Thursday, January 26, 2012

Creation of Adam - grounding out

Plasticine model.
I want to carve hands and I like Michelangelo's Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican in Rome, so I plan to carve a high relief version in wood of just the hands and wrists of Adam and God.  I made a plasticine (like play-dough) model of the hands on a laminated reduced-size printout, so that I could study where the high points are going to be.  I cut a 57 x 23 x 9 cm (22.5 x 9 x 3.5 inches) block of lime wood and I used carbon paper to trace print-outs of the hands onto the wood. From the near side of the wood, I started to ground out the background with a Pfeil (Swiss Made) gouge that is both deep (sweep no. 9) and wide (20 mm). On the far side of the hands ("above" them), I tried using Forstner drill bits to drill out much of the waste. I got this drilling idea in a Chris Pye book (Elements of Woodcarving).
Grounding out the background