Carving makes me a little nervous. One false move and the whole piece can be ruined. The woodcarving knives that I’ve had for a long time are basically cheap junk. To work the large-scale removal, I used a multi-tool and chisels. I then purchased a new variable-speed Dremel tool and a bunch of different carving bits.

I took the peghead to a Civil War reenactment, intending to whittle beside the fire. Ha! The walnut was so hard to work with that the minuscule slivers I was able to trim were frustrating at best. I paid for that with blisters after about an hour and decided that life was too short for that. I’ll stick with the power tools, thank you very much.

I didn’t stop very often to take pictures of the head in these mid-stages.

The eyes worried me. I tried to shape the eyeballs, but it was either out-of-round or lop-sided. Eventually, I decided to make pits and find a different medium for the eyeballs.

Here is an early experiment. Uh, no–this thing is going to be a bit cartoonish anyway, because I only marginally know what I’m doing. This is hysterical and wrong, but on the right track.

So I went to Michaels In Ocala and found exactly what I I thought would work. I drilled into the eye sockets and
inserted a couple of half-beads, then shaped and added eyelids, and finally got the effect I was looking for. At first, though, the eyelids were straight across and looked a little brooding or judgmental. I imagined myself playing the instrument, and he’d be dogging me, saying “You should be a better player after 40 years…”

So with a little whick of an exacto blade, I gave him a slightly more quizzical look. I also shaped the ears and went to work on the nose. I used a small power rasp to simulate hair.




 Whew! I think I can live with this

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