Archive for January, 2011

*Kenny Vermillion’s Habitat Workshop


K.Vermillion’s Chickadee
Kenny Vermillion
Sam Hudson and Bob Hewitt
A Section of the Work-Spaces

 

Carving Buddies Sam Hudson, Bob Hewitt and I left Dayton, OH at 6a.m. Wednesday to attend a “two-day-private” Habitat Workshop presided by World Class Carver Kenny Vermillion.  Kenny and I have discussed my visit to his home in Terre Haute, IN for several years. Finally, it was our opportunity to do it. I asked if I could bring two of my carving buddies along. We booked rooms nearby and arrived for day number one.  Kenny and I had previously discussed an out-line of topics. Well, he exceeded our out-line and kept the tips and techniques coming.  For two days, we covered techniques and tips on carving, painting, pattern-making, clay models, band-saw tips, power-bit selections, composition, leaf-and twig carving and painting, etc.  Firstly, his workshop is great for teaching. We each had a well-designed, comfortable work-space that any carver would love to have in their own home. Kenny’s Hoosier Hospitality took over and we all had a blast.  And to answer your unasked question, yes, I did “paint” a leaf.   And, yes, I’ll probably allow June to teach me to paint a bird!  Someday, maybe…Like the old sentimental travelogues of old, we finally reluctantly drove away from Kenny’s Winter Wonderland and into the cold, snow-covered expanses of the express-ways, headed home. Bob drove his SUV and we did very well; no mishaps.  A last word about the “paint”!  I’ll simply quote the “Man’s Prayer” from Possum Lodge’s Red & Green Show, “I’m a man and I can change if I have to, I guess”…

Happy birding and carving,  Bill

Bald Eagle #3
Bald Eagle #3

*Q&A: Locating & Carving the Bald Eagle’s Covert Feathered Areas


Editor’s Note: All birds have feather-groups (areas) above and below where the tail-feathers are attached to the bird’s body. They slightly or marginally overlap that connection-point. Because the coverts hide that connection, they are called coverts or,”to hide”.  Elaine is carving her second Bald Eagle for her  second son who is to  soon-to-become  an Eagle Scout. Her first Bald Eagle was carved for her first son and given to him likewise at his induction ceremony as an Eagle Scout last year. Two Eagle Scouts and Two Eagles; makes sense to me! Now, particularly for those Eagle Carvers among us, on to today’s E-Mailed Inquiry about Eagle Carving from Elaine:

Original Question:


Hi Bill,

According to the book (Denny Roger’s “The Illustrated “Bald Eagle”),  “Maggi’s Bloomers” (Under-tail coverts) are small fluffy round feathers – page 17.  Are the feathers on the top back the same small round fluffy feathers.  I’m thinking not so much since we didn’t put in the bumps to promote fluffiness as on the underside.  Is the top side all the same type feathers down to where the tail is inserted?
I put 4 body bumps on the underside behind the legs.  That looks like too much space for all white small fluffy feathers.  So where do I start with the small feathers, perhaps the last two bumps?  The front two tiers with the large round ones?  The book does not show the top back very well since it is a closed winged bird.
Ever so much thanks,
Elaine

Bill’s Answer:

Hi Elaine: Your question is wise and well-based; insomuch as reference data/pics on the complete areas, above and below, the Eagles rear-body, covered by “coverts” are rarely  glimpsed. I feel we did a good job on our Eagles 2 & 3 on that score. The upper-tail coverts are white and extend on our 2/5S Eagle carving several inches from the base (not the tip) of the tail, to where the wings are attached. The forward edge of the upper and the lower covert-covered areas, also white, is sort-of “floating” meaning that it flexes slightly as the Eagle’s posture or flying stance contorts and adjusts. The under-tail coverts, also white, actually extend from the tail’s base to, and right at the rear edge of the legs. The area is sort-of shaped like the state of IL. , a blunted-V, narrowing towards the head of the  Eagle. Carefully examine length & shapes of all feathers in all areas, they differ significantly; even with-in the coverts.  Closely examine the references from feather-line to feather-line. We’ll sketch these in when next you’re here. Or, surprise me! It’s an urban-myth that this isn’t rocket science!  hehe…Thanks for asking…..B.

Happy birding and carving,  Bill

Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3

Q&A: How to Sharpen a Woodburning Tip


Subject: Sharpening a Burning-Burning Tip
Hey Bill,
Have you ever had the need to sharpen your burning tip when burning feathers?  If so, how.  Sometimes I feel mine is dulling up.  Thoughts?

Elaine

Elaine:
To conveniently sharpen my tips in the past, I’ve adhered about 1 1/2″ of fine-grit “Emory” or “Swiss” paper (sticky on one side) to the top of my wood-burner. In this photo, my Woodburner is velcroed on top of my Micro-Motor. Simply “hone” the dulled-tip lightly across the  sanding-strip to taste (?). Not everyone advises this practice since sharp-tips can equate to deeper burn-marks which equate to paint problems when the paint “pools” at the bottom of the burn and reflects excessive-light which reveals lesser realistic effects than desired. With this in mind, I actually never sharpen anymore! You be your own judge!  I think you’re still “on” for “Eagle-Paint” Feb 4th(?)…p.s: we were talking about you just today.
Happy birding and carving,  Bill
Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3

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