The roughed out background now surrounds the main elements of the pattern. All of the round gouge cuts slope slowly from the reference compass line down to their rough out depth along the outer pattern edges.
A few areas of the background for this design are fairly tight against the border margin. On the right side of the plaque at the back wing tips there is just enough space to make a stop cut with my chip carving knife or bench knife. The areas at the top and bottom of the cattail cluster also slope very fast into the background space. For these areas I changed from my wide sweep or large round gouge to a small round gouge, you can see the tool change in the size of the gouge cuts in that area.
Note that since I am in the very early stages of the rough cut I did not separate all of my wing tips yet. Since I will be dropping the back wing in a few moments I have decided to do the v-cuts then when I am working with less wood in those tips.
When I do the levels work in a pattern I do try to find a few elements that can cross over one level into another. This gives a relief carving a stronger feeling of realism. In this pattern the cattail leaves are perfect.
I pencil marked where I thought the highest areas of the bent leaves would stand. From those pencil marks I used my straight chisel and wide sweep gouge to taper the leaves down to the background level at the tail of the goose or near the neck area. The one straight cattail stick was also dropped to about 1/8″ from the background depth.
The background rough out is done … it is not clean, it does not have wonderfully neat straight edges – we will do those steps later as we begin the shaping work.
Through this next series of steps the rough out is worked first with a stop cut along the pattern line for that level using a bench knife or chip knife. Again, you can make your stop cuts using one straight-into-the-wood cut or use the two stroke cut that makes a thin v-trough line.
After the stop cut is made I use my wide sweep gouge to begin lowering all of the back wing area of the pattern. Every feather in that wind must lie behind the body of the goose. It is physically not possible for any of those feathers to comes forward – in front of – the body. So it is easy to drop the entire wing section as one unit to its rough out depth.
Recut the stop cut and follow with the wide sweep as needed to slowly drop to your depth. Note in this photo that the right hand tip of the wing is almost to background level. This is because the space between the wing tip and border margin are so tight that the wing begins t o touch the border as it is dropped.
Seven classic oriental bird designs including storks, herons, phoenix bird, lyre bird and the peacock. Plus mum and peony flower accent designs, tall lotus flower and a bamboo border pattern.