Caricature Carving - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Wood Carving: Last issue we worked on tuning your knife. Now that you have a well-tuned knife, here is a great little project for you to practice using it.


Caricature Carving

This caricature is made from a 2" x 2" x 6" piece of basswood, but the pattern can be adjusted to fit any piece of wood. This is a photo-based project, without lengthy explanations.

Under each of the photos, the required action(s) are described. Study the pictures carefully, as they each provide a lot of information.

Before getting started, here are some general points to keep in mind: This project gives you practice for using the two-handed knife carving technique. However, there will be times when you can use a different technique.

Don’t try to remove too much wood with one slice. Start at one end of the area that you’re carving and work your way back in steps. This will help you avoid removing a large chip unexpectedly.

Anytime you are pushing your knife into the wood, be sure that the wood is resting firmly on something stable (like your workbench).

Always be aware of where your knife will go if it slips off your carving, AND be aware of your "holding" hand’s location.

Don’t be afraid to experiment! This project is for demonstration purposes and is just one of innumerable variations possible. Have fun!

Copy pattern onto block
caricature_1 copy
Use two-hand knife technique
caricature_1 copy 2
Round the back of the head
Form the shoulder and bottom of hood
caricature_2 copy
Round the back to marked centerlines
caricature_2 copy 2
Carefully remove wood around tip of moustache

Round side from shoulder to above mukluks
caricature_3 copy
Change direction to remove wood above mukluks
caricature_3 copy 2
Relieve the arms and taper the leg fronts
Round arm and create mitten
caricature_4 copy
Taper the back and re-draw bottom of parka
caricature_4 copy 2
Define bottom of mukluks
Taper legs, establish bottom of parka and mukluks
caricature_5 copy
Carve separation between back of legs
Complete rounding of legs and toes of mukluks
caricature_6 copy
Finish rounding most of body, parka, and mukluks
caricature_6 copy 2
Raise features by carving hood back
Add detail by rounding features
caricature_7 copy
Complete hood trim and back of head


David Johnson


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