This’ll be a quick look at a client’s buttonwood and how I try to match new carving to old deadwood. Not easy but you can get close.
It’s a little green, I know. The deadwood, I mean. The leaves should be green. Unless it’s a silver buttonwood. Then the leaves are a kinda silvery green. But I digress.
This area is where I need to focus. It’s a bit chunky and plain. There was probably a longer Jin or branch that someone broke off and whittled down with Jin pliers (or their teeth). That’s how deadwood treatment is usually taught with buttonwood in la Florida . There’s almost a mystical aversion to using power tools when carving them. But, in the name of progress (and continued employment and a living wage and food for my family), I’ll try my best to convince you that there is a place for their use. Wish me luck.
Looking at this chunk again, you can see how out of character it is. It’s flat, boring, inelegant. Like watching me dance. My “dancing” happens when I carve. Using the magic of alternating current, the pure power of lightening, pulsing through my carving tools, channeling out from my gnarled hands and into the tortured, ancient wood.
Trying to build drama…..
The tool I’m using is called a Mastercarver®
Stole that pic directly from Woodcarverssupply.com. Wish I had a sponsorship from them…….hint hint……
I get all my carving bits and tools from them.
The small hand piece with a small roto saw. This combo is the best for detail work. I can do so much with this in my hands. You can tell I use them often. You might say that I should be cleaning the gummed up wood from the carbide. Not too necessary, really, but if you need to, soak in plain water overnight and use a brass brush to remove it. You don’t need that expensive gunk sold for that purpose (and there goes the possibility of a sponsorship…..)
Each type of wood is different too. Hardwoods like oak or maple will rot from the inside out. The heartwood is soft. Junipers or pines heartwood is full of resin and don’t rot easily, so they tend to have sharp points (the stereotypical Jin) as the softer sap wood (the outside) rots.
Buttonwood has resin throughout the entire branch and trunk body so you can get either sharp points or hollows. They also have salt and wind-blown sand that act on the wood, softening the features in some instances but sharpening them in others.
I use fire and a brush attachment….
….the reason is simple, because the tree has been preserved (and bleached) with the salt spray from the ocean, any new carving will rot easily without protection and the lime sulphur is a good surrogate. No, I don’t recommend using salt water. A buttonwood can tolerate it, but they really grow best without salt.
Here is a Link to a YouTube video of the finished carving.
And some more finish shots.
But that’s why we put them in round pots now, isn’t it?
Who’s up for another carving post? I just worked on a big bougie with extensive carving.
Or maybe some ficus?