wood carving the wood spirit face

Carving the Wood Spirit Face

Cane, walking stick, and wizard wand wood carvingThe wood spirit face is a favorite wood carving theme.  His wild, flowing hair, his long twisted beard, and his exaggerated nose make him an excellent beginner’s carving project.

It may be hard to conceive that the human face is a beginner’s level project, but as we work through the simple steps to create the planes of the face, you will discover how simple and adaptable this style of wood carving is.

I am working my wood spirit face as a cane or walking stick topper, as shown in the sample stick to your right.  The wood spirit face is carved using a basswood practice stick – 1 3/4″ x 1 3/4″ x 6″ – then attached to the staff of the stick using a hardwood dowel or all-thread pipe.

To begin this project you will need the following supplies:

wood carving supplies and tools6″ x 1 3/4″ x 1 3/4″ basswood practice block
bench knife or large chip carving knife
large 3/8″ round gouge
small 3/16″ round gouge
90 degree v-gouge
bull nose chisel or straight chisel
220- and 320- grit sandpaper
safety gloves, if you’ve got them
heavy terry cloth towel if you don’t have gloves
#2 to #4 soft pencil
12″ ruler
fine point permanent marking pen
sharpening stones, honing board, strop
one-temperature or variable temperature wood burning tool

wood spirit carving. planes of the faceThat’s what I have on the table right now, I will add the paint colors later after I decide where this little dude is headed.  Use what carving tools you have. There is so little difference between one round gouge and another there is no point in getting into a snit over exact size.

I am going to teach is how to establish the planes of the face without using a pattern and how to use those planes to create unique facial features.

I am also sharing this wood carving project on the WoodWorkingChat.com forum where you can join, post questions, and add your photos as we carve this wood spirit face together.

While you get your supplies together, I am off to get your first set of photos ready.  So, please bookmark my blog!

Wood Spirit Carving, The Planes of the Human Face – Step one is posted!!!

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