Finding ideas for new things to carve is a common problem for woodcarvers. Carving the same types of projects forces many carvers into a rut. To become a more rounded carver, you need to try new things. Finding new things to carve can be challenging if you develop tunnel vision. But there are ideas everywhere.
Here is an Old Hound Dog project for you to try. The blank was cut from a 2" thick piece of basswood that is 6" wide and 4" tall. Be sure that the grain is running up and down (with the legs) so that the project stays strong while carving. If the grain is running side to side, the legs will easily break off during carving.
I finished the project with watered-down acrylics— I mixed about 10 drops of water to 1 drop of paint (10:1), and then I antiqued with Waico Finishing Wax.
The swirl rosette is a classic carving pattern that has been found on furniture and other household objects for many years. Its beauty, elegance, and sweeping curves make it suitable to use on almost any item that you wish to embellish. It's not hard to carve, which should encourage you to give it a try. As with any carving, if it looks too intimidating at first, try it on a basswood practice board. This will help you build your confidence and technique as you prepare to carve a finished project.
This project came about when I was looking for something to carve for my wife on Valentine’s Day. Well, I drew a blank and with procrastination (which is one of my endearing qualities—just ask my wife), I missed that date, and so I shot for our anniversary. While I wondered where my muse was hiding, it came to me as I was watching an old movie on TV. It began with the studio trademark of a sweaty fellow striking a gong on a frame. This morphed into a heart on a frame minus the sweaty fellow. The inscription on the heart came from a memory of those candy hearts with “I LUV YOU." After finishing the frame with its flourishes, I think that maybe Dr. Seuss was lurking somewhere inside my head.