July 27, 2010

Bird Barn is built!

photo copyright Karin Corbin 2010

Here is the little bird barn my young friend and I have been building over the last few weeks. It has been a lot of fun for both of us.

The Barn Raising is tomorrow afternoon, you are all invited!

Yes, that is indeed one of my big birdhouses in the background. It lived out in my yard for 10 years but I have now retired it since I no longer have a yard for it.

The lovely original, oil painting in the background of this photo is by Julann Campbell a talented artist from the Pacific Northwest. I love having paintings in the workshop, it is like having a  window looking out on a special place that is always sunny and serene.

July 26, 2010

Celtic Sea Monster

A Celtic Knot Sea Monster carved from jeweler's purple wax. It will become a necklace pendant. I jave just about finished carving this character, only a little more fine detailing and polishing left to do. I got the design from a Dover Publishing book of Celtic art.

 This summer I am taking a lost wax casting class at a local art college. It is something I have wanted to try for many years. 

I must say I have really enjoyed carving this material, so much easier than dealing with wood grain. It is a good portable project too as long as the weather is not so hot your wax melts. 

Another material I am learning to carve is Plaster of Paris. My friends, "The Guys from Texas" have told me much about it as they carve it for details for their roombox projects then make molds and cast the pieces in resin. This technique of carving in plaster then molding in resins is used by most of the high end dollhouse builders. I am surprised by how easy and pleasant it is to carve. First mix up your plaster into the basic size form you need then let it cure at least a full day before you begin carving. But be sure to complete the carving in a day or two or the plaster becomes more difficult to carve. 

Plaster is very inexpensive. Dental tools can be used as well as wax carving tools, wood carving tools and files. I put a sharp, beveled cutting edge on my dental and wax carving tools. 

One of these days if all goes well I will have a bronze sea monster to show on the blog.