'Candle Ice' (Finished) by Shane Wilson (Moose Antler Carving)

Candle Ice, 1999 by Shane Wilson (carved moose antler)

The shapes are finished, refined and smoothed on both sides. It is done!

LINKS: In Progress Slide Show
(moose antler carving, moose antler sculpture)

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'Candle Ice' (Phase 10) by Shane Wilson (Moose Antler Carving)

Candle Ice by Shane Wilson, in progress - phase 10 (carved moose antler)

I have redesigned the front face of Candle Ice.

The lines are simplified and a little cleaner than before. The tines have been reduced in size in order to focus attention on the palm of the antler. The upper portion of the antler has been completely redone and the section close to the base has also been changed.

Completing this carving has been a little like running a race, where the finish line recedes every time it comes into view! Because the front has been redesigned, the back will need to be redone as well, then the final sanding and polishing.
(moose antler carving, moose antler sculpture)

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'Candle Ice' (Phase 9) by Shane Wilson (Moose Antler Carving)

Candle Ice by Shane Wilson, in progress - phase 9 (carved moose antler)

The back is now roughed out and I am on to the task of refining then finishing the entire piece.
(moose antler carving, moose antler sculpture)

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'Candle Ice' (Phase 8) by Shane Wilson (Moose Antler Carving)

Candle Ice by Shane Wilson, in progress - phase 8 (carved moose antler)

The last few days have been very intense. Now that I have resolved the technical difficulties associated with this aspect of the carving, the work has progressed non-stop.

I have also made some decisions with regard to the front of the carving, because I like how the back is turning out. The front is too busy, so I will simplify the design on the upper portion of the antler. However, I'll wait on this until the back is completed, then assess it again.

I think I will change the tine length too, so that the tips touch a line along an arc. Also, the second tine from the bottom, huge and impressive as it is, may need to be reduced a little bit to center the design on the main portion of the antler.
(moose antler carving, moose antler sculpture)

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'Candle Ice' (Phase 7) by Shane Wilson (Moose Antler Carving)

Candle Ice by Shane Wilson, in progress - phase 7 (carved moose antler)

This phase has been the most difficult technically. Working to create a second relief that appears to be the back of the design blending seamlessly with the front, is not easy. If the piece were to be view directly from either front or back, then the illusion would be complete. However, from the sides, it is a different matter. Such are the challenges of the media!
(moose antler carving, moose antler sculpture)

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'Candle Ice' (Phase 6) by Shane Wilson (Moose Antler Carving)

Candle Ice by Shane Wilson, in progress - phase 6 (carved moose antler)

I am now almost finished roughing out the main face.
(moose antler carving, moose antler sculpture)

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'Candle Ice' (Phase 5) by Shane Wilson (Moose Antler Carving)

Candle Ice by Shane Wilson, in progress - phase 5 (carved moose antler)

I've just progressed down the antler. The carving techniques and tools are the same.
(moose antler carving, moose antler sculpture)

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'Candle Ice' (Phase 4) by Shane Wilson (Moose Antler Carving)

Candle Ice by Shane Wilson, in progress - phase 4 (carved moose antler)

This phase, I roughed out some of the basic shapes, planes and lines on the upper portion of the antler. Though it is slow going at this point, with plenty of decisions to be made, I am pleased with the results.

As I carve the triangles they appear more delicate and do seem to resemble ice crystals from a spring lake or giant window pane.

At this point I am using 1/4" straight and rounded cone bits on the Foredom, a 1/8" straight bit on the NSK Electer GX, and small dental bits on the Dremel. It is nice to have a few different tools on hand to minimize the need for changing bits. I can switch between roughing out the larger areas and cleaning the tiny angles in seconds. It is easier on the tools too, allowing them time to cool down between uses.

Lee Valley/Veritas, has designed and produced a new Carver's Bench, and is it a dream! I am using some of the larger hold down clamps with it and can now work hands free, changing the angle and rotation of the piece with ease. If you are a carver or sculptor and need to secure work, it is a must have item. It will work well with any kind of material (even stone) and can handle substantial weight.
(moose antler carving, moose antler sculpture)

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'Candle Ice' (Phase 3) by Shane Wilson (Moose Antler Carving)

Candle Ice by Shane Wilson, in progress - phase 3 (carved moose antler)

I have completed the scroll saw work, cutting the pieces from the inside of the antler and begun to rough out the triangles with the large straight bit. I think for further roughing I'll try the large, single fluted drum bit.

I have been debating about whether or not to make the piece a relief, or have the triangles appear front and back. I'm inclined to the sculptural effect of having the triangles appear solid, front and back. We'll see if this effect can be achieved within the varying thicknesses of the antler.
(moose antler carving, moose antler sculpture)

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'Candle Ice' (Phase 2) by Shane Wilson (Moose Antler Carving)

Candle Ice by Shane Wilson, in progress - phase 2 (carved moose antler)

The design is finished.

I began by drawing in pencil the outlines of the triangles in way which seemed pleasing and used the full surface area of the antler. I made decisions as I went along concerning which part of each triangle would tuck under another and which part would emerge above.

Finally, I shaded in all the areas that will be cut out and then considered the overall design for balance, proportion and interest. I didn't want the design to be too symetrical (boring!) or too off balance (ugly!). I hope to have struck an interesting balance between the two extremes.

Now the cutting and carving begins.
(moose antler carving, moose antler sculpture)

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'Candle Ice' (Phase 1) by Shane Wilson (Moose Antler Carving)

Candle Ice by Shane Wilson, in progress - phase 1 (carved moose antler)

This phase's pic represents the moose antler half 'skinned' (the outer surface is smoothed by grinder) so that you can see the difference in texture and colour.
(moose antler carving, moose antler sculpture)

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'Candle Ice' (Beginning) by Shane Wilson (Moose Antler Carving)

Candle Ice by Shane Wilson, in progress - begin (carved moose antler)

This antler is the mate of the antler used for "Celtic Confusion."

Much flatter, this antler will be carved in the upright postion with a pattern of intermeshed triangles. When the work is complete, the antler will retain its marvelous shape, but will be seen to be composed of many shards or triangles.

As with "Celtic Confusion", this antler was far too spectacular to merit its use as a background for another image. The antler itself becomes the art in this case. I hope to do the antler justice ... it should make a fine carving.
(moose antler carving, moose antler sculpture)

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