Bit more carving

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Bit more carving

Postby lesclarke » 02 Dec 2008, 13:28

A bit more carving and Dremelling, after some Plasticene modelling.

I decided to add a Judy to my unfinished Punch, and I will probably end up with an entire set of unfinished figures.

I liked that glum look on the Judy in the picture of the Gus White set seen via the link posted a while back, and like the blob shape of the nose. It would be nice to see some more detailed photos of that set.

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Postby Richard Coombs » 08 Dec 2008, 12:37

Lovely stuff again Les ...the old carving bug is getting under your skin.

I love seeing other folks 'work in progress' pictures...they always seem seem more exciting than my own.

Yup , I know what you mean about unfinished puppets.

I plan to do a new Mr Punch and Judy this winter ...but I already have an unfinished Doctor and Bishop to complete .
Doctor is head and hands on an underbody .. the Bishop is currently just a head and some rather nice 'praying' hands.

My curent Bishop is the only one of my set that is still paper mache ..and I have been meaning to get his wooden replacement finished for ages. But I set the bar high with the ornate costume on the first one : so there will be a lot of work there.


... and dont get me started on my Chinese Jugglers ! ( ..or maybe DO get me started -again- ) They have been lying around unfinished for about 2 years now.


SO Im a bit early in wishing it I know ..But MERRY CHRISTMAS to one and all ...and have fun in your workshops over the Winter.

( I daresay CvdC and Mark Poulton are halfway through carving whole new sets ...and Bryan Clarke will have carved two punch heads in the time its taken me to type this LOL )

All the Best Richard
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Postby lesclarke » 08 Dec 2008, 14:49

Yes, Richard I too admire those makers who are far more productive.

My own method of carving can end up a bit 'stop-start', I get so far and really think I'm almost there, but a day or so later I look again and see there is still a fair bit of material that needs removing, I suppose it's partly to do with the confidence that experience brings.

Also though, if one's output is very limited there is a tendency sometimes to think about it too much, and with carving there is a danger for me that the carved unpainted wood head becomes an end in itself, forgetting that in fact the final character will be very much defined by the final painting and hair etc.
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Postby lesclarke » 15 Dec 2008, 13:59

Got a bit further, just added a separate chin.

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By looking at the photos I am now getting a good idea of how the finished painted face will look.
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Postby Dan » 06 Jul 2009, 18:21

love these carvings. Just wondered if you have painted and dressed them yet.
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Postby lesclarke » 06 Jul 2009, 21:58

I've just been asking myself if it's time to move on and actually finish them!
...and I'm starting to fancy the job again.

I've no excuse other than that I've enjoyed just looking at them from time to time in the 'naked' wood, the grain makes great patterns and helps you appreciate the various complex 3 dimensional curves, a bit like contours on a map.

It may take a while, but it will happen as I'm now wanting to have my 'own set'.

I enjoy painting, but I've a fair way to go with developing my sewing skills.

Also I keep getting distracted with other things, recently making a few new babies, one with arms for 'walky-walky' business and one with a mouth that 'chatters', converted from a toy head with a rubber 'hinge' arrangement.

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Middle baby is repainted/dressed Bryan Clarke baby.
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Postby Dan » 06 Jul 2009, 23:08

The babies you have made/repainted look great. You dont need to be Rembrandt to bring character to the puppets, painting Punch and Judy puppets seem to have a certain style of their own - if you know what I mean. Maybe I'm just an ex art student talking gibberish. I think you should defiently give painting them a go. What can go wrong - just lightly sand them back down and give it another go if you get it wrong.

I'm now about to start making a set myself. I have made papier mache ones in the past - but I think its time to make wooden ones. I have been playing around with some lime and its great to carve especially if you hve sharp chisels. Like a knife through butter. I'm going to turn some of the characters on a lathe as I quite like the Wal Kent style.
Did you find many problems carving with the pine? Is it a bit tricky when adding details as the grain can vary? Let us know how you get on. Heres a few Parsonage puppets that I repainted about 5 years ago - they were in really poor condition and have severy layers of nasty paintwork.


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Postby Richard Coombs » 13 Jul 2009, 10:19

Hello Dan ..nice stuff !

AND Les ...yep 'grasp the nettle' and get 'em done .
You will have such fun using them in your show.

Easy advice to give ..but I must take it myself , as I currently have unfinished a MR PUNCH and JUDY ..and like yourself I am quite enjoying looking at the unpainted heads.

I know exactly what you mean about enjoying the way the wood grain shows off the contours.
For me this is a fairly new experience too , as I made these ot of single blocks of wood , rather than using my 'laminated' slices of plywood profiles.

I say 'made' rather than 'carved' , as I have still jigsawed up the heads into small managable peices to carve with my Black & Decker Profile sander , before sticking them back together again.

I have used oak for chins , noses and ears . The rest is just Pine

Excuse the lack of photos right now ( they will follow)


JUDY is a 'one-off' freestyle , and quite different looking to my current one.
But MR PUNCH is a fairly slavish copy of my existing one , which was made by the laminated method ...so the fact that they look even remotely similar pleases me enormously, as they were made 5 1/2 years apart , and by quite different techniques.

So yes , like you I must get them painted and ready to actualy use.
.......................................

The reason they are not done yet , is that other figures have been needed more urgently.

I finished a QUEEN VICTORIA for the three May Bank Holiday days I do at Blist Hill Victorian Town. Also a SUSAN BOYLE that was made for the BGT final weekend ( she will be a regular feature in shows this Summer ) and also BARACK OBAMA which i had to have done for Independance Day weekend as I was at George Washingtons birthplace : Sulgrave manor ( he was a Big Hit with the USA visitors ). He too will be in quite a lot of this Summers Shows.


I am also halfway through making a BANKER ( from 'the Royal Bank of Directors Pensions' )...Id like to have him ready for the PJF festival in Lincoln

So busy times .

Best Wishes Richard
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