So a while ago, a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away ...
I got a bee in my bonnet and started carving peg people. You can read my original post about that here. I love peg people and I have used them for a variety of activities (including, according to my mother, at age 2, hammering them down the bathtub drain! I hear my father was not amused as this necessitated his removing most of the upstairs plumbing. Ooops.) But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, peg people.
So I got this bee in my bonnet this summer. I liked peg people, but it seemed no matter how I dressed or painted them or what embellishments I added, they always looked somehow too, well "peg-ish." I wanted them to look more like the felted people I had created. So I took up the old trusty dremel and set to work.
** I can only imagine what real wood carvers thought if they read my original post or what they will think if they read this one. To those carvers among any readers, please understand I am a "trial and error" kind of crafter. I do not pretend to be in any way any sort of an expert. I don't know any wood carvers from whom to solicit advice and we do not have any real wood carving tools in the house. Plus when I started, I didn't know how the whole "carving" thing would go so I was happy to just mess around a bit and see what happened.
And so I did - and it was fun! And my friends seemed super enthusiastic about my results! So I kept working, altering simple designs in small ways and adding different embellishments.
And so, to answer a few people's questions, here is how I work. (NOT as an expert, but simply as someone who loves creating natural toys and loves children.) I know it is surely not an official "wood carver" way to work, but it has worked for me pretty well so far. I am interested in learning new ways to carve as well and I will continue to try out new tools including hand tools, when and if I get the opportunity. And yes, I will be happy to report my findings. : )
And a few different tips: the sander (fine and medium grit), the drill bit, and the tiny, small, and larger round engraver attachments.
The large engraver works very well to remove the first bits of unneeded wood. I start with the face, carving it back from around the center of the peg head. I carve the ears, the neck, and then move to the hair. Next I do the shoulders, the arms, and the lower body. Generally. The medium and tiny engraver tips work well for the more detailed parts of the carving.
So what have I tried since I first embarked in this carving extravaganza?
Adding twine hair
Using only polish to finish figures
Adding carved pony tails and braids, and felted capes
Using a tiny drill bit to drill holes directly through the figure's hands, perfect for interchangeable wands
And this one is hard to see, but it was an experiment in creating lit stars on the figure's dress. My husband drilled a hole through the bottom of the peg before I began carving it. A small battery operated light fit inside the holes, making the moon and stars glow. Fun, right?
And a few more of my creations. : )
I hope that is helpful, and good luck with any carving projects! Feel free to share pictures of your work. I love seeing how clever people can be. : ) Thanks!