned Carl before traveling back here to tell him about the results of the judging. He jokingly said he was suicidal after being beaten out for the top honor by a "caricature"! He was even thinking of not returning to Carl's as planned for fear of the razzing that he would undoubtedly receive. Showing great courage he did make the trip and handled Carl's abuse well, even mustering the strength to return fire several times. With his British accent, Peter Paces has a way of making you let down your guard before he clobbers you with a startling remark - another technique he seems to have mastered along with woodcarving. All said and done, the two are closer now than ever and our club is surely a benefactor in these two fine woodcarving gentlemen's friendship. Much thanks to you both.

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What a carve-up!

Carving a long distance friendship

Woodcarving ain't easy

Famous Faces


This article appeared in the May-June '00 issue of  Chip Chats ,the mag. of the NWCA,USA.

To view the carvings mentioned in the article click on the name of the carving

or visit my  Galleries  or the  Album  to see these carvings and more.

 
Peter Paces not resting on his laurels

By Peter Paces (and embellished and re-titled (!) by Chip Chats) 


Peter Paces of Croydon, Surrey, England, continues to pick up first place ribbons wherever he enters his outstanding carvings. Two figures -  The Last Gentleman  and  The Last Coalminer  competed against the more usual pandas and dolphins at the Wembley International Woodworker show and both won first place honors. Both figures are approximately 10 inches tall.

 

A 1999 competitor at the  International Wood Carvers Congress  in Davenport, Iowa, his foray into Iowa turned up reasonably well: he took in (with the help of his long-suffering wife, Jana) 15 pieces and came away with 13 ribbons - five firsts, three seconds, one third plus some fourths and honorable mentions.


Peter commented that he met a lot of nice people - woodcarving 'legends' and enthusiasts (and Larry Yudis). Even Fred Cogelow spoke to him, he states, adding that there is no need to point out that he is frantically busy getting ready for the 2000 show.

 

On another front, Peter commented that his article  'Woodcarving ain't easy'  in the November-December 1998  Chip Chats  resulted in quite a few letters, most from the U.S., and all rather pleasant. 

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What a carve-up!

Carving a long distance friendship

Peter Paces not resting on his laurels

Famous Faces


This article appeared in the Nov-Dec '98 issue of  Chip Chats ,the mag. of the NWCA, USA.

To view the carvings mentioned in the article click on the name of the carving
or visit my  Galleries  or the  Album  to see these carvings and more.

 
Woodcarving ain't easy

By Peter Paces 


In my 25-year long career in electronic and computer design, woodcarving was not something I would come across very often.

   

I was exposed to it in the Autumn of 1992 and it happened during a visit to my hometown of Plzeň in Bohemia (Pilsen in the Western Czech Republic), where I accidentally met a brilliant professional woodcarver, whose creations had me completely spellbound. I just had to try this! 


So, in the spring of 1993, I joined a woodcarving evening class in South London to find out what it was all about. After a disappointing start, I eventually managed to produce a few recognisable pieces (a seahorse and a bulb of garlic!) and realised that this magnificent craft was something I should have got into at the age of 5 and not when I was nearing my fifties! 

    

I acquired a set of good quality tools and soon there was no stopping me. 

Our garden shed became my 'studio' and the spare bedroom is now full of limewood blanks. 

 

In general I prefer carving small to medium sized pieces, especially heads and deep reliefs. I own virtually no equipment other than the carving tools, so the pieces I produce are usually small enough to be held in one hand and worked on by the other. And I have a plenty of stab wounds to prove it!


The wood I have been using so far is lime (basswood) and to introduce some variety to the finishes I occasionally use wood stains and various finishing oils such as teak or linseed oil etc.

  

The final touch is a good coat of bees and carnauba waxes dissolved in turpentine. I am hoping to have a go at the true 'tooled' finish which, arguably, could be regarded as the most genuine form of carving. However, it does takes a bit of courage and a lot of confidence to leave a carving in a state others may deem to be unfinished, but I think when applied expertly and to an appropriate piece, the result can be stunning.

  

The walls of my office at work are adorned with pictures from a recent issue of  Chip Chats  to serve as reminders of what can be done in this respect :


May-Jun  1997  p.15 .. sitting figures by E.Janel (pity we do not know the sizes)
Jan -Feb  1997  p.111

.. a Scottish piper by ??;

  (I am not into caricatures, but this one is superb. All of it.)

July-Aug  1998  p.6  .. Grandfather by G.Mussner ; just magnificent

And anything by F.Cogelow, of course. Oh well (sigh), perhaps one day.

 

The largest combined piece I have produced to date is a collection of 18 heads (human and others) in deep relief, mounted in a wall-hanging hardwood frame.

