immiketoo

What do YOU like about figure carving?

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I love figure carving.  It fascinates me, especially faces and the human form.  Floral is cool but its a little rote for me.  Use this tool here, that tool there.  Formulaic.  A face or faces, are infinite in their variations and subtlety, and capturing that on leather is the challenge I like.  What about you?  What do you like best about figure carving?

I'd like to hear your thoughts.  Do you hate it?  Why?  Love it?  Tell us.  Want to try but don't know where to start?  Let's do this!

 

 

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I agree with you. I like carving figures because it is very individual and helps express myself. In any craft there should be some art, otherwise it turns into a boring occupation :)

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Yes.  Its much like antique things.  They were often decorated simply because the COULD, and they are beautiful on account of it, regardless of their utilitarian nature.

 

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We think in one direction :)

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Apparently nobody else does :P

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2 hours ago, immiketoo said:

Apparently nobody else does :P

Au contraire, my friend.  I really enjoy antiques, largely because they are often utilitarian and decorative.

I enjoy figure carving, because it is challenging and unique.   I look forward to being accomplished enough to combine many aspects of leather craft into my own style.  As you have seen, I have a long ways to go though!  Still just getting past the "howling mouse" phase.

Is it easier to start on large (say 8" + size) or small size (say 2-3" size) to learn?

YinTx

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I like the dimensionality, the tactile surfaces. It's really low-relief sculpture. A 2d drawing is nice, but it's flat. Good tooling just begs to be touched. 

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4 minutes ago, YinTx said:

Au contraire, my friend.  I really enjoy antiques, largely because they are often utilitarian and decorative.

I enjoy figure carving, because it is challenging and unique.   I look forward to being accomplished enough to combine many aspects of leather craft into my own style.  As you have seen, I have a long ways to go though!  Still just getting past the "howling mouse" phase.

Is it easier to start on large (say 8" + size) or small size (say 2-3" size) to learn?

YinTx

You have just found your business name.  Howling Mouse Leather!  As for size, some things are easier in larger format, others are easier in small format.  For example, eyes are easier when they're small.  A three inch wide eyeball is difficult where a half inch is easy.

 

3 minutes ago, DJole said:

I like the dimensionality, the tactile surfaces. It's really low-relief sculpture. A 2d drawing is nice, but it's flat. Good tooling just begs to be touched. 

So very true.

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And it's fun :)
What fun can be in flowers and leaves? ;)

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You stop that right meow.

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one more... :)

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Edited by ABHandmade

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That looks JUST like a kitten we are weaning right now.  His name is Gingy!

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30 minutes ago, immiketoo said:

That looks JUST like a kitten we are weaning right now.  His name is Gingy!

Originally it was supposed that it was a tiger cub.
Either I made it unsuccessfully, or you need to treat your kitten with great respect after a few months :)

PS. Your Gingy is cutie.

Edited by ABHandmade

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I treat all cats like the predators they are!

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@immiketoo That Odin is amazing, and so is your collection of tools behind it.

I have a lot to learn, but really enjoy figure carving. Obviously, I need to buy more tools. :)

Here is a WIP. It's tough figuring out transitions from one figure to the next. I just need to plan ahead more. That and practice.

 

IMG_4810.JPG

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I like looking at it! I carved a face into a sheath I made and that is about it. It is difficult and I don't have the time to get better at it so I am leaving it for a later time. I tried an old dead tree once too but it got super fine super quick and I couldn't get my cuts made well enough.

 

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Wow @immiketoo your work is just... wow! The rest too! 

I have not desided if i like figur carving yet. I'm NOT an artist. Sorry to say I did not inheret my mothers artistskill. I can't paint a picture if my life depended on it. So time will tell if I learn enough to be good enough for simple work. 

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Well, you can find a pic online and sketch it onto some transfer paper and go from there, you don't have to be an artist so much as be able to put down clean cuts and bevels after you transferred the image onto the leather. The art part is easy unless you are coming up with it out of your skull.

