owl in flight


this one started off Long Ago Far Away, on Vancouver Island, in fact, cruising with brother Paul in his truck…

passing someone’s country place, we see an impressive rack of moose antlers displayed on the front porch. my, the way they flatten out like that, they look like a pair of wings! i wonder if the fellow would consider selling them?

as it turns out, he would… after the customary Canadian lengthy, amiable discussion. rather, not his prize trophy pair displayed, but another rack, a bit smaller, from a bull moose:

“i dropped him, he was charging full at me, from about twenty five yards. he did already have one bullet in him…”

dear me, that does beat an outing to the corner shop. big time adrenaline stimulation there, i would say.

i’ve been charged by a moose myself, nothing like it for supercharging the nervous system. up there with the time the biker let off the shotgun next to my ear… me, I went up a handy tree and stayed there for a while… quite a while…

so, the moose wings made it back to Owl Studio and hibernated for a while, until spring of 2011, when they finally began to assimilate with a lovely chunk of cherry, and the visualisation process began…

technical aspects first: find the angle of attachment, get a jaunty tilt to the wings: lift off.

sketch, sketch, erase…

then, find the form of the piece: stylise feathers, interlock, undercut, pierce: my spectrum of carving techniques built up over all these years.

carve.

incorporate elements: ebony and blood wood, eyes and beak to go along with the antlers.

was going to do talons, did cut them out, then decided against them: keep the line simple, save up the claws for some future project.

use a paper template for placement.

then sand, sand, sand…

it’s a process.

and sand, sand, sand…

then, oil, wax, buff and polish…

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