It is called  U.N.  and the heads measure 3 x 4 inches each and are removable from the frame so that I can change the ones I become unhappy with. The overall size is 18.5 x 12.5 inches.

 

 Another fine Mess  and  Four Seasons  (four faces of different ages) were both made using a similar technique.

 

The largest single piece I have ever attempted is a deep relief of a biblical shepherd inspired by a statue somewhere in Copenhagen. 

It is called  Shepherd  and it measures 9.5x17.25 inches. The shepherd's robes were the main attraction and also the main difficulty from the carving point of view.  Eliza  (Doolittle) is of a similar size but not one of my favourite carvings.

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The collection of my reliefs is slowly growing and the subjects / techniques vary from the relatively simple such as:
 

 Tom & Jerry   Popeye & Olive   Can't Buy Me Love   Eagle Eyes   J.W.   We'll Meet Again

 

 to the more difficult:

 

  U.N.   Another fine Mess   Four Seasons   'Must dash!   First Hurdle  

 

 Shepherd   Make My Day!   The Good,The Bad & The Ugly   Eliza

 

A 10 inch cowboy in the process of drawing his six-shooter was my first attempt at a full 'in-the-round' figure and was made around the end of 1993. It is called  Gunsmoke or High Noon  on a sunny day 
and it seemed quite good at the time. Unfortunately it has not improved with age and I can find a number of things wrong with it now: one arm is too short, the face needs a transplant, the boots look like galoshes etc.


The later attempts at figure carving are hopefully slightly better and they include

 

 

and some heads / busts:

 Preacher   Grim Cavalier   Biggles   Mr.Singh

 

Nowadays most of my spare time is  taken up by this splendid hobby and the not-too-frequent 
exhibitions / competitions in the South of England always become focal points around which our life gets organised. So far I have entered only a few  Woodworker  competitions at Sandown, Ascot and Wembley with mixed results : some third, some second and one first place.

  

Judging by the calendar of events in the  Chip Chats , the competition scene is quite phenomenal in the Northern America and I am sorely tempted to enter one or two next year. The distance and knowing which shows are suitable are the obvious problems, but it has been done before. 


The most recent competition in the UK was organised by the British Woodcarvers Association (BWA) and my entries
 The Lookout  (Animal form), and  The Good,The Bad & The Ugly  (Relief) were placed third and second in their respective groups, which is not all that brilliant.

The third entry  Mr.Singh  (Human form) did not get anywhere at all. Still, it will keep me 'on my toes' and, hopefully, my next creation(-s) will be better.


This is obviously 'wishful thinking', because I am finding woodcarving more and more frustrating as various limitations in my woodcarving ability quickly appear. 

 "Oh boy, I wish I knew what I was doing !"  or words to that effect are permanently on my lips when I sit in the shed sipping red wine while applying a plaster to yet another wound and while staring blankly at a lump of shapeless limewood (usually after a few days of fruitless hacking away at it).


Apparently some wise spark said in the past :

  

 " there is an infinite number of shapes in a block of wood or stone;

 carving is just a matter of removing the bits that should not be there " (!!)

  

Easy to say when your name is Michaelangelo!

  

I often remember this pearl of wisdom, especially when I am completely lost and cannot decide which are the bits that should not be there or wonder what had happened to all the bits that should!

  

The motto  ' woodcarving ain't easy '  is stating the obvious, nevertheless I firmly believe that woodcarving would not be half as much fun if it were easy!

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What a carve-up!

Carving a long distance friendship

Peter Paces not resting on his laurels

Woodcarving ain't easy


This article appeared in the May-June 1998 issue of the Woodcarving magazine, UK.

To view the carvings mentioned in the article click on the name of the carving or

or visit my  Galleries  or the  Album  to see these carvings and more.

 

Famous Faces

By Peter Paces (and ruthlessly edited by Woodcarving)
motto: " woodcarving ain't easy "


    IN THE BEGINNING... 
It all started in the Autumn of 1992 - nearing the second anniversary of yet another redundancy and of diligent job searching, I realized that I was obviously no longer wanted in electronics at the age of 47; so I decided that the time had come to start something completely different!
 

As I was born in Czechoslovakia which, along with other Eastern Block countries was going through fundamental political and economic changes at that time, it seemed a sensible idea to try to start some enterprise there.
Unfortunately, after a few visits to that country, it became crystal clear, that my business acumen is on the par with my capacity for not getting made redundant every five minutes!