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8 hours ago, spacedog said:

@immiketoo That Odin is amazing, and so is your collection of tools behind it.

I have a lot to learn, but really enjoy figure carving. Obviously, I need to buy more tools. :)

Here is a WIP. It's tough figuring out transitions from one figure to the next. I just need to plan ahead more. That and practice.

 

IMG_4810.JPG

The trick to figure carving is being able to think in 3D.  A large figure beveler will make your life a bit easier, but you can do the same with a spoon.  Remember to always carve whats closest to you first, and then work your way down to the background.

4 hours ago, battlemunky said:

I like looking at it! I carved a face into a sheath I made and that is about it. It is difficult and I don't have the time to get better at it so I am leaving it for a later time. I tried an old dead tree once too but it got super fine super quick and I couldn't get my cuts made well enough.

 

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Faces are difficult, and yours is fine.  They require a lot less cutting than you'd think.  

4 hours ago, Raksha said:

Wow @immiketoo your work is just... wow! The rest too! 

I have not desided if i like figur carving yet. I'm NOT an artist. Sorry to say I did not inheret my mothers artistskill. I can't paint a picture if my life depended on it. So time will tell if I learn enough to be good enough for simple work. 

I am not an artist either.  I can draw a little, but not nearly as well as I can carve.  Like anything, its about practice.  When I started I couldn't do anything except smoosh leather.

3 hours ago, battlemunky said:

Well, you can find a pic online and sketch it onto some transfer paper and go from there, you don't have to be an artist so much as be able to put down clean cuts and bevels after you transferred the image onto the leather. The art part is easy unless you are coming up with it out of your skull.

Correct.

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12 hours ago, battlemunky said:

Well, you can find a pic online and sketch it onto some transfer paper and go from there, you don't have to be an artist so much as be able to put down clean cuts and bevels after you transferred the image onto the leather. The art part is easy unless you are coming up with it out of your skull.

This is what I am counting on :lol: I do not need to reach the skill level shown in this thread. Just need to be good enough to make what I want. Problem is, I am a bit of a perfectionist. 

8 hours ago, immiketoo said:

 

I am not an artist either.  I can draw a little, but not nearly as well as I can carve.  Like anything, its about practice.  When I started I couldn't do anything except smoosh leather.

.

Well, you are a leather artist - really! You need a special talent and eye to get to your level, I'm sure.  Smoosh leather is more my skill :D 

 

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wow some great work there,sadly I have no carving work to share yet

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Fantastic and inspiring work here folks thanks.

This is the closest I have come to a figure carving...hockey team logo on a "Player of the Week Beer Holster Belt" - so once they got it and used it they were very "happy" with it!!

I may try something more artistic soon - I used to do clay relief/modeling so the 3D visualization is there just need to get the hang of the medium and tools... ya just that....

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:dunno: I just like it... never really thought much about the 'why'.

Long time ago, when I started out - I sucked at it. :dunno:  At some point, I decided to improve the skills, so I used those 'craftaid' templates so I could spend the time learning the CARVING technique, not spend the time tracing / drawing / designing.  Get the carving down, then I could worry about content.

And at some point, I decided to do a BUNCH of those templates - idea being that if 10 people all do the same design, then it should be easy to compare the skill level of those 10, side by side.  So if a person wanted one of those, I could clearly do it, but - more important -- if they wanted something ELSE, then here's a guy who can carve (well) those birds, and horses, and fish, and deer, and .... so on .... 

Here's a couple of small pics from some of those templates. 

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Every so often, though, you find someone who is skilled at both the carving AND the ability (and tendency) to teach it to the next guy.  If you haven't already, I absolutely recommend checking out Yaklady's horse carving on this site:

 

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Jeff Thanks for sharing your learning approach - makes absolute sense to me - and the link the those amazing horse carvings and tutorials.

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2 minutes ago, plinkercases said:

Jeff Thanks for sharing your learning approach - makes absolute sense to me - and the link the those amazing horse carvings and tutorials.

That horse carving discussion IS amazing - but don't thank me, thank HER. :clapping:

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