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By nightserpent   |   
© 2019 - 2020 nightserpent
Cherry, 7-1/4"  This is inspired by the book "Gnomes' by Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet, it's been a favorite book since childhood.  In it is an illustration of a 2,000 year old carving of a gnome, it had a big crack in it and I was reminded of a cracked piece of cherry I had.  This is the first piece I've carved from a tree I cut down and let dry, though it was meant to be firewood.  The words on the base are Norwegian, it  translates to 'actual size'.
Image size
480x720px 215.01 KB
Shutter Speed
10/600 second
Focal Length
60 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Feb 16, 2019, 1:30:40 PM
anonymous's avatar
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Arcangelo-Ambrosi's avatar
Arcangelo-AmbrosiProfessional Artisan Crafter
Absolutely beautiful, well done and very nice grain! I'ts strange to think that this wood was likely to go to the fire. I can imagine the fact that you cut the trunk and let it dry it's a double satisfaction!
It makes me want to make some sculpture from fables book illustrations :)
nightserpent's avatar
Thank you!  The wood had been outside and exposed for a while, I think it ended up contributing to a more interesting grain than usual.  I just returned from a stay at the cabin, when sorting through the firewood I saw an interesting piece with lots of wavy grain (maple or oak, I'm not sure yet), I put it aside in hopes that I wouldn't need to burn it.  :lol:  Thankfully I didn't need to burn it!
ScottPurdy's avatar
ScottPurdyProfessional Digital Artist
Oh mate, you just get better and better. I absolutely love this, he's so full of character and reading through, you've really researched it. Brilliant stuff as always.
nightserpent's avatar
Thanks, Scott, it was a joy to make. :)
DanielWolff-Gallery's avatar
Well done, my Friend. Clean work. I like how you have the feet positioned. The wood color is rich and the grain quite artistic. The hands are well proportioned and exposing the ear and it's position is well done, Sir. Great work.
nightserpent's avatar
Thanks Daniel! :)  The inward-point feet are supposedly so the gnome can run faster, or at least s the book says. :lol:  I liked carving cherry, the grain is very attractive.  It has some unusual coloration in it, I think it is because the log was sitting outside for a year or so.
JamesSvobodaArt's avatar
JamesSvobodaArt Traditional Artist
that looks great 
nightserpent's avatar
Thank you! :)  Are you working on any new carvings?
JamesSvobodaArt's avatar
JamesSvobodaArt Traditional Artist
soon finishing up carving a missing head for a clock and a relieve of snow white
nightserpent's avatar
I am intrigued, I look forward to seeing them! :)
carvenaked's avatar
What a fun carving! Great work as usual Paul. Carving the words in really adds something too.
  Isn't it great to have so much wood everywhere? We in the northeast of north america have wood and water in abundance and I laugh when people ask me which wood is 'best' or where do I 'buy' my wood. It is literally everywhere and it's all useful!
 I hope you try to carve green wood sometime... 
nightserpent's avatar
I've tried carving green wood a couple of times.  Once was with a short ginkgo stump, which was sopping wet.  It was fun to carve but it instantly started separating along the rings right before my eyes.  Another time was with cherry, which was also a joy to carve but a number of cracks started as well.  I wouldn't have minded it, but the project was a hand-hold for the top of a ladder, so I needed it comfortable to touch as well as being structurally sound.  I look forward to working on a good size green block and letting the cracks happen as they wish.

In my neck of the woods there aren't a lot of very wide/thick trees, I think it is the steep incline of the hillside which makes them unusually tall and straight because they compete for light.  For example, sugar maples in a field tend to be squat and broad but near the cabin they might be 14-16" wide but over 100 feet tall.
carvenaked's avatar
I can't remember, was that ginkgo in the round? If so, split it in half or quarters.
 When I take off the bark, or cut deeply into a green block I also have cracking but it never turns out to be major, and many times now I'll seal it with wax or use left over finish in the bottom of the can of any kind. i never use full rounds, always halved at least to exclude the heart. The wet wood seems to lubricate the cut. The wood being less stiff bows away from the cut easier as well so less mechanical drag. It can be seem harder to grind  with a burr though. Toothed cutters work well.
If you pass this way I'll give you a fat block of green red oak. Two 40" log sections are standing outside my door, each 26"dia. or so. still with bark. they are cut a year now and have a little damage to the sapwood but are still massive. The heart was off center so I did not saw it to boards. I'll rough out a bench or chair and you can carve it for your cabin porch.... It might not be the ideal outdoor wood but even so will last a decade outside. I use a small slab bench outside under a roof edge and it has passed the ten year mark.  
nightserpent's avatar
Yep, all the ginkgo was in the round.  I de-barked mine and painted the edges, they've been sitting in my apartment (probably very dry compared to o) all this time.  Most of them look OK, but one piece is getting a lengthwise crack.  I'm thinking I'll wind up splitting it along the crack to make it half-round.

One million thanks for the red oak offer, I will gladly accept such a wonderful gift- thank you!!!  I'll email you and we can discuss some of the details.  This is very exciting!! :)
carvenaked's avatar
Let me know!
Ejderha-Arts's avatar
Ejderha-ArtsHobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome work!
I saw the thumbnail and I immediately recognized this gnome from the original illustration. Being Dutch I also grew up with the works of the wonderful Rien Poortvliet and the gnome books are my favourite series. You did an amazing job! Love 
nightserpent's avatar
Thank you! :)  I'm glad it holds up well to your fond memories of such a great book. :)
asleifr's avatar
asleifrHobbyist Artisan Crafter
Very cute Clap 
nightserpent's avatar
:lol:  thanks!  I'm not used to hearing that comment about my art :lol:
glasslinger's avatar
glasslingerProfessional Artisan Crafter
Wow! A beautiful work!..
nightserpent's avatar
Thank you!  Though I still look forward to trying black walnut I really enjoyed cherry.
glasslinger's avatar
glasslingerProfessional Artisan Crafter
I think you'll do just fine with the walnut!.. :-)..
hadasaugh-sculpt's avatar
hadasaugh-sculptProfessional Traditional Artist

Love the shape and the way his toes turn inward!
nightserpent's avatar
Thanks!  According to the book, the toes point inward for better speed. :lol: 
anonymous's avatar
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