Direct Carving ~ Faces in the Wood

“Direct Carving” means you don’t know what you’re sculpting — you just start cutting into the wood and let it lead you where it wants to go.  Well, that’s what I’ve done here.

I was just starting out in wood, so I needed some wood.  I went to the Rafael lumber yard and picked out a 6″ x 12″ Douglas Fir beam, 12 feet long (the shortest they have).  Then the yard cut the beam into 30″ pieces to fit inside my jeep, and I took them all home.

Direct Carving - faces emerge from the wood
Direct Carving – faces emerge from the wood

So, what to do with five 30″ pieces of 6″ x 12″ fir?  I didn’t know yet that it was ok to use power tools, like Dremels or grinders, so I stabbed in with German steel hand chisels and a mallett.  Where I could follow the grain of the wood and the knots, I did that

Eventually, the cut wood began to suggest to me shapes like cones and canisters and caverns.  As I continued shaping the shapes and connecting lumps to bumps, more sophisticated forms began to emerge.  Behold: faces, foreheads, mouths, eyes.

And that was my first stab at direct carving.