Work in progress

People have been asking me what I’m working on these days, so here are a couple of pictures.

Gargoyle in progress, December 2014   Second view - Gargoyle in progress, December 2014

While commonly referred to as a gargoyle, this fellow is actually called a grotesque. The difference? Gargoyles – from the same root word as “gargle” – have an elongated neck and a spout. They were added to buildings to direct rainwater off roofs and away from walls. Grotesques are/were fancifully frightening human or animal sculptures; their original intended purpose was to drive away evil spirits.

I’m carving this grotesque in butternut and almost entirely with hand tools. Compared to chainsaw, where you can rough-carve a wood spirit in under an hour, this feels like slow going indeed. But he’ll be very nice when done – butternut has a really lovely grain.

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