STARTING THE SANTA CARVING
NOTE: You will notice that I do not wear a glove when I carve. Perhaps I am foolish for not doing so. Some say that is why I carve Santa's. When I cut myself, I don't worry about coloring the carving. Actually, the reason that I don't wear the glove, is that, a lot of my carving is done at breakfast in a local diner, and other places that I just wouldn't have the glove with me. You must make up your own mind about wearing the glove. I would strongly recommend it, especially if you are not so experienced. Anyway, before any cut is made look in front of the knife blade. If you have a finger, or any other body part there, change your position, and move it away from the path of the knife. Always take light cuts. Don't try to force the knife - it will slip. It will cut anything in it's path. Now if I haven't scared the bejeebers out of you lets begin.
STEP 1: Draw the bottom of Santa's hat and the tassel as illustrated.
STEP 2: Make stop cuts at these drawn lines. These stop cuts should be about 1/8 inch deep. There are several things to remember about stop cuts. Never let the knife tip move off the edge of the wood when carving. When nearing the edge of the wood "rock" the blade so the the heel of the blade goes to the edge of the wood. When making the stop cut, try to angle the blade in the direction that you are making the stop cut.
These stop cuts may be made in one knife cut or a series of short stab cuts.
STEP 3: Draw the eye sockets and nose as illustrated.
STEP 4: Make stop cuts at the drawn lines that define the nose. Start these stop cuts at the nose bottom. You can make a curved stop cut for the nose bottom or tip. OR you can use a series of "stab" cuts to define the nose tip. These "stab" cuts may be easier for the newer carver. These cuts are a series of straight cuts that when all done make up the curved line.
STEP 5: Make stop cuts on the drawn lines that define the sides of the nose. To achieve these stop cuts stab the knife blade into the wood at the top of the nose, and cut down the nose side to meet the stop cuts at the nose tip.
STEP 6: Remove a small "wedge" of wood from the corner of the wood, just under the nose tip. This cut and wedge removal should result in the nose sticking out from the rest of the face, and will be the center of Santa's mustache.
STEP 7: Make stop cuts on the drawn lines that define the tops of the eye sockets. Start these stop cuts at the top of the nose, where the nose sides stop cuts end. To achieve these stop cuts, stab the knife blade into the wood and follow the drawn eye socket line in a curved arc. OR you can use a series of short stab cuts to make the arc.
NOTE: You may want to experiement with holding the knife in the wood and turning the wood into the knife blade, instead of just moving the knife to cut/slice the wood. I feel this is a much safer way to make cuts; if you can do it.
STEP 8: Draw the bottom of the cheeks as illustrated. These lines will also be the top of Santa's mustache.
STEP 9: Make stop cuts on the drawn lines that define the bottom of Santa's cheeks. You can either start these stop cuts at the nose and move out to the stop cuts from the eye socket of from the eye socket stop cuts and cut to the nose. OR you can use a series of short stab cuts.
Step 10: Draw the bottom of Santa's mustache as illustrated.
STEP11: Make stop cuts on the drawn lines to define the bottom of Santa's mustache. To achieve these stop cuts, start with a stab cut at the bottom center of the mustache and follow the drawn lines out and up to meet the cheek stop cuts.
NOTE: Steps 1 - 11 are merely drawing the outline of Santa's face with a pencil and going over these drawn lines with a knife, making stop cuts where you have drawn these lines.
Tomorrow we'll start removing some wood up to the stop cuts that we made today.