Monday, April 11, 2016


I'm going to talk about art, I swear...but first :D...
My human-creature family has grown! (!!!!) ((!!!!!!))
This is Honey - her human thinks she's the smartest, most beautiful puppy in the world :D
She's a half lab/ half German shepherd, and came home at 8.5 weeks old.
She has expressive, dark brown eyes and soft, downy fur, and she likes being brushed.

post-playtime naps are wonderful things. 
She likes her bed, but prefers to "herd"
 her toys onto her human's pillow. (I set
up a cot near her bed, so she wouldn't be
lonely her first night. Since then,
 I rest with her until she falls asleep at night,
(just until she adjusts to her new home
 and trusts that I'm coming back.)

Ok, now art...[focus!] Right now Honey is staying in the kitchen and adjacent bathroom behind a baby gate. We're still working on "family unity" - she seems to accept the kitties, but they aren't so sure about her yet. In the meantime - I'm trying to bribe my way back into their feline good graces with lots of brushing and treats (it's sort of working - baby steps). So art! - I set up to carve my 4 ft block downstairs near the kitchen so Honey can see me while I'm working on the block or at the computer or on the press (and I can keep an ear on her even while I'm working).

Progress on the 2 x 4 foot block = that's a lot of shavings!

 I also finished this 10 x 18" wing block (lately, I feel like I'm always either starting or finishing a wing block ;)) - but this one really is the next to next to last one (*the pen-pen-ultimate?)
The wings are carved into clearcarve, a transparent rubber-like material, while the tree block is MDF. Going back and forth has really brought to mind the differences between the different types of block material.  Even though they're both relief blocks, every material has a style of carving it "likes."   
This is my first time working with MDF, but it seems to fit with some general observations - harder materials like straight cuts. The harder the block, the more it lends itself to straight lines because it takes all the energy to move the tool forward - turning the tool would take "extra" force, i.e. "forcing it" (for me, this is generally when bad things happens, so - Avoid!) Because it's a composite material, it doesn't have a grain direction like sawn wood, so the cuts can easily go in any direction. I'm going to need lots of curved cuts for the tree - I think I can either pre-cut the edges with a straight blade tool (like I did in the photo above), or use short (careful!) strokes. 

Hopefully, (fingers crossed!) the contrast between the straight cuts in the background and architecture, and the curved cuts of the tree and landscape will be striking. [hmmmm...]

Softer block materials accept longer, curved cuts more easily (thumbs up!)

And now, because I can't help myself - one more round of Honey photos :)

Muybridge-inspired puppy shots - Honey with Rocky, the squeaky raccoon.