     ALADDIN'S CAVE 
However, during my search for ideas and opportunities, I came across a rather brilliant woodcarver named Jarda, who lives in the West Bohemian town of Plzeň (Pilsen to you lager drinkers).
Walking into his flat was like entering a woodcarver's Aladdin's cave .. there were woodcarvings everywhere and his 'working' room was overflowing with detailed and beautifully executed figures and high reliefs. The sizes ranged from 6 to 36 inches, and the subjects varied from intricate table lamps to religious scenes and statuettes.
There were also several marionettes of various sizes suspended in midair.
I learned later that making them was Jarda's way of taking a rest from carving other, more serious pieces, as he could let his imagination run riot!

Admittedly, I did not fully appreciate the skill involved at first; nevertheless I took a lot of photographs, a set of which I would use in producing a kind of a 'portfolio' for Jarda, as he had kept virtually no record of his creations.
With his reluctant approval, I hoped to use another set of the photographs while attempting to sell some of his carvings in this country.
His initial attitude towards me was that of suspicion: after all he had been through all this before with German arts dealers from the neighbouring Bavaria, whose motives were not always honourable. He had obviously failed to see the purity of my soul!

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    FIBRE GLASS 
Back in England, I had the thankless task of going round various art shops trying to stir up interest in those truly magnificent carvings ... alas with no result. Even getting people to look at the pictures was an ordeal.
The reactions I came across varied from a complete lack of interest to 'unbridled' greed, when a dealer would be willing to display / sell at a vast profit to himself (normally expecting a 50-50 split) without any commitment and while carrying no risk at all!

Quite astonishing, though apparently not uncommon. Understandably, Jarda was not very keen on this as he would have to part with his precious carvings for an indefinite period without getting paid for them.
I also tried a large, South London based supplier of religious hardware and was informed, to my amazement, that the materials currently preferred for religious figures are fibre glass or plastics, but certainly not wood! That was the last straw (or rather the last strand of glass fibre) and I threw the towel in.


    SPRING 1993 
....and the lime trees are blossoming and growing wider to the delight of every woodcarver! One rather minor benefit of being unemployed in Croydon used to be, and perhaps still is, the availability of some Adult Education courses to the lucky unemployed either free of charge or at reduced rates. In the spring of 1993 I happened to come across a copy of Croydon's CETS prospectus and noticed that an evening Woodcarving course was available at the Ashburton college and that it was just about to start; and I thought: " I should try this! "

My passable ability to sketch and draw could come in handy and my ever present desire to 'create' would be satisfied. To a degree, the latter was already being fulfilled in my incarnation as an electronic designer, but woodcarving ... that was something different! Hopefully, there was also some inherited flair for creativity; my late mother was very much accomplished at drawing and embroidery and often designed her own patterns.


    BLAME THE TOOLS 
So, I enrolled and joined a splendid bunch of woodcarving enthusiasts to be tutored once a week by the equally splendid Mr. Tony Webb. I bought a few old woodcarving gouges from a second-hand tool shop in Thornton Heath to get me started and turned up at the first evening class, not really knowing what to expect. However, thanks to Tony's refreshingly practical approach to teaching, myself and the other newcomers were working right from the start, which was rather pleasant.

 

Our first project was a stylized flower in a moderately high relief and, as expected, my effort was somewhat pathetic. Being thoroughly disappointed by the result, the obvious hara-kiri with a parting tool was averted only by a life-saving thought: .....blame the tools! So I did just that.This was despite the fact that Tony generously provided a set of his own, good quality tools for general use by all of us. Unfortunately, due to the number of pupils, one was usually stuck with his own tools. Blaming the tools was easy; the trouble was proving it to myself in some way. Sadly, as a good quality toolset was a bit on the expensive side, the verdict had to be:
 

 .... a woodcarving failure in the 1st degree ! .... 
 

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    LIME CHOCKS AWAY ... 
Then I remembered Jarda from Pilsen. Perhaps he could put me onto some useable tools that would not cost a fortune. And, perhaps, let me borrow his hands! So with some repidation, I approached him during my next visit to the Czech Republic (this time pleasure, not on any ill-fated business). It turned out, that he makes his own tools and they are, in my view, superior in many respects to the most of the tools one can buy here. Furthermore, what are regarded here to be 'micro' tools are to him standard sizes, which suits me admirably.

He embellishes the tool handles with elaborate patterns, thus making them truly unique. The range is, quite understandably, not very extensive, but adequate. Woodcarving knives play a very important role in his 'armoury' and he owns and uses a large number of them. And so do I, nowadays!
He let me have a good selection of the tools and I could not wait to get back to my garden shed, alias 'the studio', to have a try - and suddenly it all fell in place. A few days and several stab wounds later, I realized that it was 'lime chocks away' for me and now I wish for every day to have at least 50 hours ....


