'Alces Madonna' (Phase 4) by Shane Wilson

The moose cow is further roughed in and refined.

'Alces Madonna' (phase 4 - close) by Shane Wilson
Cuts and refinements on the cow moose are marked in brown pencil crayon.

'Alces Madonna' (phase 4 - whole moose antler) by Shane Wilson
The removal of brow tine and antler butt make for a pleasing, energetic design.

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'Alces Madonna' (Phase 3) by Shane Wilson

The intended effect of the antler ‘framing’ is to be clean, modern and elegant, so the brow tine and antler butt/burr have been removed, creating better visual flow from base to tine.

'Alces Madonna' (phase 3b - band saw) by Shane Wilson
The antler broom tine and butt are removed on the band saw.

'Alces Madonna' (phase 3b - belt sander) by Shane Wilson
The sawed edges of the carved moose antler are smoothed on a belt sander.

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'Alces Madonna' (Phase 2) by Shane Wilson

The cow moose is further roughed in, the calf just begun. The nose of a moose is astonishingly complicated, and a challenge to carve with some degree of life-likeness. Its crazy proboscis defies the expected and demands study of its internal anatomy. Still some way to go ...

As for the ‘tondo’ effect, I have carved a convexly bevelled arc around a concave background.

Though the circular effect is broken by the natural shape of the antler, the eye is able to complete the arc, while the resulting negative spaces focus attention on mother and child.

'Alces Madonna' (phase 2b) by Shane Wilson

'Alces Madonna' (phase 2a) by Shane Wilson

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'Alces Madonna' (Phase 1) by Shane Wilson

The cow and calf moose are roughed in, starting with the removal of material from outside the silhouette, then moving inside the design to begin roughing in the major planes.

It was my original intention to cut away the negative spaces around the composition, leaving a ‘traditional’ antler frame. Instead, I have decided to leave the background intact, opting to create a cameo, plaque or tondo effect.

'Alces Madonna' (phase 1c) by Shane Wilson

'Alces Madonna' (phase 1b) by Shane Wilson

'Alces Madonna' (phase 1a) by Shane Wilson

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'Alces Madonna' (Design) by Shane Wilson

‘Alces Madonna’ is a privately commissioned antler sculpture. It will represent a cow and calf moose in an affectionate pose.

'Alces Madonna' (design on antler) by Shane Wilson
The cow and calf image is printed, cut and placed on the antler to determine the effectiveness of the design on the actual surface. (Just noticed the image above was photobombed by a ... crazy, eh?)

'Alces Madonna' (antler prepped for the design) by Shane Wilson
The antler surface is ground smooth (skinned) to receive the design.

'Alces Madonna' (rough design concept - photoshop) by Shane Wilson
A rough photoshop application of the design which was selected by the commissioner.

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