I am currently working on a carving of a Goshawk, sitting on a log. It’s the hardest piece I’ve ever done, combining elements of half-open wings, a turned head, and a base that is a part of the whole carving. I’m carving it in Brazillian soapstone, which has some lovely colours and veining that I have tried to incorporate into the whole carving. I’ve been using all manual hand tools for this – rasps, rifflers, gouges and chisels.
At first, it was possible to carve the piece free-standing on the bench without holding it, but as it keeps getting smaller (an occupational hazard!) I need to support it with several sandbags while I carve it. I have been sanding it with 220 0r 320 sandpaper at various times, to get a sense of how the carving is developing, and to check my proportions. Seeing a piece partially sanded also gives me ideas about where to go next with the piece.
As always, it’s a balance between detail and overall form and colour; it’s easy to get too detailed. I’m aiming to get across an idea – the concept of a hawk gripping a piece of driftwood, mantling (wings partly out). Hopefully that will be the final result.
I’ll keep you posted. I have to go and work on the feet and the base now. Wish me luck.