Lucy Boston

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

on the subject of "thinking we can"

or NOT being told you CAN'T  do something...
This is just a little long, so bear with me, there is a point...and there are pictures to help out :)

My Sweetie knows that I love the texture thing...
so one year (2000) he gave me a gift
to take a wood carving class to carve a bird. 
It was a class that was for an advanced beginner -
I didn't know that advanced beginner part ahead of not ever carving before...anyway,

I rounded up my little dremel tool that I had
to remove paint from window sills,
my dust mask, pencil and paper and headed out to class.

We were given
a piece of paper with a line drawing of the bird
and a "blank" for a life-sized Chickadee.
A "blank" is a chunk of wood in the approximate size and shape of the finished product:
 This is a blank for a tufted titmouse-a bird with a crest on it's head.
 You take the drawing of the bird and somehow transfer these lines to the three dimensional object...starting by drawing center lines
(to help you make the finished bird symmetrical from side to side)
and start slowly taking away the wood down to these lines...
 Then you take away more wood to suggest wings, cheeks and eye sockets, etc.
If you are careful and persistent, you end up with a bird shaped piece of wood that is ready to "burn" in some hard feathers. 
Here is an example of a cardinal that is burnt and mostly feathered (I still need to carve in some more soft feathers around the head and beak; he also needs feet and eyes & to get off that stick and screw!).
Lead feet (& glass eyes)...
 Eventually, you seal and paint.
I painted with Gouache...a water-based acrylic with a matte finish.
you need to do some type of habitat for the bird to perch on.
     Brass sheeting is suggested for leaves, brass tubing for branches:
     you cut and sand a little, then use a stylus to press in the veins of the leaves.
back in THAT CLASS ...
I asked the instructor if
I could "do a holly branch".

I didn't notice that he hesitated when answering "yes".

So I started cutting and veining brass leaves
for my holly branch in the snow bank.
Do you know how many leaves are on a small holly branch??? 
Lots...lots more than the 40 that I did!
Then I had to attach the leaves to a "branch" - the little brass tube.
Do you know that when you solder brass to brass, the first piece of brass that you have attached heats up also and falls off when you are soldering the next piece on?  And so on???

HA! -quantity & product downfalls:  hence the instructors' hesitation when he answered!

and this is the big BUT...
He didn't say that I couldn't.
And because I thought that I could,
even in my first woodcarving experience,
I DID!!!,
So here is my very first woodcarving:

A life-sized Chickadee on a holly branch in the snow
Oh, the things you can do
if you Think You Can...

so, my point/life lesson...
believe that you can
before you start
and you will.

ps.  If you have been following this blog,
this was my Great-Grandma B's "learn something new promise, circa 2000"

What will you think you can do today??


  1. You are very inspiring. I will make it a point to learn something new this year.

  2. that is great! It looks like it will fly away at any time. You said that was your first carving, so anything else that you have done you could share?

  3. thanks, Diane! I didn't know that I was inspiring, but just keeping myself out of trouble!!
    And, thanks, too, Anonymous. I do have other bird carvings that I will share at some point.
    Thanks to the both of you for stopping by and taking time out of your day to leave a comment. That is inspiring to me - people's time and praise. Happy Stitching!

  4. OMG, it's beautiful!! Something I've always wanted to try!


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