    DORMANT WOODCARVERS 
Thanks to this experience, I have come to the conclusion, that there must be many undiscovered woodcarvers walking amongst us; the problem is unearthing them. It seems relatively simple to judge if a person can draw: give him or her a piece of paper, a pencil and an eraser. Dead easy! Corrections and other attempts present no problem and assessment is possible within a few hours or, at most, days.

 

Not so with woodcarving. You have to have a set of good quality, specialized tools (not cheap), a lump of wood (also not cheap) and a suitable project. Corrections may not be possible as with drawings and other attempts may require new lumps of wood. Therefore, just discovering that one is no good at it may turn out to be quite expensive, hence the odds are stacked against people trying it out!


   TIMBER
Acquiring suitable wood can be a bit of a chore especially if one lives in a large town. There aren't many lime trees left in the middle of Croydon, folks ! In my case it usually means a trip to a sawmill near Ashford in Kent, where prices are almost sensible. Normally, their lime is only rough-sawn without being machined into perfect blocks; but who needs that anyway? (Note 1)

 

Nowadays, I think twice before bringing the subject of wood supply up, because well-meaning friends and acquaintances tend to arrive on our doorstep with freshly felled trees. One of my friends even donated a car boot full of pear-tree logs chopped-up into firewood. Made some very small penguins indeed!
Lime is the wood I have been using so far and to my dear wife's ecstatic delight, the spare bedroom is now a treasure trove holding a small selection of lime blocks of various sizes. Needless to say that, despite this I hardly ever have a piece of lime to suit the next 'masterpiece'.

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    IDEAS and IMAGINATION 
Dreaming up suitable projects is also a bit of a problem, unless one is blessed with persistent admirers who shower one with endless commissions and, hopefully, with specific requests as, I am told, can actually happen!

Joking apart, I am constantly on a lookout for new ideas and inspirations and my 'library' of magazine cut-outs and picture books is now quite extensive and still growing.
 

In general, I prefer good drawings to photographs, because half-tones and shadows usually present in photographs invariably obscure some important detail. I tend to carve things I can hold in one hand, hence the size is usually limited to a 'handful of lime'.
My favourites are high reliefs that can be used like pictures, as opposed to anything that requires a standing room.

The real reason is the size of our house or rather the lack of it.
 

It is called  and the heads measure 3 x 4 inches each and are removable from the frame so that I can change the ones I become unhappy with. The overall size is 18.5 x 12.5 inches.

 

Small to medium sized heads are particular favourites of mine and an 18-head (in a 3x6 matrix) picture in wood was my first major project. The frame was made out of stained Ramin mouldings and the idea was to fill the cells with various heads, human or others.
It is called
 U.N.  The heads are 3x4 inches in size, some of them are stained, some are oiled and all are waxed. As time goes by, the ones I am not too happy with get replaced by new versions, hopefully of a better standard. Each head is held in the frame by a single screw, so that it can be removed and displayed on its own. The house is littered with loose heads! The first face I ever carved was as flat as a pancake but the fifteenth one looks OK, I think.


    A FINE MESS 
I also made a 2-cell picture of Laurel and Hardy using the 'matrix' idea, called
 Another fine Mess  and a 4-cell picture called  Four Seasons  with four female heads depicting 4 different stages in human life. The hats Laurel and Hardy wear, were made separately and stained almost black and waxed and polished to a satin-like sheen.
The faces presented a bit of a problem, because though I had a lot of photographs, I really had no good profiles and guessing what somebody looks like from the side just by looking at the front is not easy. A bit like imagining what TV presenters look like from the side; we do not often see their profiles, do we?
Nevertheless, the end result is quite reasonable, I think. The portraits created a lot of visitor interest at the Woodcarving competition at the 1995 Woodworker Show, though they did not impress the judges. So this year, I entered them in the 'Loan' section.

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    THE GALLERY 
The number of reliefs in my collection is quite respectable now and besides the heads mentioned above, the subjects range from the relatively simple :

 

 Tom & Jerry  

Tom in the process of strangling Jerry

 Popeye & Olive

Popeye squashing a spinach tin, admired by Olive

 Sea life 

sea horses and fishes

 Eagle Eyes

birds

      to the more difficult :

 J.W.

