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How Carvings Are Made

fish

 

carving pic

carving pic

carving pic

 

The fine carving takes place around the fish's mouth, eye, tail and gill plates. I re-sketch these features on the wood prior to moving in with fine gouges and thin chisels.
carving pic
Once satisfied with the carving the piece gets hand sanded all over one more time. I then seal every exposed surface area of the wood with a clear finish, which acts as a priming agent for the paint.
carving pic
Then I set out to interpret the coloration and texture of the fish. I use traditional artists' oil paints.
carving pic
There are really no other paints that have the richness that oils do. Typically each work gets six to seven coats of paint with each scale alone receiving four to five coats.
carving pic
When the oil paint dries I finish the work off with a coat of varnish in the hue selected by the customer. The choices here range from high gloss that gives the fish that just caught look, to semi-gloss, to matte, to a dark finish that makes the piece look like it has hung in a smoke filled library for fifty years.
carving pic
The final step is creating the backboard for the piece. I use poplar (stained a dark reddish- walnut) or mahogany for most boards. Many are custom made to my client's specifications. The finishing touch is the legend or lettering on the plaque that tells the story of this fish. Most choose to record the weight of the fish, place of catch, date, and the name of the angler.

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