R.L. Blair
Sculptor, Wood Sculpture

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Sculptor's studio - A sculpture in process, how to carve


See a sculpture in process as I carve an Indian with wildlife sculpture.  This is a commissioned piece, they have selected an eagle, a bear, a horned ram, and two wolves for the wildlife.

I use many tools to give me the desired affect I want, from chainsaws, many different power tools, to carving knives to a mallet and chisel.  Each sculpture is different.  But my process in carving each sculpture remains the same, first being organized, then working efficiently.

Working efficiently: I work from the top to the bottom on all of my sculptures with one tool at a time, as each tool adds increasing degrees of detail.  When I'm finished with a tool from top to bottom I will use the next tool needed that will give me even more detail, and so on, until I am finished with the sculpture.  This way the entire sculpture is progressing at the same stage.




I start with a 6 foot long solid block of redwood

This sculpture will be approx. 4 ft long x 14 inches high x 8 inches deep.  I only use salvaged and recycled logs, mostly from fallen coast redwood trees that were cut over 100 years ago and left on the ground, still lying in the forests. I use a lumber crayon and mark off all the key areas I intend to carve out on the sculpture.

R.L. Blair Carving



I begin carving with a large chainsaw then progress down to a small custom made carving saw.  When I am finished with this step, I will never use a chainsaw on the sculpture again.

Here I am using one of many chainsaws to obtain the primary shape of the object I intend to create.  Keeping in mind that I mustn't remove material that I may need later for further detail.

Next I use sanders with coarse paper, I further refine the shape, sand all the chainsaw marks off, rounding the features.

R.L. Blair Mallet Chisel


I carve the Bear and the Ram with a mallet and chisel.  The Bear and Ram are cut in very deep, they are almost three-dimensional in the front.

R.L. Blair Carving Progress


I need to sand an area to carve the wolves.  I work on a three legged table that I built, it allows me easy access to the sculpture without being obstructed by the table beneath.

R.L. Blair Carving Wolves

Again I use the mallet and chisel to carve the wolves, one running in front of another.
R.L. Blair Carving Detail

I use a power tool for fine detail.
R.L. Blair Carving Eagles Wings


I use another power tool to carve in the eagles wing feathers.

Free Me Sculpture Progress


I am not finished yet, I still need to add more detail...the finished sculpture is here Free Me

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