John Wayne having a smoke

 Make My Day!  

a gunman giving us an evil eye

 We'll Meet Again

war-time sweethearts saying goodbye

 Can't Buy Me Love  

a girl's face with flowers, inspired by a picture on a Czech 500 koruna banknote

 Let's make hay 

a trotting work-horse with a stable boy

     through to the quite difficult :

 'Must dash!

a hairy lady from a shampoo advert

 First Hurdle  

a couple of horses' heads

 Shepherd

a biblical shepherd in his robes


 Make My Day!  started off as Clint Eastwood but as I came across the already mentioned problem of imagining the profile, he soon deteriorated into a 'general purpose' villain. I also found that I did not know how to show Mr. Eastwood's spiky  hair.
 Shepherd  was inspired by an old photograph of a statue of Christ somewhere in Copenhagen but was never meant to portray Christ. The robes were the main attraction and also the main difficulty.
 

To introduce some variety to the finishes, I occasionally experiment with wood stains. I prefer spirit-based products as they do not 'raise the grain' like their water-based alternatives. I used a mahogany stain on the  Eagle Eyes  to camouflage some flaws in the wood, and the  First Hurdle  was treated with a walnut stain to give the heads a rich, brown colour (Note 2).
 

The usual 'final touch' is a good soak in linseed or teak oil and after drying, a liberal coat of a mixture made out of bees and carnauba waxes dissolved in genuine turpentine. Once the wax dries, a polish with a soft brush and a cloth follows.


    GOING 3-D 
A 10" cowboy in the process of drawing his six-shooter was my first attempt at a full, 'in the round' figure, and it seemed quite good at the time.
It is called  Gunsmoke or High Noon  on a sunny day
. Now I can find about ten things wrong with it: one arm is too short, the face is too ugly, the boots look like 'wellies' etc.
This was followed by a scene from the musical 'Oliver' in which Oliver begs for more food and Mr Bumble goes berserk at the audacity of the little fellow. The scene is called  More?! . The two figures and the furniture were made separately, which will lose points in the eyes of some purists.
The reasons for separating them were twofold: firstly I had no piece of lime big enough, and more importantly, I simply chickened out. Being a beginner is always a good excuse !
The current Oliver is actually a stuntman because the original figure I 'created' was so atrocious that I beheaded it in disgust.
 

Further stab wounds and many penguins later .... the latest project is a scene depicting a muscle-bound dragon slayer confronting a hapless lizard / dragon. The title is  Come and Get it !  and the figures were made separately for reasons similar to those given above plus another, rather more valid, namely that the composition of the scene requires some space between the two adversaries.
Various body-building magazines and books provided an invaluable source of relevant pictures for the muscle-man, especially as I was looking for something bordering on the grotesque. The dragon is a pure fantasy, though.

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    BOXING FAIRIES 
Curiously, in some respects I am finding carving reliefs more difficult than figure carving, particularly if perspective is involved. One simple and rather invaluable piece of advice Jarda gave me regarding reliefs, was to make sure that the depths of the details (in some way related), always reflect their respective distances from the viewer. In practice this means that, what is further from the viewer should be deeper in the relief than that which is nearer to the viewer. This may sound obvious, yet it is surprisingly easy to get things completely wrong by not following this simple rule. Of course, it is also relevant when dealing with the problems presented by perspective.
 

I soon learned that " face on " heads look ridiculous in relief because the shortened nose appears as if broken and beautiful fairies end up looking like professional boxers! To my mind, the only way of overcoming this problem is to adhere to a full or a 3/4 profile or to have enough depth of wood for a proper length nose.
 

Another problem with reliefs is in producing good, clean backgrounds. I am hoping that it will get better with experience.
This uncertainty is I think, possibly the main difference between a beginner and a maestro, all other things being equal. Also, to put it crudely, not knowing what one can " get away with ", which usually manifests itself in getting bogged down in unnecessary detail. As well as undercutting too soon, too far etc. And away from the technical problems, not being able to convey the spirit / essence of the subject.
Alas, not all of these problems can be overcome by all of us, but let's have a jolly good try!!

Peter Paces was born in the West Bohemian town of Pilsen (Czechoslovakia) in 1945 and has lived in Britain since 1968. He gained an Open University degree in electronics and computing in 1977 and currently (2000AD) works for a South London firm manufacturing equipment for severely disabled people as an electronic and microprocessor design engineer.
He is a 'latecomer' to the world of woodcarving, having started at the age of 48, and even though he is an amateur, he now regards woodcarving to be his true mission in life !

I have made a couple o 'U' turns since writing the article ( " 'should be a politician! ", I hear you cry):


 Note 1

Any half-hidden flaws in the roughly sawn limewood are usually difficult to spot, especially if the timber is soiled, so nicely machined blocks are preferrable.


 Note 2

Water-based stains produce an even coverage, far superiour to spirit-based stains, mainly because the latter dry too quickly. The raised grain, if any, can be rubbed off with a stiff brush quite easily. 

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 03-Nov-2011 (V5) 

 
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