An exercise in caricature carving.
SHOP OWNER: Wolf Kiessling
LOCATION: Marlow, OK
In 2002, I attended a caricature carving seminar, conducted by the well known caricaturist, Ronnie Reed, at the Spring Carving Rally in Glenrose, Texas. I chose Ronnie’s award winning carving, "Anna Canna Tuna" to be my project. I have never been particularly interested in caricature carving but I really liked this particular piece, so I took this opportunity to make one for myself. Besides, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to learn something about this style of carving, since it is a very old art form and extremely popular. Shots 1 and 2 show front and rear views of my completed project, which I titled "C’mon and see me sometime, Dearie".
Last year, I got the idea that it would be nice to have a companion piece for this carving. I thought an inebriated cowboy holding a bottle of White Lightning and two Dixie cups, and standing there in his skivvies would be just the thing. This would also give me a chance to design and execute a caricature of my own. Earlier this year, when I completed all the projects I had in progress, I started planning this piece. To keep from having a lot of waste wood, I decided to carve the hands holding the bottle and cups separately. Shots 3 and 4 show the pattern I created and the band sawn blank.
When I got to the finishing stages, I made the decision to have him holding a bottle of champagne (ChamPain) instead of White Lightning. Other than that, I stayed pretty much with the plan. The only thing I would have done different, and will if I ever do another similar piece, would be to carve the figure separate from the pedestal. I found it very difficult to carve the insides of the boots and knees with the pedestal attached. Shots 5 and 6 show front and rear views of the cowboy.
In any event, when I saw both of these pieces together, I thought it would be best to combine them into a single sculpture and title it "Prairie Romance". I laminated two pieces of 24" x 9.5" x 1.5" yellow pine and cut the ends at a 45 degree angle. I wavered between this treatment and cutting the rectangle into an oval, but I decided this particular method "lightened" the look of this piece a little. The female is 24" x 6" x 6" and the cowboy is 24" x 9" x 6". The individual caricatures are finished with acrylic color washes and satin polycrylic while the common pedestal is stained a rosewood color and finished with two coats of natural Deft Danish oil.
. . . Wolf Kiessling
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