in wood are, for me, one of the most challenging aspects of woodcarving. When it looks right, it just looks as it should, and people, in general, don't think twice about it, other than to appreciate the image portrayed. If it's off just a little, a curve at the wrong angle, a cut just a hair's width too deep, a chip knocked out, a plane surface just a smidgen too curved, a shadow too thick, it's immediately noticeable, and the whole thing is, artistically, junk. The exactness and precision required to draw the viewer INTO the image, make them believe, for a time that they are actually inside the scene, is achievable, and the carver knows it, but to accomplish it is tedious and difficult at best.

Yosemite Falls was a self-test for me. It's something that millions see every year, and most of them take pictures of it after staring at it to the point where it's burned into their brain. It's a familiar image, so there is no room for "artistic expression." To render this carving so that the 3000' rock face is as believable to the eye as the antlers in the foreground, and stays believable even when viewed other than straight on, and still keep the maximum actual carved depth at a quarter inch drove me crazy for about a year. In reality it took about 150 hours, but I could only work on it in small spurts before I got nervous. One wrong cut and it would have been firewood. But, it did get finished, and I still have it. It's one of the few carvings I kept for myself. I did make a mold of it though, and cast it in < a href="../byosfalls.html">bronze, and that's available. Later on I carved it again, but this time in wax, about 2" high, and you can see it in the jewelry section under sculptural models.

The other two pieces shown here are other real early works. The flower was another self-test, and led into being able to carve the doors I later did. The relief of Murbach, is a picture of the church, built in 1006, in the center of the village of Murbach, France, in the Alsace region. It is across from the home of the Mayor and school (Marie-Ecole) where I stayed off and on with my friends, Chris and Solange, who lived there, during my time in Europe learning to carve. It is, I think, the earliest carving I have left to show.




Please note: All the images you see and the pages you see them on are covered by copyright laws and it's a lot cheaper to deal with me directly than not. Thanks for supporting the rights of the artists.

Copyright 1995 - 2001 by Michael Dunn

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P O Box 455
Boulder Creek

Phone: 408-395-0881

Email: michael@enchantedcreek.com
URL: http://www.enchantedcreek.com

Last updated on September 13, 2001